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'American Idol' Season 18 Episode 8: Franklin Boone stays true to himself with some help from Alejandro Aranda

The humble music teacher from North Carolina took special inspiration from one of the biggest success stories from last year's 'American Idol', Alejandro Aranda
Franklin Boone (ABC)
Franklin Boone (ABC)

The latest episode of 'American Idol' was telecast on Monday night, March 23, and this time we're midway through the grind of Hollywood week.

Having gone through the Hollywood Duets round, Franklin Boone was determined to show that he had something authentic to offer for the upcoming solo round, where the singing hopefuls were given the chance to showcase their talent accompanied by the show's official backing band.

The modest, unassuming music teacher from North Carolina was taking nothing for granted — although he'd wowed the judges at his audition with his soulful, rock-tinged vocals, he knew that there was an abundance of talent on this year's season, and needed to consistently deliver on his promising potential for a chance in the next round.

He took great inspiration from a familiar face whom he was previously getting compared to — Alejandro Aranda, aka Scarypoolparty, better known as last year's 'American Idol' runner up.

Alejandro had now returned to the show in Hollywood Week as a successful Idol alumnus who was looking to provide support and mentorship to the current crop of contestants.

One thing that really set Alejandro apart from the class of 2019 was the fact that he always performed brilliant original compositions week after week, and was never afraid to be himself, rather than aspire to be something he wasn't.

The shy, introverted Franklin really took that message to heart and thanked Alejandro for giving him the strength and courage to be himself on stage, rather than give in to the pressure of conforming to expectations and altering his personality.

Alejandro gave him further motivation by saying, "Being comfortable in your own skin is well worth it. Never change — you are you for a reason."


The solo format in Hollywood gives you the option of picking a song from a pre-selected list of staple American hits, both classic and contemporary, so Franklin chose to sing 'River' by Leon Bridges.

His mellow, soulful performance of the song was both heartfelt and moving, and the listening audience hung on to his every delicately-sung word. He left to thunderous applause, and after an agonizingly long wait, was confirmed as one of the 40 'Idol' contestants who would be moving on to the next round in Aulani, Hawaii.

He was also receiving a lot of love on social media. "He’s such a smooth, talented, & skilled singer. I really appreciate his talent & artistry," said one impassioned fan.

Another admirer exclaimed, "Franklin Boone needs to win," and we definitely agree. We reckon he can go really far in this season's competition, but he needs America's continued love and support. You can catch more episodes of 'American Idol' on Sunday and Monday nights at 8 pm ET on the ABC network.