Tristan McIntosh‘s audition brought all the tears on Thursday’s “American Idol,” the second night of the season 15 premiere. Watch below!
McIntosh, a 10th grader, explained that her mom is a Major in the army, and was set to retire before she was called up to serve in the Middle East. “It’s just a really weird feeling she’s not here for something of this magnitude,” said the 15-year-old. “I just want to make my mom proud, she’s sacrificed so much.”
McIntosh told the judges that she had her family with here aside from her mom, and seemed to pour all her emotion into a beautiful performance of Mickey Guyton’s “Why Baby Why.” The teen played the piano as she sang, and all the judges looked enamored. “That gave me the goosies,” Jennifer Lopez announced afterward, saying she was “bursting.”
With tears in her eyes, Lopez went on to say, “I see in you something very, very special. I’m very good friends with Alicia Keys. Not only do you remind me of her because of how you look, but also because of your heart. It’s just beautiful and special. I think you made your mom so proud today. I can’t wait til she sees this.”
Connick then surprised McIntosh by reading an email from her mother. But the big surprise came when the contestant’s mother waked into the room, telling her sobbing daughter, “Do you think I would miss this for the world?” Connick then let McIntosh’s mom do the honors of announcing, “You’re going to Hollywood!” As they left, he predicted she could be “trouble” for the other contenders, and Lopez went as far as saying, “She could win. I said it first.”
Season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson even tweeted afterward, “Are u serious @AmericanIdol w/ the military mom surprising her daughter…. Ugh I can’t breathe I’m crying so hard! & the girl is talented!!” Grab some tissues, and check out the video below!