Each year, American Idol brings new stars to the forefront through their audition process, and season 4 is no different. During the season premiere, contestant DJ Johnson brought all three of the judges to tears during her emotional performance.
Johnson brought a personal, original song to the audition to perform for the judges. The song was about her mother, who left the family a year ago and Johnson wasn’t able to get all the way through it without crying.
When she had to take a step, judge Lionel Richie got up and asked her dad to come into the room for moral support. After a hug and some encouragement, Johnson was able to finish the song, and she brought all of the judges to tears with the performance.
DJ Johnson’s Audition Made the ‘American Idol’ Judges Cry
All three of the judges were supportive of the contestant, and they wished they could give her a hug, though they couldn’t due to COVID-19 safety protocols.
Johnson shared that she’s the sixth child of ten in her family, all of whom she said are “musically inclined,” which they get from their father, who is a worship leader.
“Up until last year, uh, our mom left,” she shared. “Just one day, she just walked out.”
Johnson sang an original song called “Scars” for her audition, which she used to share her story.
“I didn’t care when you walked out that door / Lookin’ back you never loved anyone but yourself,” the artist sang. “How could I have been so blind? / We all see through you and your lies.”
She continued, “How could a mother be okay leaving scars on her children? / How could a woman be okay leaving a husband heartbroken?”
She attempted to get out one more line before breaking down at the piano. Richie handed her a handkerchief and had her father come inside the audition room.
“Take your time, I know it’s heavy,” Richie told her.
Bryan asked if she wants to sing a different song, but Perry said her she loved the one she was already performing and thought she needed to finish that song, which Johnson did.
Johnson Told the Judges She Hasn’t Had a Good Relationship With Her Mother
During the film package, Johnson explained that her mother wasn’t there for her while she was growing up.
“Growing up, I did want a relationship with my mom,” she shared. “I just remember wanting her to be there, and she wasn’t. The way she would say things, ‘You’re not good enough, try to be somebody else.’ I would sing, and then she made it sound like I wasn’t good enough to go anywhere.”
She added, “It just always made me feel worthless. The hardest part was, I believed her.”
She said when her mom left it felt “like a relief” because she could get back to music without her mother’s influence.
“Wow, intense,” Bryan could be heard saying while Perry fixed her makeup.
Johnson ultimately got a Golden Ticket to Hollywood.