Mariah Faith, American Idol
Screengrab via YouTube

'American Idol': Mariah Faith's Vince Gill Cover Dedicated to Late Stepdad Gives Luke Bryan Chills

American Idol contestant Mariah Faith stole the stage during Sunday night's episode with an audition that blew the judges, specifically Luke Bryan, away.

The Baltimore native, who now hails from South Carolina, came to the Idol audition stage with pain in her heart. Her stepfather, her "No. 1 supporter and best friend," passed away after a heart attack in 2019, and she hadn't quite been the same ever since.


That's why she dedicated her heartfelt rendition of Vince Gill's "Whenever You Come Around" to her lost family member. Her version of the song had the entire panel of judges thinking they'd just heard their next Hollywood-bound candidate.

"I had chills the whole time," Bryan said of her soulful cover. "You are on just the edge of greatness. You've just got it all. It doesn't matter if you hit a wrong note, it's still right."

Lionel Richie was equally impressed and let Faith know exactly what he was thinking about her vocals kills.

"What we just heard is the tip of the iceberg, but your potential could take you seriously all the way," he told Faith.

Even Katy Perry, at times notoriously difficult to impress, was captivated by Faith's singing.

"World class," Perry said. "There's so many subtleties in your voice. I'm hanging on to every syllable. You have this natural cry-slash-gospel vocal."

Faith informed Perry that she was "raised in the church."

"Well, we can hear it," Perry said. "You are a star. You've got it. One of the most interesting voices of this 21st season."

At the end of Faith's audition, she racked up three yes votes and had an immediate ticket to Hollywood. In addition, she was given the opportunity to open at a Nashville concert for last season's winner, Noah Thompson, and runner-up HunterGirl.

Faith obviously was extremely excited by her accomplishment — and we think her stepfather would be, too.

READ MORE: 'American Idol' Katy Perry Calls 23-Year-Old Repairman 'Christian Chris Stapleton' After Stunning Audition