Watch for rapping Highlands Ranch teen on “American Idol’s” 17th season, premiering March 3

Last fall, Nick Rogers stepped in front of the cameras and celebrity judges “American Idol” and made his case for becoming the next singing star on the long-running show, which is entering its 17th season (second on the ABC network).

“The biggest difference this time is that I wasn’t trying to be anybody I wasn’t,” stated the 17-year-old Highlands Ranch resident, who’s finishing his senior year at Mountain Vista High School.

Rogers sang and both rapped throughout his “Idol” audition.

Since he was a toddler, he has been singing in one form or another, Rogers first auditioned for the show in 2017, and said. He got a thumbs-down.

“Nerves got the best of me but, yeah, they said to come back next year,” he told The Denver Channel at the moment.

He did, and after three rounds of auditions for manufacturers at the Colorado Convention Center, the show flew him to Los Angeles where judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan assessed his performance in a high-stakes, on-camera introduction.

We won’t understand how Rogers fared until the series ’s season premiere on March 3 at 7 p.m. on KMGH-Channel 7. And perhaps not even then ldquo;audition” episodes run through March 18. But regardless of the outcome (always a closely guarded secret), Rogers got exactly what he wanted: a chance.

We caught up with him before the premiere to speak about what it’s like to win a place on one of TV’s series.

Q: Was it hard working up the courage after being rejected the first time to audition again?

A: Last season when I auditioned, I got a “no” right off the bat. I was sick that day andnot to make excuses, but they picked up on that and asked me to return. They were really encouraging, but I wasn’t really planning on (auditioning again) until a day before.

Q: What made you change your mind?

A: A lot of it was my mom forcing me to do it. I grew up on the show and it was introduced by her to me. We’d watch it all of the time and seeing how much she wanted me to be a part of it reminded me of that. Seeing it (growing up), my instinct would always be to watch half the incident and then run to my room to sing myself. Me and my mom would always place bets on who we thought would win, and one season — Scotty McCreery’s season — I got it right. He was one of my inspirations for going on and doing it.

Q: How did you get into music?

A: I began singing at 3 because my mom would always sing “You Are My Sunshine” to me, and that became the first song I ever sang for her, or anybody. I took a few music lessons because my mom used to work in a music college, then I did a bunch of gift shows from first through sixth grades, and have been performing musical theater and acting a lot since then. I released an album of original music freshman year that no longer exists because it was not too good.

Q: Why do you think you got onto the show this time?

A: One of my biggest musical inspirations is hip-hop, so other than fact that I’ve been singing my entire life, composing rap and hip-hop is my favourite thing to do. It really wasn’t until halfway through the first producer audition in Denver that I got the instinct to start rapping. I understood that I should do this because I love it, not just because of what everyone ’s telling me to do. Nobody has really come into those audition rooms and rapped and sang, so I think that gave me a foot up.

Q: How did it feel performing in front of Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan?

A: It was a bit of a blur, because even though I’m only 17 I’ve been operating for a moment like this for (a long time). I wasn’t really freaking out because of the standing of the people I was performing for, though they’re three incredibly talented people. There was no need to worry because anything was going to happen was going to happen, so I gave it my best.

Q: I understand you’re banned from saying you did, but how do you feel going into the premiere?

A: I’m proud and I definitely set out to do what I wanted. That’s all I wanted to gain from it. I was there to do what I loved, and show.

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