A singer from Forsyth County got to perform with superstar Katy Perry after winning a competition on a new YouTube series.
Riley Biederer performed with Perry on the second episode of the new series Best.Cover.Ever, which premiered on Monday alongside the first and third episodes, after being selected among thousands of submissions and beating out the other finalist, LYNK, an Australian band made up of brothers Harrison, Andrew and Matthew Kantarias.
“It was really, really cool because we were kind of just feeding off each other a little bit,” Biederer said on Wednesday. “I would do a harmony and she was like, ‘oh, do that again, that was really cool.’ It was just really crazy, to be honest; that’s the best word for it.”
The duo sang a duet of Perry’s new song, “Witness,” which is also the name of her upcoming album. Perry said it was the first time she had performed the song live with anyone.
The contest started with thousands of submissions from across the world, and finalists were brought in believing they would be among a number of contestants singing in front of Perry’s producers.
Instead, they were surprised by Perry herself.
“There was a bunch of surprises,” Biederer said. “We didn’t know Katy was going to be there. We didn’t know that we were singing with her that day. We didn’t know that it was just us two, so it was a little overwhelming but it was really, really cool.”
Both Biederer and LYNK first performed Perry’s song, “Chained to the Rhythm.”
During Biederer’s performance, Perry showed rapper Ludacris — the show’s host— the goose bumps she was getting and gave the young singer lots of compliments and advice throughout the episode.
“Honestly, she kind of reminded me a lot of myself when I was 16 starting out playing guitar,” Perry said. “She played “Firework” [in her audition video] so brilliantly and there was not overdub, no nothing; it was so live.”
Biederer said she was blown away by the comments.
“It was so cool,” she said. “I’ve listened to Katy for like a million years, so it was really cool to see her say I reminded her of herself as an artist when she was younger. I thought it was really, really cool and, obviously, it’s very surreal.”
After Perry asked Biederer if she wanted to sing with her, Biederer’s response surprised everyone, herself included.
“I actually said, ‘no,’ accidentally,” Biederer said, laughing. “It was a total accident; I was thinking like, ‘no way.’ She was like, ‘no?’ and I was like, ‘yes, yes, yes.’ So, I was very overwhelmed.
This isn’t the first time Biederer has faced off against other singers.
In 2015, she competed in NBC’s “The Voice,” when her team’s coach was Grammy-winner Pharrell Williams and she competed for one round on Gwen Stefani’s team, which she said the new show reminded her of.
The Best.Cover.Ever episode ended with a follow-up interview four weeks after the episode was filmed from Ludacris, who gave Biederer one last big surprise.
“Again, I didn’t know Ludacris was going to be the one calling me and they surprised me,” Biederer said. “I go out to LA a lot to work and it can be expensive, obviously, but [for] my prize, they got me a plane ticket, a five-star hotel room, a rental car and spending money.”
Biederer’s episode, her performance and a backstage interview — the series’ other episodes — are available at TheBestCoverEver.com