The rapper and his wife, Kim Kardashian, crashed the American Idol auditions in San Francisco on Saturday. After a moment of shock, the judges proceeded to treat West just like any other person auditioning for a spot on the final season of the singing competition show.
After being asked his name and where he was from, the 38-year-old rapped an a capella version of his hit “Gold Digger,” as seen in the video below. Props to West on his song selection, as the lyrics name drop judge Jennifer Lopez.
ET was at the auditions and caught up with the judges backstage to get their reactions on the rapper’s surprise appearance. Keith Urban said West was a “great sport.”
“When he came on, he just sort of came in like an audition,” the country singer revealed. “I said, ‘Tell us your name, where are you from?’ And he went right with it, which was great. I meant to ask him, ‘Are you married? Tell us a bit about your family.'”
Harry Connick, Jr. told ET that he did a double take when West entered the room.
“I was looking off to the side at my phone or something, and I saw a guy that looked a lot like Kanye West come in, and it turned out it was him,” Connick, Jr. said. “We didn’t hear him sing — he just did a little rapping. But as Keith said, he looks like he might have a promising career after all of this.”
Lopez also enjoyed West’s drop-in, calling the experience “nice” and “really fun.”
“It livened up the whole place. We gave him a ticket — he can come to Hollywood if he wants,” she joked. “You can come, Kanye! I don’t know if you could’ve ever gotten there on your own, but you can get there now!”
If this all seems like a gimmick, think again. Idol’s host, Ryan Seacrest, told ET that West’s audition wasn’t planned.
“[Kim and Kanye] were at Barneys across the street when they heard we were doing auditions,” he said. “The judges didn’t know he was going to come. He put on a number, and he performed a song.”
Seacrest also noted that West’s wife was backstage watching the entire time.
“Kim was a little nervous outside the door as she was waiting to see how he would do,” Seacrest joked to ET. “But that was a surprise to the judges. I actually wasn’t sure they were coming either, but when they walked through it was quite a moment.”
He later posted a hilarious photo of mid-high-five with West. “See u in Hollywood @kanyewest,” he tweeted. “(You too @kimkardashian).”
West was in town to attend an event supporting the Democratic Hope Fund, where President Barack Obama gave Yeezy some advice on running for the oval office in 2020.
Watch the video below to hear West declare his run for presidency while accepting the Video Vanguard Award at the MTV Video Music Awards in late August. -Entertainment Tonight