15-Year-Old Country Singer Cries While Receiving “American Idol” Results
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15-Year-Old Country Singer Cries While Receiving “American Idol” Results

On Sunday night (March 31), American Idol made the biggest cut of the season, going from 143 contestants down to 56. One night later, they would whittle that number down to 24.

Monday night’s episode (April 1) had contestants performing in the “Showstopper Round,” where they needed to choose a song sung by, well…a showstopper! For a few contestants, like Emmy Russell, it was the first time they sang a cover song in the competition.

One of the stand-out singers who performed during Showstopper Round was 15-year-old Triston Harper.

In his pre-taped package, Harper and his mom, Hattie Mae, recalled the hard times they have lived, being homeless, Triston having to step up to help make money for the family and having to grow up at a young age.

“Music is a comfort to him. I’ve seen my baby smile more since we’ve been here than I have in years,” she said. “He didn’t deserve everything he’s been through, but he deserves this.”

Singing Cody Johnson’s song “By Your Grace,” Harper earned a standing ovation from judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan.

During his performance, the Idol judges kept marveling that he was only 15 years old. Simultaneously, the cameras kept cutting to his mother, Hattie Mae, in the audience to capture her emotional reaction to his singing.

During the judging, Perry told him, “No matter what we tell you today, you’re gonna be okay because you’re rock solid.”

This likely made him think he wasn’t going to make it through for a split second, but Perry assured him he made the Top 24.

He began to tear up and said he didn’t want to cry on television.

When asked why he was getting emotional, he said, “Me and my mom slept on sidewalks. We’ve slept in cars together. All I did was grab a guitar and go on the side of her job to try and make money so we’d be able to eat and it means the world to me that I made it to the Top 24.”

Perry replied, “You’re the man of the house, but you’ve got our support. You don’t have to carry all this on your shoulders anymore. You can also have some fun and be 15 again. We wanna see that joy coming out you, that playfulness. It’s time to play, it’s time to have fun, and it’s time to receive what you deserve, which is the Top 24, baby!” 

Watch Triston’s incredible performance.

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