Douglas Mills truly blow away the three American Idol judges with his soaring audition on Sunday, March 20.
Mills, an 18-year-old from Houston, Texas, was surprised with an ABC affiliate ticket pass by 13 Channel News in his home state to audition in front of the Idol judges directly.
Growing up Mills never believed in himself and always had people bullying him, but music always helped him through those dark times.
“Music is my life basically, my safe place from like doubters and haters and people who just don’t like me in general,” Mills explained.
“When I was younger, I was bullied because I look different. I’ve been called gorilla, King Kong. People said you can’t be that person that you want to be,” Mills continued. “It was very painful, and I was like ‘what’s going on?’ and still today it’s hard for me to love myself, but music has helped me out. When I’m singing, I don’t care what [anyone] says. Music can heal and helps you love yourself for who you are.”
Wearing a purple shirt, Mills belted out the lyrics to Nina Simone’s “Strange Fruit,” which mesmerized Idol judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan.
Mills earned a standing ovation from all three of the Idol judges.
“Um, what happened? I blanked out, passed out, woke up. Young man, that was superb,” Richie said.
“How come you have never tried out for our show before?” Perry questioned the contestant, which he replied, “people have always told me I wasn’t good enough.”
“Oh those people can goto to H, E, double hockey stick,” Perry told Mills. “Are you kidding me, Is that really why you never tried out?”
“A little bit, and I was too scared, thinking I wasn’t going to make it or anything like that,” Mills revealed.
“You’re a superstar,” Perry exclaimed. “You transcend time and space. You froze the room. That was iconic.”
“It was like you took our bodies and you hypnotized us. You just took us on a journey. You controlled every second of that,” Bryan added. “I’m speechless about it.”
“You know what you don’t need charts, you don’t need pop charts, R&B charts, you’re off the charts. In fact, you might’ve even just created your own,” Richie said.
Richie, Perry and Bryan then unanimously voted three ‘yes’ and walked over to the contestant for a group hug bringing Mills to tears.
Click above to watch Mills’ impressive Idol audition.
American Idol returns on Monday at 8/7c with another round of auditions.