Colby Swift is that tall, lanky cowboy that stole our hearts and made us laugh out loud when he auditioned for American Idol this season. His sense of humor and quick-wittedness was so fun to watch, especially in the exchanges between Luke Bryan and him.
But Colby was more than funny. He was humble and talented, though “unpolished” is how Luke described him in the audition.
From Midfield, Texas, a small lazy town in Southeast Texas, this 19-year-old singer’s faced his share of heartache.
Abandoned by his mom when he was young, he’s faced the pain of loss and the questions that kind of betrayal and abandonment can bring.
He credits his father for getting him through it all. His dad is extremely proud of the young man his son became.
“It’s emotional for me when I hear Colby sing because he’s gone through so much in his life,” father Justin Swift said.
Once he secured his golden ticket to Hollywood, the real work began. Season 17 is packed with amazingly talented singers, and Hollywood week is notoriously brutal on them all. Colby worked on his act in the weeks between his audition and the opening of Hollywood week. He came out on the stage with new clothes and a cowboy hat. Just one thing was out of place.
Colby’s boots were so worn down and old; they had large holes in them. The cameramen were not the ones who noticed though: Luke Bryan was.
As he sang Freddy Fender’s “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” (in both English and Spanish – #swoon) the audience noticed his immense talent and the whole room, including the judges, stood to their feet in admiration.
“I never thought I’d get a standing ovation. To have Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Riche stand for me, that’s a blessing man,” the teen said through tears backstage.
When his group was brought back out to the stage to hear if they made it through to the next round of competition, Luke Bryan surprised us all by pulling off his boots to give to the young singer.
“These boots are made for walking into the next round,” Luke quipped. Bryan is more than a judge; he is a fan of Swift’s tweeting, “We love you #ColbySwift.”
We love him too. Though he was voted off in the group round, we hope to see him back again. There is a Texas-sized career ahead for this young man.