Former Minnesota Vikings Wide Receiver and His Grandma Melt Hearts of American Idol Judges

minnesota vikings Blake Proehl american idol
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver, Blake Proehl has faced significant challenges, including life altering injuries as an NFL football player. But all that struggle helped him discover a new passion for music. And now, the 28-year-old from Greensboro NC is competing on season 22 of American Idol, which premiered Sunday night.

Former Minnesota Vikings WR Blake Proehl on American Idol

Proehl was signed by the Vikings as an unrestricted free agent, after going undrafted in April, 2021. He spent most of his pro football tenure on IR and was waived after two seasons, in August 2023. Soon after, he ventured to Hollywood with grandma by his side, after earning a spot on one of the most iconic talent shows in TV history.

Pop icon Katy Perry is serving as one of the American Idol judges this season. In the clip above, she suggests Blake is Top-10, if he continues to perform at his current level. After hearing about Proehl’s inspiration — his grandmother, who he credits for his musical success — Idol judges insisted she stand next to him during his tryout while he performed “In Case You Didn’t Know” by Brett Young.

Related: Vikings Still Refuse to Fully Guarantee Kirk Cousins’ New Contract

Proehl did not have the opportunity to play a game for the Vikings during his two seasons, due to the devastating knee injury he talks about in the video above, which caused him to be on injured reserve for all of 2021 and a month of 2022.

During his rehabilitation, however, Blake was able to discover his passion for music. Proehl gained attention on Tik Tok in December 2021, when a song he posted went viral and gained nearly 4 million likes. In March 2022, he released his debut single “Falling Into You.

@blakeproehl A moment I’ll never forget 🖤 I love you Nana. #givingszn #reaction? #incaseyoudidntknow ♬ original sound – Blake Proehl

Former teammates Kirk Cousins and Adam Thielen reunited to watch the show together. Kirk’s wife, Julie Cousins, shared a video on her Instagram story featuring herself and Kirk alongside Adam Thielen and his wife, Caitlin.

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