'American Idol' Stars Brought to Tears by Contestant Who Made Show History

March 2, 2020

In an “American Idol” first, Ryan Seacrest pulled in a contestant off the street to audition, and her performance brought more than one person to tears.

22-year-old Courtney is a security guard from Georgia who was waiting, defeated outside of the “American Idol” production area, knowing she had missed her window to audition for the series. After meeting Seacrest outside, he proposed a solution.

“The solution to that problem is me just taking you up there and seeing if they let you go,” he said. “I can’t promise you because I haven’t asked them, but at least if we get up there, they have to say no to your face which is probably harder.”

Then, Seacrest took the girl to the audition room where he explained the situation to the judges. “I was walking down the street and Courtney was on the corner and she was sitting there and she looked very sad and I said, ‘What’s going on?’” he started.

“She sad, ‘Well I showed up to audition, but I think I missed the deadline. But this is my dream and I’ve wanted to do this all my life.’ So I grabbed her and brought her up the elevator,” he continued.

He added, “No one has heard of her. We don’t have any idea what she sounds like.”

The shocked judges weren’t sure what to make of the unique situation. “Are you kidding me?” Lionel Richie started. “This is a first.”

The judges allowed Courtney to continue, so she began belting out a version of “Rise Up” by Andra Day, which led judges to immediately send her to Hollywood. Both Katy Perry and Seacrest couldn’t hold back their tears.

“Us two – we probably don’t have any emotion, but when you get us, you really get us,” Perry said.

The video quickly made its rounds on Twitter with users everywhere in awe of Courtney’s voice.

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