Johnny Keyser first auditioned for American Idol in St. Louis in Season 11, and he was, by all appearances, a suntanned beefcake from Florida. Johnny chose a super ambitious song for his audition: Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come." Judge Jennifer Lopez was borderline speechless after his performance, saying, "You know you're gonna be a star, right?"
Sadly, Johnny didn't make it past Hollywood Week, and the 25-year-old headed back home, where — prior to nabbing that Idol golden ticket — he worked as a server at Carrabba's Italian Grill.

Well, it’s a new season for American Idol and Johnny is back to try to impress the judges once again!

Since getting the boot in 2011, Johnny’s moved to Nashville, where he co-writes songs with fellow Idol alum Amber Caparas. Just a few weeks after performing in the city’s listening room circuit, Johnny was contracted by Grammy Award-winning producer Bryan Lenox.

In May 2012, Johnny released his 7-track EP entitled Where I Stand, which hit #44 on the Billboard Hot 100. (You can listen to here.) 

Sounds like Johnny’s made some major progress since his first time around. For his American Idol 2013 audition in Chicago, he sang a moving version of Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness."

While he managed to earn a golden ticket to Hollywood and also made the Top 40, Johnny failed to impress during the Vegas rounds and was eliminated before reaching the Top 20.

Source: Johnny Keyser Music

Credit: YouTube Photo: Watch American Idol 2012 Contestant Johnny Keyser Sing Gavin DeGraw's "More Than Anyone"
Credit: YouTube Photo: Watch Johnny Keyser Sing Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” in American Idol 2012 St. Louis Auditions on February 2
Credit: YouTube Photo: Watch Heejun Han and Johnny Keyser Perform in American Idol 2012 Hollywood Week on February 8
Credit: YouTube Photo: Watch Johnny Keyser and Fainting Girl Imani Handy Perform With Their Group Area 451 in American Idol 2012 Hollywood Week Round 3 on February 15
Credit: YouTube Photo: American Idol 2013 Contestant: Johnny Keyser's Official Music Video For "Early Morning Rain"
Credit: FOX Photo: Johnny Keyser Sings “Try a Little Tenderness” in American Idol 2013 Chicago Auditions on January 17 (VIDEO)
Credit: FOX Photo: Johnny Keyser and His Group Sing "I’ll Be There" in American Idol 2013 Hollywood Week, Round 1 (VIDEO)
Credit: FOX Photo: Watch Johnny Keyser Sing “I Won’t Give Up” in American Idol 2013 Las Vegas Round 2