"I love it!" the aspiring star responds to the country crooner

By Darlene Aderoju
March 19, 2021 01:20 PM
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Alex Miller just might be the next country star.

In Sunday's all-new episode of ABC's hit singing competition American Idol, the 17-year-old singer gifts fellow contestant Cameron McGhar, 16 — who received her golden ticket with the approval of Katy Perry and Luke Bryan — a personalized southern-style belt buckle.

PEOPLE has the exclusive first look at the sweet segment.

Miller's adoring gesture came after a brief encounter between the two. "Alex has a little belt buckle that has his name on it and I told him in San Diego that I loved it," McGhar recalls.

And she has an adorable reaction as she unwraps her new accessory. "I love it!" says the songstress, to which Miller responds, "And I spelled [your name] right too!"

Alex Miller and Cameron McGhar
Alex Miller and Cameron McGhar
| Credit: Courtesy ABC American Idol

Turns out, Miller's motive behind his act of kindness is very simple — "Because I like her."

During his audition to become "the next American Idol," the Lancaster, Kentucky native says, "I wanna prove that a small town boy can do just about anything."

Alex Miller and Cameron McGhar
Alex Miller
| Credit: Courtesy ABC American Idol

And he surely wows judges Lionel Richie, 71, Perry, 36, and Bryan, 44, with his rendition of "Freeborn Man" by Jimmy Martin.

Miller croons, "I was born way down in the south land / Some 17 years ago."

His first line alone causes all three American Idol judges to smile from ear to ear and burst out into laughter.

"I ran away for the first time when I was only 4 years old / I'm a freeborn man / Yeah, my home is on my back / On my back," he continues as Richie, Perry and Bryan dance to his acoustic guitar.

Alex Miller and Cameron McGhar
Alex Miller
| Credit: Courtesy ABC American Idol

During a recent interview on Ryan Seacrest's radio show, Miller revealed that his American Idol audition has caused people to "come out of the woodwork" and reach out to him, including his ex-girlfriend.

The two had what he described as "a nice long conversation," but of course — he let her know how he really feels.

"I thanked her for breaking my heart," Miller joked to Seacrest, 46. However, he said she reached out with good intentions (and not to win him over because of his TV appearance). "She's got her fella and everything, and it's fine."