Kimmie Caraffa, a 25-year-old Luke Bryan super fan from Cleveland, Ohio has been singing for as long as she can remember.
Growing up, she spent countless hours singing Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway” in her bathroom and she recently decided to audition for American Idol to show her daughter that she could pursue her dreams.
Caraffa appeared to be star-stuck as she entered the room to sing in front of Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie.
Despite her nerves, the 25-year-old powered through and performed “How Do I Live,” which was recorded by both Trisha Yearwood and LeAnn Rimes and released in 1997.
Toward the end of her performance, Caraffa’s voice cracks and the judges encouraged her to keep going.
“Seein’ Luke it’s a dream come true,” the contestant gushed after her audition.
“I need to call you when I need to feel better [about myself],” Bryan laughed.
As for her performance, the judges offered kind words of encouragement, but unfortunately, her audition fell short.
“There’s a reason why we are in this business because of people like you,” Richie said. “How you adore Luke, listen, you just helped him tremendously for the rest of his life. Now, let’s talk about you and your career. It’s very simple, it just needs time, but you don’t give up just because you cracked.”
“Kimmie, walking in and singing in front of us is a huge, nerve-wracking deal,” Bryan admitted. “You have a nice voice, but is it complete ready to go tackle the gauntlet and the challenges of American Idol? I wouldn’t say that it is currently right now.”
Caraffa went on to plead with the judges for a chance to advance to the next round. “Please, I promise you I will be ready for Hollywood, this is the opportunity of a lifetime and I really mean it. I just want this, I want this so bad.”
“We know, we know,” Bryan said.
“I think you’re brave to come out here and I also think that it’s okay to show your daughter that she doesn’t have to be perfect. That she can fall and get back up and keep going sometimes no matter what other people say,” Perry said, offering the contestant advice. “But we do have big shoes to fill, I think it’s going to be hard for you to compete at the level that we’re looking for, but we all appreciate your spirit.”
While Caraffa didn’t advance to Hollywood, she did get to share a hug with Luke Bryan that brought her to tears.
“Keep your chin up alright,” Bryan told her.
American Idol returns with Hollywood week on Monday, March 28 at 8/7c.