CINCINNATI — A Mason native is going to Hollywood.
On Sunday night's season premiere of "American Idol," superstar Katy Perry gave 21-year-old Michael Williams permission to grab a golden ticket while music legends Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan cheered on.
Williams performed "Talking to the Moon" by Bruno Mars left judge Katy Perry smitten.
Williams has been performing most of his life after catching the singing bug when he was 6-years-old at a recital singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."
"I got so nervous I ran offstage to my mom," Williams said.
Williams said he luckily got back onstage after some wise words from his dad.
"I got up there and we finished it and I was like, that was the best thing ever," Williams said.
Trying out for "American Idol" isn't Williams' first run with reality TV or auditioning in front of celebrities.
At 17, he auditioned for "The Voice" by singing Lauren Daigle's "You Say." The then-teen was picked and mentored by judge Nick Jonas and made it to the Top 10 before being knocked out in a Wildcard Instant Save Sing-off.
Williams said as a singer he's like "night and day" between the two reality shows.
"I feel like I've grown so much since 'The Voice.' I feel like I've grown so much since that 17-year-old kid, who was just, you know, auditioning for a show and seeing what happens," Williams said. "I feel like I know myself a lot more now. And I guess I know a little bit more of the artists that I want to be and like the impact that I want to make, the music that I want to make."
Though Williams believes he's grown as a singer and performer, he doesn't want anyone to think he wasn't nervous in front of the "American Idol" judges.
"I think one thing that people should know was that no matter how calm I look, I was freaking out," Williams said.
For those of you who haven't gotten the chance to watch the premiere, Williams teased some piano playing — maybe even some flirting — on the first episode. He said fans would have to tune in to find out what happens.
You can watch Williams' journey on "American Idol" every Sunday on WCPO 9 at 8 p.m.
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