Jelly Roll May Land The American Idol Gig, But He’s Already Had ‘The Coolest Moment’ In His Career

 Jelly Roll sings "Save Me" in a new unreleased video on his YouTube channel.
Credit: Jelly Roll/YouTube

As soon as Katy Perry announced she would be exiting American Idol as a judge after seven seasons, the speculation began over who could fill her coveted chair. Jelly Roll’s name has been mentioned frequently as an option, with Perry herself recommending him as her successor. Regardless of whether or not he’s the one who gets the gig alongside Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie, the “Need a Favor” singer has already accomplished something that he deems “the coolest moment” of his career.

Jelly Roll apparently had the experience of a lifetime when none other than Eminem asked him to join him on stage for a surprise performance for Live from Detroit: The Concert at Michigan Central, which aired June 9 on NBC (and can be streamed on Peacock, one of the best streaming services). Recalling the opportunity, Jelly Roll told ET:

When I think about coolest moments of my career, right now at the top, there has to be this thing that I got to go sing with Eminem in Detroit. I got to sing ‘Sing for the Moment' with him, which is a record where he sampled Steven Tyler. I mean, just what an incredible night and I got to go do it in Detroit. It was unreal.

What made the whole thing even more surreal, Jelly Roll said, is that Eminem’s people reached out to him. He said he thought it might be a joke up until the moment he met the Detroit rapper himself. Jelly Roll wasn’t even able to play it cool on stage, he said, where he got to sing the chorus and hook of “Sing for the Moment.” He continued:

I was giddy, like a child. You could see it all over my performance. Just the kid in me. I thought the camera was off of me. So as soon as I get through singing, I'm like, whoa, I just let this steamroller out. It's really cool.

You can see Eminem’s full set below, including Jelly Roll’s performance around the 3-minute mark:

After that experience, it seems like if Jelly Roll does become the lucky artist to land the American Idol gig, that might just be the second-best thing to happen to him this year. That’s no disrespect to the singing competition though. The “Son of a Sinner” singer has shown quite a bit of enthusiasm at the prospect of replacing Katy Perry, joking that he’d already accepted the position, despite it not actually being offered to him.

He’s got some competition, too, at least amongst musicians who are interested. Jordin Sparks threw her hat in the ring for the job, as well as Meghan Trainor. Meanwhile, there are a couple names we can cross off the list, as Pink said she wouldn’t want it and OG champion Kelly Clarkson wouldn’t be able to because of her recent move to the East Coast.

Meanwhile, American Idol host Ryan Seacrest seems to agree with Katy Perry that Jelly Roll would be fantastic as a judge, but if he’s got the tea on the behind-the-scenes conversations that are taking place at ABC, Seacrest is keeping that close to the vest.

While we wait for official word on what’s coming for American Idol Season 23, check out Live from Detroit: The Concert at Michigan Central with your Peacock subscription.