The singing stars keep aligning for Lebanon recording artist Kason Lester on his quest to become the next American Idol.
And now he is headed to Hawaii to continue to compete for that title.
Lester’s performance in the group rounds, where contestants perform a song together, was aired this past Sunday night. He said that there were few similarities between his auditions in Chattanooga and Louisville and that part of Hollywood Week.
“It’s like boot camp. It always looked like drama when I watched it growing up,” Lester said.
“And I found out real quick that it’s all real,” he said with a laugh. “The biggest thing was the sleep deprivation. You stay up with your group rehearsing until 2 in the morning and then up by 6. It makes everything more dramatic, so it makes for good TV I reckon. I know I don’t do very good without sleep.”
The 29-year-old strawberry farmer’s vocal performance of his portion of the group’s rendition of “California Dreamin” on Sunday night kept him in the competition. Although not featured on Monday night’s episode, it was revealed that Lester is one of 40 contestants who survived Hollywood Week and moved forward to the next round of “American Idol” in Hawaii.
“It’s cool to have people to know you. I’ve had people all over the world reach out to me,” he said when asked how appearing on the show has changed his life. “It’s just given me exposure. But I’m just going to keep on doing what I do.”
Lester has built a strong presence on social media, especially Instagram, where he has 45,000 engaged followers.
Lester’s new fame has also given him new opportunities to serve in the community, including a recent trip to Tuckers Crossroads Elementary School where he performed for Louran Douglass and her CDC classroom.
“I’ve got family and friends with children and loved ones with special needs. I know that’s tough on them at times,” Lester said. “I always knew that I wanted to do something like that.”
Douglass, who attended Friendship Christian School with Lester, said that it seemed fitting to have him in her classroom with Dr. Seuss week approaching.
“Prior to Kason’s visit, we learned about how sound is made, travels, and how we hear it. Our K-4 ERC/CDC classroom has spent several weeks talking about different types of music and different musical instruments,” Douglass said.
“He sang for us and played the guitar while students read Dr. Seuss books,” she said. “How focused they were the entire time just amazed me!”