Doug Kiker is a 27-year-old garbage man from Mobile, Ala., with a voice full of soul. The aspiring singer's American Idol audition aired as part of the show's Season 18 premiere on Sunday night (Feb. 16), and Idol judge Luke Bryan helped his potential shine through.

Although Kiker was conversational with the judges -- Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry -- his time with them got off to a bit of an awkward start. He was visibly starstruck by the big names in front of him, and admitted that the only singing experience he's got comes from singing while he's on the back of the garbage truck. Did Kiker warm up before he walked in the room, Richie wanted to know? Kiker wasn't familiar with the concept.

The judges dismissed Kiker, suggesting he try some vocal warmups before singing for them. American Idol host Ryan Seacrest gamely rose to the occasion, enlisting the crowd to help Kiker get ready. When he got back in the room, Kiker admitted to Bryan, Perry and Richie that he was there for his 2-year-old daughter, Elliana.

"I'm trying to show her, like, if you put your mind to it, there's nothing you can't do," he says. (According to, Kiker and his fiancee also have a baby on the way.)

Kiker chose Rascal Flatts' "Bless the Broken Road" as his American Idol audition song, lumbering through a few bars a cappella. When he stopped, Perry said she wanted to hear more and asked Kiker to "show us your range."

"I don't know what that is," Kiker admitted, adding that he was "still trying to figure out" what he can do with his voice.

That's when it was Bryan to the rescue: The country star jumped on a nearby piano, guiding Kiker through the song to encourage him to explore how far his voice can go.

"I want us all to let you know you're a hell of a man,” Richie told Kiker as he offered him a spot in the show's Hollywood round.

According to, it took Kiker two auditions to get in the room with the American Idol judges: He didn't make the cut in Mobile, so he traveled to Baton Rouge, La., and scored a spot.

American Idol airs on Sunday nights on ABC. Audition-focused episodes will continue through March 8.

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