It was an emotional moment, as Lionel Richie couldn’t hold his tears, but wiped them off when an ‘American Idol’ Contestant Kelsie Dolan who did a fantastic performance, additionally shared the serious challenges she went through growing up.
Apparently, this was the 18-year Kelsie’s very first plane ride to get to her ‘American Idol’ audition. Sitting amongst colleague judges – Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie just couldn’t handle himself when Kelsie Dolan ventured forward to face the appointed judges to share her tragic story after her performance.
As indicated by Kelsie Dolan, who is a native of Boone County, West Virginia, she was raised by her grandparents. Kelsie said her grandma unfortunately passed on in 2021 in the wake of experiencing complications from COVID-19.
Her grandma’s death “pushed her” to try-out some other things. Kelsie then chose to move out of her comfort zone in her honor. She said after seeing advertisements for Idol auditions ceaselessly springing up, she grabbed it as a sign from her grandma to try this one out.
Kelsie started her audition by singing Kelly Clarkson’s “Piece By Piece,” and the adjudicators sat watching her intently. She later shared that the tune was her first time performing to an audience.
“I tried to sing in church one time. The music started playing and I just froze,” she conceded.
The judges then, at that point, asked her if she could sing another song, with Katty Perry encouraging her to show them somewhat more power, and to step on a speed. Kelsie then played out Adele’s “When We Were Young.”
Perry kept on pushing Kelly, encouraging her forward all through the performance. What’s more, when she got to the song, Kelsie unhesitatingly belted out the notes as Lionel Richie cleaned away tears.
Bryan told the young contestant that she hit “zero” bad notes during her performance.
“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 that’s never been challenged, it’s never been pushed, it’s never been lifted up and loved on,” Bryan said.
Richie added, “This is the only person that’s just walked in here and messed me up completely.”
Perry commended Kelsie, and let her in on that they were going to “push” her in the competition.
The judges then, at that point, collectively told her that she was going to Hollywood (qualified).