Gospel singer Dontrell Briggs delivered a soulful rendition of "For Your Glory" for his audition piece on "American Idol" that moved judge Lionel Richie into tears.
Richie said after Briggs' performance, "Some people can come in and just sing, and then some people come in and just let God come through them. And your dear friend over there, she was standing right next to you while you were singing. I felt every breath of that performance."
The decision of the judges was divided. Judge Katy Perry said, "I agree with Lionel, the sincerity is there; But I do think this low vibrato is just not keeping me in it, so I'm not quite sure."
Richie believed in Briggs's potential to change that vibrato. Perry asked him if he would be willing to take that note. Briggs replied, "I will." Richie voted for yes.
Perry voted for no saying, "It's hard to get there at American Idol." Meanwhile, judge Luke Bryan expressed his being torn on the situation.
"I need to be listening to more gospel, but I'm no expert. If I could shape and mold you where you don't give us so much of that kind of staggering vibrato. I mean, you lean on that a lot. You don't have to as much. I just don't want that to become redundant to the listener," Bryan commented.
Briggs suggested singing another song entitled "Tennessee Whiskey." After singing a short performance, Bryan decided to say yes to Briggs.
In his introduction video, the 26-year-old North Carolina native revealed that he will be dedicating his performance on American Idol for his late godmother.
"She played a very big part in my life - not a day that I could not call her and she wouldn't be right there for me," Briggs said.
His godmother battled terminal lung disease for a long time yet she "always kept going." Briggs recounted his memory with his godmother talking about going to American Idol to pursue his dreams.
"If I get that golden ticket, she is going to be rejoicing with the angels," he told the judges.
Valerie June, a Grammy-nominated musician celebrated with Briggs by posting on her Twitter, "So thrilled to have American Idol feature my song, "Smile," last night for the contestant montage celebrating Dontrell Briggs!!! Go go go!!!"
After Briggs' success in getting a golden ticket to Hollywood, he was recognized by his town Maxton for representing their town in the said competition.
He was greeted by a banner on behalf of his town and each commissioner donated $100 out of their pockets to help him finance his trip at the end of the month, Robesonian reported. He then reciprocated his town's support by hoping to represent Maxton well and "put the town on the map."
"This means a lot (is) to know that you all came together to honor little old me," Briggs said.
"We hope that this will be the first step in a great life," Mayor Paul Davis told Briggs.