Season 4 of ABC’s iteration of American Idol has brought the judges to tears many times through touching stories told by people auditioning for the show. In the case of Brianna Collichio, American Idol judge Katy Perry told her she was a “walking miracle.”
Collichio told the judges that she was originally supposed to audition on a different day, but she was in the hospital.
The young performer decided to audition after her sister posted a TikTok of her singing. They made a deal that if the video went viral, then she would go to American Idol to audition in front of the judges.
The Judges Were Amazed by Collichio’s Story
Collichio told the judges that she has cystic fibrosis.
“I was born with a disease called cystic fibrosis,” she shared. “As a result of that, I am prone to chronic lung infections.”
She said that she’s been taking trips to the hospital since she was seven years old, and the life expectancy for people with the disease was around 36 years old.
“The eve of my audition, I collapsed,” Collichio said. “I was rushed to the emergency room, so I ended up in surgery, but right before I went into surgery, I got a call from my sister, and she told me we were able to reschedule the audition.”
Perry looked up Collichio’s TikTok, which had a video of her singing her audition song from the hospital room.
Collichio Performed ‘Scars to Your Beautiful’ for Her Audition
Collichio shared that people with cystic fibrosis sometimes have scars on their lungs, making their voices raspier than they would have otherwise been.
“Singing and cystic fibrosis are on opposite sides, you know, usually with cystic fibrosis, your lungs are scarred,” she said. “But, my lungs are not scarred, and my voice is not raspy. So, I want to inspire people.”
She then sang “Scars to Your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara for her audition, and the judges noted that she seemed nervous at first but later started calming down and really showing off what she could do.
“You made it this far,” Perry said.
Lionel Richie said he loved her high-end voice and thanked her for sharing her journey.
“Yeah, Brianna, very inspiring story,” judge Luke Bryan told her. “Are there a couple things I would like to work on with you? Certainly. But, to have the pressure that you have, to overcome, you just knocked it out of the park. I’m so proud of you.”
Perry felt the same way as Bryan did.
“Wow, I mean, you’re the walking miracle,” she said. “It gives people hope. And people need hope right now. You know, you’re not your illness. You’re Brianna. And if you come at this with the same vigilance that you come at facing adversity, I think you’re gonna climb all the mountains, and I think you’re gonna grow right before our very eyes.”
She received three “yes” votes from the judges, meaning she was able to move on to Hollywood week.
“I was a yes when I heard the TikTok video,” Bryan joked.
American Idol airs on Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. Tune in to see Hollywood Week.