American Idol season 17 kicked off last with a whole new slate of auditions – and Ryan Seacrest back as host.
One of the more emotional moments of the night came when a 19-year-old songstress, who goes by the name Kai the Singer, took the stage and brought judges Lionel Richie,Katy Perry and Luke Bryan to tears with her emotional back story, determination and powerful voice.
The South Carolina factory worker grew up in and out of homeless shelters. There are currently eight people living in her house, and only two of her brothers have beds. “You get tired of seeing your family struggling,” she said. The judges agreed that Kai’s nerves impeded her performance of Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” but all of their doubts faded away during her second song, a beautiful rendition of “My Girl” by The Temptations that blew them away. Katy felt a personal connection to Kai, as both received their first guitars as gifts from their church congregations, and Lionel told her: “God can only do for you what he can do through you. Needless to say, Kai got her golden ticket to Hollywood.
Myra Tran, a 19-year-old aspiring singer from Vietnam, has been living in the United States for just one year. She told the judges that it’s been her dream to perform onAmerican Idolsince she was a kid. She blew them away by singing “One Night Only,” performed byIdol alumJennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls. Luke said she was “up there with the Kelly Clarksons of the world.” All three judges sent her to Hollywood.