On July 4, Omahan Nick Rieschl will be in London celebrating his favorite American idol.

He has tickets to see Carrie Underwood — who was the fourth winner on the iconic TV competition — in concert for the third time in less than a month.

Chances are it will be far less exciting than the other shows, even though it will be at a famous venue (Wembley Stadium) in an interesting, far-flung country. After all, it’s hard to beat being onstage with a country music superstar.

The 24-year-old recruiter with Aureus Medical performed the rap part on Underwood’s hit “The Champion” in front of several thousand people at Lincoln’s Pinnacle Bank Arena on June 23.

“It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever done in my life,” he said.

Rieschl’s not an aspiring singer, but that didn’t stop him from entering an online contest to join Underwood onstage. He loves karaoke, and he really loves Underwood.

“He’s her No. 1 fan,” said mom Mickie Rieschl.

To enter, contestants had to record a rap video and post it, and submit an essay about their champion.

“I wrote about my dad, who just retired from teaching after 39 years,” Rieschl said. “I wanted to honor him.”

Rieschl was so excited about the competition that he submitted his entry about six weeks before it was due. Contest rules required only seven days before the concert you would be attending. He found out he had won two days before the Lincoln show, when a tour rep called with praise for his submission. Carrie had seen his video, they said; she loved his energy and was excited to perform with him.

“After they told me Carrie had seen my video, I really wasn’t paying much attention to the rest of the phone call,” Rieschl said.

He usually attends Underwood concerts with his mom and cousin Lisa Mandolfo. They’ve been traveling to other cities in the Midwest for several years to see her multiple times on each of her tours — after shows in Kansas City and Des Moines later this year, they will have seen the singer together 12 times. (With the Wembley show, Nick will hit 13.)

When friends and family learned Rieschl had won the contest, they started buying tickets. Dad Ken Rieschl and Nick’s three brothers, who usually don’t attend, were all in.

“There were a lot of people there for me,” Nick said.

He spent most of the concert away from the seat he had purchased. A makeup artist gave him “glitter tears” that fit the tour’s theme, “Cry Pretty,” which is Underwood’s latest album. He was underneath the stage watching on a monitor, hearing Underwood talk about “The Champion” and, specifically, his dad. He waited to be lifted up to the stage for his big moment. He was told to jump off the lift “in his power stance.”

“The lift lowered and the guitar player was looking at me,” he said. “I got on, then my mind went blank. Carrie was pointing at me and smiling and the only thing I could think was ‘It’s go time!’ ”

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The actual song was something of a blur, he said, though it registered how much fun it was to be dancing with her. He said he’d do it again “in a heartbeat.”

Afterward, they hugged and took a selfie. A tour rep gave Rieschl an autographed hat Underwood had worn earlier in the show.

He’ll touch base with her again in London because he was chosen at random for a meet-and-greet. He’s excited to talk with her about the Lincoln show.

“Hopefully,” he said, “she’ll remember me.”

He said he loves Underwood for more than just her powerful vocal skills. She has sold more than 65 million records worldwide and is the most successful “Idol” winner, out-earning some of the judges.

“She’s a role model and one of the most genuine people in the public eye. She has never hidden her faith or values from her fans and she speaks the truth,” Rieschl said.

“It’s cheesy, but she really is our American idol.”

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Betsie covers a little bit of everything for The World-Herald's Living section, including theater, religion and anything else that might need attention. Phone: 402-444-1267.

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