In another American Idol first, an aspiring singer named Courtney Timmons walked in off the street to audition for the popular competition. And, her performance was so impressive that it brought more than one person to tears!
It all started when host Ryan Seacrest met Courtney, a 22-year-old security guard from Georgia, on the street and learned about her musical ambitions. Pointing out that judges had already commenced auditions and producers may not take additional people, Seacrest suggested he take the aspiring singer into the studio himself.
“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.”
Seacrest then escorted Courtney to the judges and explained the situation.
“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 said. “She said, ‘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.”
“No one has heard of her. We don’t have any idea what she sounds like,” Seacrest added.
“Are you kidding me?” asked Lionel Richie. “This is a first.”
Courtney then belted out Andra Day’s “Rise Up” as the judges watched smiling.
“Are we being punked?” Luke Bryan asked afterwards.
“Hold on,” Katy Perry added. “Before the show started, I saw her sitting outside on the sidewalk. I thought you were just a fan of the show? You can sing!”
“No, you can sang!” Richie chimed in. “There’s a difference between singing and sanging. You are a bird, girl.”
Courtney shared how she would have sat outside as long as it took to get her chance to shine in front of the judges. She then expressed that simply getting to see them was “enough.”
“You’re one of the best singers we’ve seen today!” Perry responded. “You’re probably the best singer we’ve seen today. Courtney Timmons, this is really magical. This is a magical moment. We’re going to send you to Hollywood.”
An emotional moment followed as Courtney responded, “Are you kidding me,” while Seacrest and Perry teared up.
“Us two -- we probably don’t have any emotion, but when you get us, you really get us,” Perry said about her and Seacrest’s tears. “Courtney, you are what American Idol is. You’re the new definition.”
Seacrest took to social media afterwards, to share a clip showing the heartwarming moment.
“I’m crying,” he wrote alongside the video, which he posted on Twitter. “@katyperry is crying. America is crying. We’re all crying. Courtney was the #AmericanIdol curveball we didn’t know we needed. So proud of her.”
See more from the series below.