History was made during Sunday’s third episode of “American Idol” Season 18 when Courtney Timmons was brought up to the audition room by host Ryan Seacrest despite her missing the deadline. Ryan spotted the 22-year-old security guard from Harris Neck, GA sitting outside the building on the stoop, so he decided to make an exception for her and let her perform for judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan. Following her pitch-perfect rendition of Andra Day‘s “Rise Up,” Ryan’s eyes filled up with tears and Katy proclaimed, “You’re probably the best singer we’ve seen today.” Watch Courtney’s audition video above.
“I was walking down the street and Courtney was at the corner,” Ryan explained after initially introducing her to the “Idol” judges. “She was sitting there and she looked very sad and I said, ‘What’s going on?’ She said, ‘I showed up to audition but I think I missed the deadline. This is my dream and I’ve wanted to do this all my life.’ And so I grabbed her and brought her up the elevator.”
After hearing Courtney’s powerful vocals, Luke was so impressed that he asked Ryan, “Are you we being punked?”
“Hold on,” Katy interjected. “Before this show started I saw her sitting outside on the sidewalk. I thought you were just kind of a fan of the show. You can sing.”
And Lionel chimed in, “No, no, no. You can sang. There’s a difference between singing and sanging. You are a bird, girl.”
Courtney was overwhelmed by the judges’ positive response, proclaiming, “I want to be a singer more than anything. When they said this wasn’t open call, I was a little discouraged. But I’m gonna tell y’all, I was gonna sit all day.”
Katy called Courtney’s surprise audition a “magical moment” and then sent her to Hollywood on the spot without even conducting a normal vote.
That’s when Ryan started weeping buckets from the sidelines. “Sorry, I’m like a parent, I’m crying,” he revealed to Courtney. Ryan then took her to get “everything sorted,” i.e. to finally present her with her “American Idol” audition number. Do you think Courtney can go all the way and win ABC’s reality TV show?