'American Idol' Season 18 Episode 4: Meet Zack Dobbins, 18-year-old road paver who is paving his way to hearts

The down-to-earth youngster earned his ticket to Hollywood with the judges praising his real, authentic soul and calling him 'a diamond in the rough'

                            'American Idol' Season 18 Episode 4: Meet Zack Dobbins, 18-year-old road paver who is paving his way to hearts
Zack Dobbins (ABC)

The new season of 'American Idol' is now underway on the ABC network and plenty of singing hopefuls have brought their talents to be scrutinized by the prestigious judging panel of Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie. One of these contestants came in to audition with more hope than certitude, but by the time he left the audition chamber, both his optimism and confidence would have been sky-high.

Zack Dobbins (YouTube)

Meet Zack Dobbins, the modest, down-to-earth 18-year-old from Clay, West Virginia. This humble young man enjoys his small-town life (where everyone knows everyone by the sound of their exhaust) and works hard every day as a road paver, but music has always been a huge passion for him.

"You just gotta do what you like. If nobody likes it, that's too bad, 'cause you do," said Zack, who mentioned that his grandfather played bluegrass tunes as did his father. So he clearly has some musical genes in his family.

Zack came to the show because he had promised a friend that he would audition. As a true southern gentleman and man of his word, he decided to come and see what all the fuss was about on 'American Idol'. Refreshingly, Zack has no airs about himself and has a certain charm. He admitted that he had never even been on a plane before. He also claimed that even if he got through to the final rounds, the success wouldn't change how he lived his day-to-day life. "I don’t wear fancy clothing or anything, but if I won I still would live in a single home trailer."


Choosing to sing one of his original tunes called 'Miss Use', Zack really laid it all out for the impressed judges. His raw, gritty voice crackled with fire and passion and his original songwriting style reminded us of old-school grunge rockstars like Kurt Cobain or Layne Staley. The panel was really happy with his audition, lauding him for his laidback, humble nature and authentic style. Lionel said that he was giving them real "heart and soul", while Katy called him "a diamond in the rough". 

Zack Dobbins with Lionel Richie (ABC)

The viewers really loved his young man too. "I love this guy's humility for one. His voice and sound are really unique. The fact that doesn't know how good he is makes it all the better for him, giving him his own style and an edge," said one impressed fan.

Other followers agreed, saying, "He reminds me of my people here in the mountains and they’re such good people... good to see that authenticity and uniqueness celebrated!" Obviously Zack will have to get adjusted to the flash and glamour of the Hollywood rounds, but we are all rooting for him. This kid has got talent in spades.

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