Bay Area ‘Viking’ stuns the judges

Bizar Male

Typically, an “American Idol” contestant with any serious singing cred would not show up for his audition dressed as a Viking.

And so when Santa Rosa resident Anthony Guzman appeared on Sunday night’s episode all decked out in a black cape and wielding “Thor’s hammer,” you couldn’t fault viewers if they rolled their eyes and expected judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan to quickly give this pretender the heave-ho.

But Perry decided to have a little fun, yelling “SKOL!” and soon Guzman and everyone in the room were shouting themselves hoarse and uttering the Viking greeting. (You can read more about its meaning right here).

And when Guzman finally got around to singing, something remarkable happened. The 27-year-old warehouse worker and self-described “modern Viking” went all soft on us, delivering a melodic version of the Ella Fitzgerald ballad “Cry Me a River” (also sung by Michael Buble) and the judges were stunned.

“Holy hell,” Luke said. “That’s a curveball.”

“Never judge a book by its cover,” Katy said before Guzman added: “Or its hammer.”

Still, Luke wasn’t quite convinced, issuing a “no” from the judges’ panel. Katy and Lionel, however, appreciated Guzman’s performance and sent him off to Hollywood — but not before issuing some good advice.

“You can seriously sing,” Lionel told Guzman. “Now, I want you to take yourself seriously.”

“American Idol” continues with its auditions on Sunday (8 p.m., ABC).

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