American Idol Wiki
For another contestant with a similar name, see Kiko.

Sam Kelly-Cohen (born June 14, 2000),[1] known professionally by his stage name KAYKO,[2] was a contestant on Season 22 of American Idol.


KAYKO auditioned in Nashville, alongside his friend, Abby Blake. He sang an original song, called "TIME OF YOUR LIFE". All three judges voted "yes", sending him to the next round.

Hollywood Round[]

KAYKO was shown at Idol Arena, singing another original song called "WHAT IF?". He was subsequently put in the same group as Mia Matthews, Roman Collins, Quintavious, Nick Connors, and Anna Grace, where the judges told them that they advanced. After his untelevised final solo performance of "Gives You Hell" by The All-American Rejects, he was shown in a montage of contestants who survived the Final Judgment and became Top 24 semifinalists.

Top 24 (Hawaii Round)[]

KAYKO was mentored by Tori Kelly in Group 1. He sang another original song, called "HOW TO LIVE WITHOUT YOU". He received enough votes to be considered "safe" for another week.

Top 20[]

KAYKO sang an original song called "OVER YOU". He received enough votes to place amongst the Top 10 in the results, making him a Top 14 finalist. In celebration, he reprised his original song, "WHAT IF?".

Top 14[]

KAYKO sang "High & Dry" by Radiohead. He received enough votes to be considered "safe".

Top 12[]

KAYKO sang "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye ft. Kimbra. He received enough votes to be considered "safe".

Top 10[]

KAYKO sang "Teenage Dirtbag" by Wheatus. He, alongside Mia Matthews, received the lowest number of votes, thus eliminating him from the competition.

List of Performances[]

Stage Song Artist Result
Audition "TIME OF YOUR LIFE" KAYKO Advanced
Hollywood: Idol Arena "WHAT IF?" Advanced
Showstopper Round "Gives You Hell" (N/A)* The All-American Rejects Top 24
Top 20 "OVER YOU" Top 14
"WHAT IF?" Victory Song
Top 14 "High & Dry" Radiohead Safe
Top 12 "Somebody That I Used to Know" Gotye (ft. Kimbra) Safe
Top 10 "Teenage Dirtbag" Wheatus Eliminated


  • KAYKO originally only came to his friend Abby Blake's audition to accompany her on the piano, but the judges coerced him to audition.[3]
  • KAYKO wrote and dedicated his Hawaii original song, "HOW TO LIVE WITHOUT YOU", to his late mother—with whom he ventured to Hawaii the last time he visited.[4]
  • KAYKO mentioned during the Top 14 telecast that his Radiohead performance was the first time doing a cover song on the show; however, his untelevised showstopper performance was also a cover.
  • KAYKO, alongside Uché, made it further than any contestant with a hyphenated surname.

Quick Links[]

  1. KAYKO on Instagram
  2. KAYKO on YouTube
  3. KAYKO on Apple Music
  4. KAYKO on Spotify
  5. KAYKO on TikTok
  6. KAYKO on Facebook