15-year-old Kaylin Hedges had a tearful reunion with her traveling Army dad on this season’s American Idol after crushing her audition. Kaylin named her dad, who is stationed overseas, as her biggest inspiration before singing “I’m Already There (Message From Home)” by Lonestar, saying the song was for him.
The high school student, who is from Pound Ridge, New York, sang the country pop song with a lone acoustic guitar backing and displayed a voice as big as Texas. Her rendition was a big hit with the judges, as you can see below, with Lionel Richie saying “You’re 15 years old and singing like Streisand.”
After the performance Kaylin’s dad, Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Hedges, appeared in a heartfelt video message but then he really amazed his daughter by actually appearing in the studio, leading to a tearful reunion with the traveling soldier. Kaylin then brought in her mother, who also had no idea about the big surprise and was overcome with emotion to find her husband there on their daughter’s big day.
The American Idol team were not done yet though, as after the judges did a huddle they offered Kaylin the one and only Platinum ticket for the Nashville auditions, which left the teen in complete disbelief. As a result Kaylin headed straight to Hollywood for the third round, and was able to skip the second round of eliminations. You can see Kaylin’s follow-up performance of Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose” below.
Kaylin, who was the youngest singer on the show, really showed a big boost to her performance skills and vocals in her take on Seal’s dramatic hit. Unfortunately for the talented singer, she did not make the cut to the final 24, being eliminated after the third round in Hollywood. With a lot of time to mature and level up in the industry, no doubt Kaylin will be a force to be reckoned with in the future, which is something Richie noted in his final talk with her. If you would like to see more from Kaylin Hedges, you can follow her on Instagram. You can also visit her official website for more information.