Countless American Idol hopefuls come to their auditions with inspiring back stories, but Shayy’s was a particularly emotional moment on Wednesday’s (Mar. 6) episode of the singing competition.
Shayy told judges that she has been legally blind for a little over a year, after suffering from hydrocephalus and the discovery of a tumor in her brain. She then dove into a powerful cover of Andra Day’s “Rise Up,” which immediately brought the judges to tears, especially Lionel Richie.
“You have wrecked me,” he told her, red faced from crying. “Lionel you look like you’re walking a daughter down the aisle,” Luke Bryan commented, before telling Shayy, “You have what we cannot teach. We cannot teach letting the music flow straight from the soul, and that’s what you did.”
As expected, the judges made the unanimous decision to send Shayy to the Hollywood round. Watch her audition below.