American Idol contestant sings in public for the first time, causing Lionel Richie to cry


For 15 seasons, American Idol made us laugh, cry and experience all kinds of emotions. If you’re an avid spectator, you’ll probably love the quizzes, where people from different singing backgrounds come forward to show the judges what they have (or don’t have). And this season was no different.

We met many candidates, but one of them stood out from the crowd: Kelsey Dolan. Originally from the small town of Boone County, Kentucky, Dolan was raised by her grandparents, who always tried to get her to sing in public because they felt her voice was the right one. However, she was very shy.

Sadly, Doolin’s grandmother passed away just a year ago from various heart problems, in addition to contracting COVID-19. Since then, Dolan has seen many pop-up ads for American Idol online. She felt strongly that it wasn’t just retargeting ads that were fooling her — she felt like her grandmother had urged her to try.

Well, I’ve made my decision! When she got on stage, viewers might have noticed that she was a little shy. But the moment I paused Kelly Clarkson’s Bit by Bit performance, it was clear she had insanely strong vocals.


The judges wanted her to come out a little more and they asked her to sing her second song when we were little Adele. Throughout the song, the judges kept urging her to do it for real and sing louder and bolder than ever. And when those nuts hit, they exploded.

“Hey, do you know how many bad grades I got for that last song?” A judge, country singer Luke Bryan, asked her when she was ready. He continued: “Zero.”

“It sounded really good, you’re so special,” added second judge Katy Perry.

The third judge, Lionel Richie, was especially influenced by Dolan’s voice. He was so stunned that he even had to wipe his tears at the end.

“That’s the only person I know who came in here and totally screwed me up,” Ritchie said.

He added: “If we could hug you every day to let you know how beautiful you are, you’d understand why we were crying.”

No wonder she got three unanimous “yes” answers – next round goes Dolan! We can only imagine her grandmother from above.

To hear Dolan sing and see Richie cry, check out her amazing experience below.

What do you think?