18-year-old Kelsie Dolin brought Lionel Richie to tears with covers of Kelly Clarkson and Adele on American Idol on Sunday evening (Mar. 6).
While the young aspiring singer from West Virginia revealed she hasn’t previously performed in front of anyone, she said an advertisement that kept appearing on social media led her to audition for American Idol. Dolin auditioned in honor of her late Grandma, who raised her and always believed in her singing voice, even when she didn’t herself.
“I was going online and [an advertisement for Idol] just kept popping up and my grandma passed last September. So, I just thought it was her kind of telling me to I don’t know, sign up for it,” Dolin explained to the Idol judges.
10 Fun-Facts About American Idol Contestant Kelsie Dolin
Donning a green t-shirt and an orange ball cap on backwards, Dolin belted out the lyrics to Clarkson’s “Piece By Piece.”
“Kelsie Dolin, have you ever performed in front of anybody before?” Luke Bryan asked the contestant, which to his surprise she said, “no, I tried to sing in church one time and the music started playing and I just froze.”
“You know what you did? You just survived that,” Bryan said before asking if she could sing another song for the Idol judges. Dolin then performed Adele’s “When We Were Young,” which also earned praise from the three Idol judges, Bryan, Richie and Katy Perry.
“Hey, do you know how many bad notes you hit on that last song?” Bryan asked, before he and Richie said “Zero.”
Dolin’s vocals were so impressive that they brought Richie and Perry to tears.
“It sounded real good,” Perry added.
“We are so emotional and we are so overcome because you’ve been sitting down in West Virginia and you have this pure beautiful voice,” Bryan gushed. “It’s never been challenged, it’s never been pushed. It’s just never been lifted up and loved on.”
“This is the only person I know that has walked in here and messed me up completely,” Richie said, Perry added, “You are very special. You’re worth it and I hope that you can trust us.”
“If we could give you a hug a day to just let you know how beautiful you are, you would understand why we’re crying,” Richie said.
After earning three ‘yes’ answers, Dolin giggled and grabbed her golden ticket before exiting to share the exciting news with her grandpa.
Watch Dolin’s impressive performance below.
Click above to watch Dolin’s impressive Idol audition that brought the judges to tears.
American Idol airs every Sunday at 8/7c on ABC.