Moran, who previously appeared during Season 17 of Idol and is a 27-year-old registered nurse from Dansville, MI, admitted that he wanted to come back to show the Idol judges how much he has grown as an artist.
“This is what I want to do, I want to give it another shot here, so let’s do this! Honestly, I want to show them how much I’ve changed and get that golden ticket,” Moran admitted ahead of his audition.
Wearing a black t-shirt and ripped jeans, Moran auditioned with a stunning rendition of Katy Perry’s “Rise,” an emotional track co-written by Perry alongside Max Martin, Ali Payami and Savan Kotecha, which was released as a standalone single in July of 2016.
“You realize you just got a standing o from Katy Perry on your doing her song,” Richie said in shock.
Perry then gushed over Moran’s stunning audition.
“Wow, when you think the final nail is in… think again,” Perry said, praising Moran. “I may’ve gone to Hollywood and I may’ve not gotten through but I kept fighting. I really think you chose the right song and you did it justice. You gave me full body chills, you made my face have chills, and those words were your words now. You have arrived and now is the time.”
Bryan was left speechless, however, shared that he “wrote yes already.”
“Wow, well, I don’t know if this is serendipitous, halfway through the performance, I wrote yes too,” Richie said laughing.
“Jacob, this time is the time, it’s a yes from me,” Perry added. “You’re going to Hollywood and Welcome back!”
After Richie, Perry and Bryan all voted ‘yes,’ the Idol contestant earned a golden ticket and is going to Hollywood.
American Idol returns on Monday, March 21, and airs every Sunday at 8/7c on ABC.