Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media — comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Contact John at

Michael Williams tries 'American Idol' 3 years after 'The Voice'

Michael Williams of Deerfield Township at the "American Idol" auditions for the new season beginning Feb. 21 on ABC.
Courtesy Michael Williams
Michael Williams of Deerfield Township at the "American Idol" auditions for the new season beginning Feb. 21 on ABC.

Deerfield Township resident, who sang in King Island Festhaus shows as a teen, auditions for 'American Idol' in the Feb. 19 season premiere.

Three years after coming within a couple weeks of The Voice finals on NBC, Deerfield Township native Michael Williams will audition for ABC's American Idol on the Feb. 19 premiere.

Williams, 21, who skipped college to pursue a music career after his national exposure on The Voice in 2020, "will be featured in our February 19 premiere episode as he auditions in front of our all-star judging panel, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie," says Idol publicist Courtney Hummel.

Williams posted a photo of himself in front of a huge IDOL sign on Twitter late last month with the message: "Hey i auditioned for @AmericanIdol. Tune in Feb 19 to see if i got a golden ticket (to Hollywood)!"

When he made his NBC debut on March 9, 2020, Williams was an 18-year-old home-schooled high school senior who sang the previous summer in Kings Island's "Country Flashback" show in the Festhaus.

Pop star Nick Jonas, his mentor on The Voice, told NBC viewers that Williams had "the voice of an angel."

Courtesy NBCUniversal

"I was just blown away that he would say that," Williams told me a few days after that show aired. "He's a rock star, so he knows what he's talking about. For him to say that, it was pretty mind-blowing. I was grinning ear to ear when he said that. I was smiling so big."

Williams won the "knock-out round" but was eliminated by viewers' votes after singing the Righteous Brothers' "To Love Somebody" in the live wild card competition May 5.

Three months later, he returned to Kings Island to sing on the International Street center stage. Before his July show, Williams told me he was skipping college to "be focusing my energy on a couple different projects that have been in the works for a little while now… For now, college will be on hold but I will be traveling to work with some amazing artists/writers."

The Idol season premiere (8-10 p.m. Feb. 19, Channel 9) features auditions in Nashville, New Orleans and Las Vegas before the three judges and host-producer Ryan Seacrest.

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.