‘American Idol’ Hopeful ‘Garbage Man’ Doug Kiker Got New Teeth and Renewed Confidence
The world may be on lockdown due to coronavirus concerns, but American Idol is cautiously treading along on its path to the Top 20. On Sunday night (Apr. 12), the show took a small breather in the midst of the pandemic to catch up with some pre-taped segments getting the audience up to speed with the current lineup as well as some favorite contestants who unfortunately fell by the wayside. Judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie weren't giving new weigh-ins this episode, but it was nice to see how everyone was faring.
On particular contestant who was eliminated in Hollywood Week doubtlessly was on fans' minds. As Ryan Seacrest aptly put it, "Here on American Idol, we also love to celebrate the underdog, one who rises up to realize their hopes and dreams. And no contestant this season illustrated that quite as well as Douglas Kiker."
Indeed, Kiker — a gap-toothed, what-you-see-is-what-you-get type who cheerfully informed the Idol audience that his main gig was in trash collection — charmed everyone to the degree that his elimination in Hollywood had fans practically in tears. As Bryan put it, "I'm a fan of the garbage man!"
However, as it turns out, the garbage man hasn't lost any of his personal momentum, still pursuing his dreams of being a singer, and, more importantly, doing it for the sake of his young daughter.
He's also picked up a few perks along the way of his Idol journey, not the least of which is a shiny new smile. "Y'all notice anything different about me? I got new teeth, guys," he crowed on the show and shared to social media, showing off his picture-perfect dental work.
He's also feeling more confident in his abilities. A completely green singer, he's now feeling he might have the chops to keep performing. "The sky's the limit, man. Y'all got me feeling that way. I finally believe in myself enough to actually sing in front of people," he smiled, adding, "I'm about to go do somebody's birthday party. I'm gonna video-chat them due to the COVID-19."
Perhaps most lovely about Kiker's story is that he is genuinely in this for one person—not himself, but his 2-year-old daughter. "You know I did this for you? For real," he told her, as the Idol audience watched in rapt attention. "All the singing, I didn't do it for me. You really think I wanted all this attention? I was just hoping for a better opportunity for you. I didn't think it through, but I was glad that I did what I did."
The rest of the current season of Idol is currently in flux, with no concrete announcements as to how things will proceed due to COVID-19 isolation issues, but judge Perry did note in a Facebook Live Q&A that the show is going to “get creative” “from our own homes” in coming weeks.
See American Idol Contestants Then and Now