American Idol Wiki

Kory Wheeler (born August 12, 1988)[1] was a contestant on Season 14 and Season 15 of American Idol.

Season 14 Audition[]

Kory auditioned in Nashville. He sang "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt. All three judges voted "yes", sending him to the next round.[2]

Season 14 Hollywood Round[]

Kory was one of thirty-eight contestants called up by the judges immediately, before Hollywood Round could officially begin.[3] He was shown amongst a montage of others, albeit not heard singing. Nobody was eliminated from this preliminary level; rather simply asked to perform after being deemed "among the most memorable auditions".[3] After his non-televised second round a cappella performance, Kory was later seen in the third part of Hollywood Week, in a group with Jess Lamb, Lovey James, and Karla Davis, singing "All About That Bass" by Meghan Trainor.[4] While Jess and Lovey each advanced, both he and Karla were eliminated at this stage of the competition.[4]

Season 15 Audition[]

Kory auditioned in Atlanta. He sang "Bennie and the Jets" by Elton John. All three judges voted "yes", sending him to the next round.[5]

Season 15 Hollywood Round[]

Kory's first round a cappella performance was not televised. However, he was shown during the second part of Hollywood Week, singing "Treasure" by Bruno Mars—in a group called 'Team Blue Eyes' with Jenna Renae, Kelsie Watts, and Jordan Sasser.[6] All four members advanced to the next round. For his third round solo performance, Kory sang "Fix You" by Coldplay.[7] Afterwards, he was subsequently placed into a room, where everyone within made it through to the Showcase Round. For his final solo performance, Kory sang "Electric Love" by BØRNS.[8] (This was also untelevised, but viewable online via Vevo.)[9] At the Final Judgment, the judges told him that he did enough to become a Top 24 semifinalist.[10]

Top 24[]

Kory performed during the Group 2 semifinals. He sang "Let It Go" by James Bay for his solo performance.[11][12] For his Idol alumni duet,[12] he and Season 10 finalist Haley Reinhart sang "Bennie and the Jets" by Elton John,[13] which was both a reprise for Kory (who sang it for his Season 15 audition); and a throwback for Haley (who sang it on the second Top 11 night during her season). Due to the absence of a public vote, the judges alone deliberated and opted not to select Kory as one of the seven contestants to advance to the next round,[14] thereby eliminating him from the competition.[12][14]

List of Performances[]

Stage Song Artist Result
Audition "I Can't Make You Love Me" Bonnie Raitt Advanced
Hollywood Not Shown On Television Advanced
"All About That Bass"
(w/ Lovey James, Jess Lamb, & Karla Davis)
Meghan Trainor Eliminated
Stage Song Artist Result
Audition "Bennie and the Jets" Elton John Advanced
Hollywood Not Shown On Television Advanced
(w/ Jordan Sasser, Jenna Renae, & Kelsie Watts)
Bruno Mars Advanced
"Fix You" Coldplay Advanced
Showcase "Electric Love" (Vevo)* BØRNS Top 24
Top 24 "Let It Go" James Bay Eliminated
"Bennie and the Jets" (w/ Haley Reinhart) Elton John


  • Kory worked as a barista at the Bongo Java coffee shop (Omni Hotel), located across the street from the Season 14 Nashville auditions venue.[15] He was scouted by a producer; and after some persuasion by Kory, successfully auditioned on his lunch break.[2] After receiving his Golden Ticket,[15] he and Ryan Seacrest returned across the street to the café to reveal the good news to his boss, Raymond, who congratulated him and gave him the remainder of the day off in celebration.[2]

Quick Links[]

  1. Kory Wheeler on TikTok
  2. Kory Wheeler on Spotify
  3. Kory Wheeler on YouTube
  4. Kory Wheeler on Instagram