Aiden Adair was visibly nervous on Sunday (Feb. 26) night heading into his audition for Season 21 of American Idol. The 19-year-old pizza cutter from Clover, South Carolina, auditioned in Nashville, Tenn., with “Break My Heart Again” by FINNEAS.
Before singing for judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan, Adair let viewers know that his moment on the reality TV singing competition was “completely out of my comfort zone.”
But Richie shared the perspective that “life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
Watch Aiden Adair’s American Idol Audition Below
Taking a deep breath and waiting for his cue to begin after the first piano note, Adair showcased his smooth vocals on the indie pop ballad. He possessed a unique tremble in his voice that turned all of the judges’ ears up.
“So go ahead and break my heart again / Leave me wondering why the hell I ever let you in / Are you the definition of insanity? / Or am I? / Oh, it must be nice / To love someone who lets you break them twice,” Adair delicately provided the chorus.
Adair’s delivery of the ballad while he stood in one spot left the panel compelled as he completed his performance. Afterward, he received cheers of joy from Richie, Perry, and Bryan. Yet Bryan wanted to hear another song before sending Adair on to Hollywood Week.
“Woo hoo! You did it!” Perry shouted, with Bryan requesting, “Can I have an exercise with him?”
“Oh! I want him to sing a James Bay song so bad,” Perry said before Bryan asked Adair if he was familiar with the artist.
Adair – still seemingly uncomfortable – revealed that he knew the words to James Bay’s “Let It Go.”
That’s when judges tried to first beak Adair out of his shell.
“We’re real,” Richie told Adair, letting him know it’s okay to let his guard down.
“Here. Do you want to look at my pores up close?” Perry added, running towards Adair to show him an up-close profile of her face.
Perry also showered Adair with compliments, telling him that “You have great eyes. You have everything you need inside of you. So sing me some James Bay. If you need to walk around or turn around, do whatever.”
“I wanna see you just dig in,” Bryan added.
And sure enough, Adair used all of his gusto to deliver a powerful rendition of “Let It Go.”
“There it is!” Perry declared while standing up from her chair. “There he is! You have moves all of the sudden. ‘C’mon now. You ain’t shy! Get out. This is a fun job. I love this job.”
“I’m just loving this moment. This is a beautiful moment because we’re watching you right in front of our very eyes just develop, like years of development in two minutes,” Bryan added.
“I’m so glad that you pushed yourself. You went from a four to an eight,” Perry said. “In five minutes.”
Aiden Adair Earned A Ticket To Hollywood
Coaches then each took turns revealing Adair’s fate with all of them giving him a yes.
“We’ll see you in Hollywood,” Perry exclaimed.
American Idol airs Sundays on ABC.