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See the Incredibly Moving ‘American Idol’ Audition That Earned a Standing Ovation From All 3 Judges

american idol 2024 judges kyra waits audition reaction
Why 'AI' Judges Gave Kyra Waits a Standing OvationYouTube

We're only three weeks into the American Idol 2024 season, and one aspiring singer has already captured the attention — and the hearts — of Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, thanks to her unexpected audition.

During the March 3 episode of the ABC series, fans were introduced to Kyra Waits, a 23-year-old stay-at-home mom from Berea, Kentucky. As the singer discussed her journey to American Idol, she shared how she wouldn't be where she was without the support of her bluegrass singing mom, Tasha. While she got emotional about how her mom was there rooting for her, she also revealed that this wasn't her first time trying out for the series.

As video footage showed her talking with producers in the first phase of auditions (called "Idol Across America"), Kyra revealed she's attempted to be a part of the competition for half a decade. "I've auditioned for the past five years, so it took a lot of hard work to get here," she said in taped package. "So, I'm very grateful to be here."

When it came time for Kyra to impress Lionel, Katy and Luke, she stunned them with a rendition of Patty Griffin's "Up to the Mountain." As she bared her soul for the judges, the trio couldn't help but get emotional. When Kyra finished singing, the judges surprised her by getting out of their chairs to give her a standing ovation.

"Well, I know it’s all about God’s timing, but why did it take so long?" Katy asked. "You are a different kind of diamond in the rough."

Lionel shared a similar sentiment in his feedback. "I thought, 'she is not going to let this door close, not one more time," he told Kyra. "You said, 'I don’t think so' and I felt all of your energy. You fought your way into this thing, and I think that it's going to serve you well. It's a yes from me."

Katy and Luke also said yes, so Kyra is going to Hollywood. What's more, viewers agreed with the judges about Kyra's audition. "One of the best auditions of 2024," one person declared on YouTube. "She is an outstanding singer with a big voice! Her time has come to become the artist that she want to be!" another exclaimed. "This performance moved me. Cannot wait to see where Kyra goes from here," a different follower added.

While we'll need to wait until Hollywood Week to see if Kyra makes it further in the competition, it's clear she's excited to see what comes of the next phase of her career.

"I FINALLY HAD MY MOMENT AND SNAGGED THAT GOLDEN TICKET 🤩," she wrote on Instagram on March 3. "Thank you so much to @katyperry, @lukebryan, and @lionelrichie for this amazing, life changing opportunity!! I’ll see y’all in Hollywood 🫶🏽❤️

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