Yes, A Guy Named Colby Swift Sang Cody Jinks on ‘American Idol’

photo: Brad Coolidge/ABC

You may not know whether to laugh or cry, cheer or jeer, but Cody Jinks was just exposed to a huge national and international audience, though he wasn’t there in person to soak it up. Instead the exposure happened on Sunday night’s (3-17) episode of American Idol via a contestant by the name of Colby Swift from Midfield, TX—a tiny agricultural town south of Houston near the coastline. Swift covered one of Cody’s signature songs, “Cast No Stones” as he tried out for a ticket to Hollywood in the preliminary round of the singing show.

Colby Swift was one of the hopefuls where American Idol puts together a prepackaged heartstring-tugging video for them ahead of the audition, and in Colby Swift’s case, it was focused around how he was abandoned by his mother at an early age. Colby’s father has always encouraged his son to pursue music as a way to deal with the grief from the abandonment of his mother, and he was able to make it in front of the main panel of judges.

It’s most certainly cool to see “Cast No Stones” being broadcast out to over 7 million viewers. American Idol won the Sunday night ratings war, and has seen a spike in popularity lately after being rebooted by ABC. But Colby Swift’s take on Cody Jinks was pretty rough—a sentiment echoed by the American Idol judges, including Luke Bryan, who we can probably be assured had never heard of Cody Jinks or “Cast No Stones” before, or if he did, didn’t remark on it. But the judges pushed Colby through anyway, saying the kid had promise, which if he’s covering Cody Jinks, at least he has his head on straight about country music.

Where this goes from here we’ll just have to see. But if nothing else it’s another sign of the bubbling up nature of Cody Jinks and true country music. Cody’s received some 8.5 million streams of “Cast No Stones” on Spotify alone, and is one of those artists who’s forged a massive career without the help of mainstream radio or a major label. Jinks debuted at #2 on the Billboard Country Albums charts with his last record Lifers, and has topped Billboard’s Boxscore charts for tour purses on numerous occasions. Cody will be opening some amphitheater shows during Lynyrd Skynyrd’s farewell tour later this year.