ECU Football alum takes center stage in singing competition show

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – An ECU alum embarked on an American Idol journey at the beginning of February, and his debut in Hollywood will be broadcast during the next episode of American Idol this Sunday.

A jack of all trades. “I think I sat with myself one day and was like, I have this crazy opportunity. Why wouldn’t I do it?” said Blake Proehl, an American idol contestant.

Proehl is putting all of his talents to the test and said up until recently, his whole life was based around first downs and touchdowns after years of playing wide receiver.

In 2021, he took an opportunity to play for the Minnesota Vikings. But a game-changing injury forced him to make a split-second choice he didn’t plan for to pursue a new dream.

“It was hard to make that decision, but I just felt like this crazy passion for music that had been like truly placed in my heart out of nowhere,” said Proehl.

Auditioning for the 22nd season of American Idol and scoring a golden ticket to Hollywood in February, Proehl says it’s been a whirlwind.

“In between my audition airing and now Hollywood week, it’s been crazy, a rush of fans and unique opportunities. It’s been really, really cool and a huge blessing.,” said Proehl.

It could be down to a nail-biting elimination. “We were kind of looking left and right like, okay, who’s going home? So I will say you definitely need to tune in, and it’s definitely worth the while to sit down and watch,” said Proehl.

Fans here in Greenville, like Mike Houston, his former ECU football coach, are cheering him on from the sidelines.

“I texted with him when all of this started, just kinda giving him a hard time, but we all knew he was very talented. We all knew he could sing when he was here but he has kinda taken it to the next level,” said Houston.

While Proehl is in Hollywood, he says his roots are still here in Greenville.

“Let’s get ready to get rowdy. I know we get rowdy dowdy ficklin. But I’m gonna do some shows there, hopefully in the future,” said Proehl.

Now, Proehl is hoping to score votes just as he once scored touchdowns.

Of course, everyone is wondering about the other star of his audition, his nana. Proehl said she definitely has some fans herself and is soaking up the spotlight.

Bake will be featured on this Sunday’s American Idol episode, which airs at 8 pm, as he takes on Hollywood.