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‘American Idol’ contestant performs epic rockstar cover of ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’

In a sea of extremely talented singers, it’s the vocalists who can take a song (even those performed by one-of-a-kind artists) and truly make it their own that, time after time, seem to really stand out on “American Idol.”

And Sam Kelly-Cohen, aka Kayko, is no exception. The 23-year old Florida singer-songwriter wowed judges and made it to the Top 10 round with his pop punk cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know”…which is guaranteed to transport you right back to the days of emo bands and heavy eyeliner.

From beginning to end, Kayko gave rockstar energy—complete with mic swings, energetic kicks, and jumping up and down to hype up the audience. These bits of flair apparently came with risks, as he voiced concerns to celebrity guest mentor Meghan Trainor about pitch issues with live performances.

But clearly the effort paid off because for a moment, it felt like audiences were watching a “My Chemical Romance” Concert, rather than a singing competition show.

As one viewer on Youtube put it, “He’s extremely creative in his performance as well as is resourceful, utilizing the entire stage, lights, wardrobe, etc. His stage presence and ability to entertain his audience and keep them entertained through the entire song is also very strong.”


Wow! Kayko Covers Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” – American Idol 2024

And to think , this guy never really intended to audition. Kayko originally arrived to Nashivlle for first-round auditions to play piano for his friend, who was auditioning for the show. But the judges asked him to audition as well. And, well, here we are, watching him rock out to Gotye.

Gotye’s smash hit seems to be having a bit of a resurgence. Only a few months ago, the song found viral fame again after international dance troupe CDK gave it a surreal, Wes Anderson-esque reimagining. Perhaps the song’s intentional simplicity, which helped make it so alluring in the first place, is also the key ingredient that makes it easy to interpret in countless different ways.

While Wouter “Wally” De Backer, aka Gotye himself, didn’t love the fame that came with the success of his song (read more on that here) hopefully seeing how it has inspired other artists is a good consolation.

And if the covers are anything like Kayko’s, keep ‘em comin’!

Source: Upworthy
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