Doug Kiker, a garbage man who brought Katy Perry to tears on American Idol last year, was arrested for alleged domestic violence in Alabama on Thursday. Kiker, 28, auditioned in the Season 18 premiere, which aired back in February 2020. He worked full time as a garbage man in Alabama and did not even know what warming up was. His performance earned praise from the judges, and he even got a golden ticket to Hollywood.
Mobile, Alabama Police Lt. Matthew James told TMZ Kiker was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence (harassment) and remained in custody. His bond was set at $1,0000. Police responded to a report of domestic violence Thursday night, after the alleged victim called 911. The relationship between Kiker and the woman is unknown. The responding officers investigated and decided there was enough probable cause to arrest Kiker. Jail records list Kiker as "Douglas Earl Kiken," which is an alias for Kiker in other court records related to past minor offenses, reports AL.com.
Kiker was an early Season 18 fan favorite after Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan were impressed by his audition, despite his unpolished singing. They voted to send him to the Hollywood round, but he was eliminated early on. During the season finale, he was invited to virtually perform "Bless the Broken Road" with Rascal Flatts.
After his American Idol experience, Kiker continued performing throughout the Southeast. In May 2020, he began raising funds to record an album, notes AL.com. He hoped to raise $25,000 on Indiegogo, but the fundraiser is closed with only $5,581 raised. He also released a video, thanking fans for their support at the time, and said that American Idol inspired him to "want to do more with my life."
Kiker's planned album would have included covers and original songs. "I think by making this album it will prove that everyone has a gift and if you work hard and try to make the world a better place at the same time, anything is possible," he wrote in his fundraiser. He said the funds would have gone to hiring musicians, finishing his songs, and studio time. "I also just had a baby daughter and these diapers are expensive lol," he wrote. Kiker's most recent post on Instagram was an advertisement for a performance in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi in April.