Katy Perry Declares This 'American Idol' Contestant 'the Winner'

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Katy Perry
Craig Sjodin via Getty Images

Although the auditions have hardly begun on American Idol season 17, they may have already found their champion.

On Wednesday night’s episode, judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie met Alejandro Aranda, an aspiring singer who was relatively subdued and self-contained when he introduced himself. However, in no time, Perry was declaring him the season's winner!

Aranda started off by playing his guitar track, “Out Loud,” which transformed the trio of judges' blasé expressions into looks of sheer amazement. Not only did the young singer display a wide, vibrant vocal range, he also dazzled them with his skills on the guitar.

Then, after Aranda delivered a brief-but-dizzyingly soulful original number on the piano, Bryan exclaimed, “I just feel like I’m in the presence of greatness. I’ve just never seen somebody do what you just did with the guitar. I mean, I’m in the presence of greatness. I have nothing to tell you other than I’m so glad you’re here. I’ve just never seen anything like that.”

Then Perry asked, “Alejandro, do you think you’re the next American Idol?” And Aranda didn't know how to answer.

He acknowledged that there's a lot of talented singers, later explaining that he's simply a hard worker. That's when Perry made this startling proclamation: “OK, Alejandro, I think you’re the winner... I think you’re really special. I think you’re an absolute genius.”

As if all that adoration wasn’t enough, Richie chimed in, saying: “You know what, we’re the lucky ones. We’re the lucky ones because the universe chose this time to bring you in front of America. You have such a career and the fact that you don’t know it makes it even more special.”

Check out Aranda’s jaw-dropping performance up above.

American Idol auditions pick back up on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

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