‘Thank You Jesus’: American Idol Contestant Prays With Judges After Emotional Audition

An emotional audition on American Idol by 20-year-old Samantha is moving hearts of people all over the country after she asked the judges if she could pray with them.


Samantha, who prefers to be called, Just Sam, started her singing career by singing on the subway when she was in middle school. Although it was a hard life, it helped her pay her bills and rent.

Her grandmother was the one who stepped in and adopted her and her sister after her parents were not able to take care of Sam and her sister. She made sure that they had clothes, food and a roof over their head. Her grandmother Elizabeth said, “God is good. But, at times, it’s really hard.’

Sam is hoping to achieve her dreams and make a better life for her and her family by auditioning for American Idol. But she was visibly nervous standing in front of the judges and could barely get the words of the first verse of ‘You Say’ by Lauren Daigle before she had to take a pause to let the tears flow.

The judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryant and Lionel Ritchie then gathered around the young singer for a group hug and encouraged her. That helped Sam break into a powerful rendition of ‘Rise Up’ by Andra Day. It is the same song that she sings all day on the subway and made the judges rave about her touching performance.


Luke Bryan said, “A lot of people come in here and they haven’t lived the struggles you have. You have those qualities in your voice to tell stories and you can sing really beautifully.” But it was Lionel Ritchie who reduced Sam to tears when he told her that she was in a safe space. He told the youngster, “I’m so grateful that God put you in front of us.”

That’s the moment when Sam asked if she could pray with all three of the judges. They agreed and shared in a sweet prayer of thanks to God, the one who helped Sam get this far in life and Sam says at the end, ‘Thank you, Jesus’ The name of Jesus was lifted high by Sam on this global talent platform, and we are so glad for her that she won a Golden ticket to Hollywood where the competition begins.

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