Warren Peay has advanced to American Idol’s Top 20!

After it was announced that he'd be moving on, Peay took the stage with his guitar in hand and trademark cowboy hat to sing into a standing microphone while strumming out “Up There Down Here” by Zach Williams.

As beautiful mountain scenery played behind him, Peay fed off the energy of the crowd encouraging them to clap along and get moving in their seats:

The song was a perfect match to the personal story that Peay offered up, speaking to his struggles with alcohol addiction. The singer realized that he had a problem and made the decision to try and make some life changes. Instead of drinking everyday, Peay started singing with his church and writing music. That is when he says he knew that music is what he wanted to do in life.

Judge Lionel Richie seemed to empathize with the journey that Peay has been on, offering up some advice: “There is a point in your life when you discover that if you just let go and let God, everything else falls into place.” Peay answered that with a heartfelt “Amen” before it was time to hear from the other judges, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan.

Bryan called Peay’s song choice “worldclass” and said he enjoyed being able to sit back and listen to the meaning of a good song. He encouraged Peay to remain true to himself and that will translate to votes throughout the competition.

Host Ryan Seacrest appeared on stage immediately after hearing from Bryan but looked a little different. Seacrest was all in on adding some lighthearted energy to Peay’s time on stage, wearing his own fake beard that made him look similar to Peay.

American Idol airs on Sunday and Monday nights at 8PM ET on ABC.

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