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Kason Lester performs on "American Idol"
Video still via abc.go.com

Church member, strawberry farmer Kason Lester gets golden ticket on ‘American Idol’

Country musician and his family worship with Middle Tennessee congregation.

Should a Christ-follower resort to bribery to get the judges’ attention on “American Idol?”

Evidently that’s not against the rules on the popular reality show/singing competition. And after all, Kason Lester was just using the baskets of goodies from his family’s farm to sweeten the deal — literally (the baskets had bears filled with honey).

Kason Lester's brother, Mitchell, and grandmother, Fran Martin, present "American Idol" judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie with baskets of goodies from their family farm.

Kason Lester’s brother, Mitchell, and grandmother, Fran Martin, present “American Idol” judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie with baskets of goodies from their family farm.

Lester, a 28-year-old strawberry farmer and member of the College Hills Church of Christ in Lebanon, Tenn., performed the country song “Holdin’ Her” by Chris Janson for judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan — right after his brother, Mitchell, and his grandmother, Fran Martin, gave each of them a gift basket.

The brief performance got three “yes” votes from the judges. (Perry’s vote was delayed as she pounded down the honey straight from the bear — prompting Lester to say, “Hey, that’s local honey so it’s good for allergies and everything.”)  The result: A coveted “golden ticket” to Hollywood to perform for America’s votes.


Kason Lester and his brother grew up in the pews of the Middle Tennessee congregation, said preaching minister Kevin Owen.

“His mom and dad, Kevin and Teresa, are salt-of-the-earth people,” Owen told The Christian Chronicle. “I’m just really proud for this family. Good people.”

Owen’s wife, Jana, added, “Two of our three sons have worked for them at Lester Farms in the past. Kason came and played at a church family event last year. We are so excited for him and are definitely part of #teamkason.”

American Idol” airs Sundays on ABC.

Kason Lester on his family's farm in Tennessee.

Kason Lester on his family’s farm in Tennessee.

Filed under: American Idol Chris Janson country music Kason Lester Middle Tennessee National People reality show singing competition Top Stories

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