Talent Recap

15-Year-Old Singer Wows the Judges in ‘American Idol’ Early Release Audition

Triston Harper on 'American Idol' season 22Disney/Eric McCandless

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American Idol has shared an early release clip from Season 22, featuring an audition by 15-year-old singer Triston Harper. The young talent shared his emotional story before wowing the judges with his mature country voice.


15-Year-Old Auditions for American Idol in Early Release

The judges were shocked when Triston shared that he was just 15 years old. Luke Bryan joked that Triston “out-countried” him. The teen, who is from Alabama, told the judges that he’s “been through a lot in my life.”

Triston shared that there was a time when he and his mother were homeless and slept on the side of the road after escaping his abusive stepfather. He had just turned 12 years old at the time. Triston’s mom Hattie Mae said the experience caused him to mature beyond his years.

“I never thought I’d be able to tell my story until American Idol. Never,” Triston shared in an interview. “Makes me happy just thinking about it.”


For his audition, Triston performed “Cover Me Up” by Jason Isbell while playing acoustic guitar. The young singer showed off a classic country voice that clearly impressed the panel. His mother could be seen standing outside the audition room getting emotional as he performed.

SEE ALSO: ‘AMERICAN IDOL’ HOST RYAN SEACREST REFLECTS ON VISITING THE JUDGES’ HOMETOWNS

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What Did the Judges Think of the Performance?

Katy Perry and Lionel Richie both gave Triston’s audition a standing ovation. Richie praised him for his ability to tell a story through his performance, telling the singer, “Your voice is a storytelling voice.”


“You were so authentic, so connected to yourself, singing from your soul,” Perry told Triston. “It wasn’t perfect, but it resonated with me. It was really good. I’m impressed, for 15.”

The judges invited Triston’s mom into the room to hear whether or not he would receive a Golden Ticket to Hollywood. Triston ended up getting three “yes” votes from the panel, which means he’s headed to Hollywood Week later this season.

Season 22 of American Idol kicks off with a two-hour premiere this Sunday, February 18, on ABC.

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1 month ago

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