American Idol wrapped up its audition phase on Sunday, March 26, and the last person to audition made a mark on the judges. Oliver Steele joined the audition set with his acoustic guitar in hand, introducing himself as a 25-year-old from Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. Steele cited his dad Toby as the reason he plays music, and he then teared up, explaining that his dad has gone through a rough time recently.
The show then segued into a pre-recorded segment, in which Steele explained that his father, who worked as a professional musician, suffered a stroke that has "severely affected" the left side of his body. Steele's father joined his son at the audition, and he came out to be with Steele as he performed. What ensued next was a sweet moment as Steele sang Eric Clapton's "Change the World" directly to his dad.
Not only did the performance highlight the love he has for his father, but it showcased Steele's incredibly strong voice, and the judges took notice. Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie were on their feet as Steele belted out the song with a bluesy style, and at the request of Steele's father, they even sang along. The poignant moment even made the judge tear up themselves. The judges greeted Steele with enthusiastic applause at the end of the audition, and Luke Bryan even stood on the table out of excitement.
The three judges approached the singer and his dad and immediately gave Steele three "yes" votes to move through to Hollywood. Lionel Richie told him, "We're so happy to have you here."
Steele's father beamed with pride after the audition as he told his son, "It's an awesome moment, I gotta admit. Better than anything I ever did." He then gifted the golden ticket to his son.
American Idol will begin Hollywood week next Sunday, April 2. The show airs every Sunday evening on ABC.
READ MORE: 'American Idol': Kaya Stewart Sings Original Song She Wrote With Her Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Father
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