Final 'American Idol' auditions bring tears and inspiration

Watch American Idol Sunday at 8:00 p.m. on ABC!

ByBob Monek OTRC logo
Monday, March 15, 2021
A new winner was crowned on American Idol Sunday night.

NEW YORK -- This season's "American Idol" auditions came to an inspiring conclusion on Sunday night.

One of the inspiring stories came from high school student Brianna Collichio, a 15-year-old singer from Spencerport in upstate New York.

She's battled her entire life with cystic fibrosis, which makes her prone to lung infections. Brianna has overcome the odds, again and again, performing since she was 6 years old and singing the National Anthem before a New York Jets game at age 11.

Brianna became ill right before her "Idol" audition but performed from her hospital bed and thanks to her sister's viral TikTok video, the audition was rescheduled.

"Usually with cystic fibrosis, your lungs are scarred, but my lungs are not scarred, and my voice is not raspy. So, I want to inspire people," she said.

She knocked it out of the park with her performance of Alessia Cara's "Scars to Your Beautiful."

Katy Perry called Brianna "a walking miracle."

"You give people hope, and people need a lot of hope right now," Perry said.

All 3 judges said yes to a ticket to Hollywood.

Another contestant who inspired was another 15-year-old.

Tryzdin Grubbs from Columbus, Ohio says he's been bullied since a young age and struggled with confidence.

That was evident during his first song, "Before You Go."

Halted after only a few chords, Luke Bryan expressed concern about his confidence and Lionel Richie warned Tryzdin that "fear can be your worst enemy."

Tryzdin took a breath and then performed his second song, "Nobody" by James Arthur.

He took the direction to heart and delivered a performance that won over the judges with a standing ovation.

"You bring that attitude with that vocal style to this table, we got fireworks," Ritchie said.

He earned a yes from all 3 judges to secure a golden ticket.

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A homeless single mother from Brooklyn is also headed to Hollywood.

Vahhley impressed the judges with a teary-eyed performance of Whitney Houston's One Moment in Time.

Her 2-year-old son provided perhaps the cutest moment of the show, joining her on stage after the performance.

The night closed with more inspiration from 21-year-old Althea Grace of Chicago, who shared the story of her baby girl.

She had gone into complete liver failure and given only days to live. A last-minute liver transplant saved her daughter's life.

Althea sang an original song called "Saturday Morning" that she wrote while her daughter was in the hospital.

Lionel and Luke compared her vocal-style to Stevie Nicks, describing her as having a "cut-through voice."

She earned a yes from all 3 judges to secure the final Golden Ticket of Season 19.

You can see every audition on American Idol's YouTube channel.

Hollywood Week is next Sunday and Monday on ABC!