American Idol Contestant Gets Emotional as He Shares His Parents Haven't Accepted That He's Gay
American Idol contestant Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon dedicated his performance of Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide" to his parents who haven't accepted his sexuality
American Idol‘s Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon is moving forward in more ways than one.
During Sunday night’s episode of the ABC series, the 26-year-old Maryland-based singer found out that he made it into the top 20 of the competition after revealing that his parents were still having a hard time accepting his sexuality.
“It has been a really difficult past few months for me,” Harmon said during the show. “My parents still have not been able to accept me being gay. I’m no longer working as a janitor at my dad’s church. I decided to move out and that was a difficult choice to make. I felt like it was the healthiest thing for me to do. Being a part of this show has been good for me in one way, but it has also been a big challenge for me. I’m just being very public about my story and it’s causing a lot of change in my life right now.”
Back at the New York auditions, Harmon moved the judges with his original song and his humble beginnings working as a janitor. While speaking with Bobby Bones ahead of his performance in Hawaii — where each contestant in the top 40 performed in front of a live crowd — Harmon revealed that he chose Fleetwood Mac's “Landslide” because of his emotional connection to the song.
“I remember one day after having a tough conversation with my parents, I went to bed that night and listened to that song and really connected to it,” Harmon said. “I want my parents to know that I love them no matter what and that I’m sorry for disappointing them and not turning out to be everything that they dreamed of.”
After a beautiful performance of “Landslide” without his signature piano, Harmon started to cry as he said he wished his whole family was there to see it.
“I just got to keep telling myself that I can do this,” he said. “I’m doing this for me, I’m doing this for everyone who has been outcast by their loved ones. I know this isn’t just my experience. If I can be open about it and vulnerable, then maybe that can bring hope to somebody else.”
He added: “I was going to dedicate that song to my mom and dad. They were on my mind when I sang that. I just want them to know that I love them and I tried to communicate that.”
When it came time to meet with judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan to find out if he had made it into the top 20, Harmon was met with some words of encouragement from Perry who talked about her similar upbringing as a pastor’s daughter.
“Look, you’re a pastor’s kid, I’m a pastor’s kid — we have a lot in common,” Perry told Harmon. “I don’t know about you, but for me, I was always being watched. Then I started to find my true voice. Can you imagine when my first single was “I Kissed a Girl” and my parents, how they reacted? It was difficult for me because I felt very alone in what is supposed to be a very exciting time in my life. It has taken some time, but we’ve all come around to agree to disagree. I just want to say from one pastor’s kid to another that I see you and I love you and I accept you and I’m so proud of you.”
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It was then that Harmon found out that he would be moving on to the live shows — and even though his family wasn’t with him in Hawaii, he was able to celebrate the exciting news with another special someone: his boyfriend, John.
“I’m going to tell my family the news,” he said. “Hopefully it’s met with smiles.”
American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.