17-Year-Old Father Sings Two Country Songs To Earn Golden Ticket On ‘American Idol’

Instagram/Dawson Slade

During the recent round of auditions on American Idol, 17-year-old father Dawson Slade managed to persuade the judges into giving him a second chance to prove he can be a true contender in the competition.

Dawson Slade Auditions for ‘American Idol’

On Idol’s most recent episode, Alabama native Dawson Slade stepped into the spotlight to flaunt his skills as a country music artist. When first introducing himself, Dawson immediately grabbed the attention of all three judges with his birth name, already sounding like a star in the making.

However, what truly surprised the judges was when Dawson disclosed that, at just 17 years old, he was already a father to an infant son. Describing his son as the best thing that ever happened to him, Dawson dedicated his presence on the stage to his child, emphasizing the impact fatherhood has had on his journey.

“My son is by far the best thing that’s ever happened in my life,” Dawson says. “I got a lot of nerves going on right now, but I told myself, just got to remember why you’re doing this and who you’re doing it for and not just yourself.”

Beginning his audition, Dawson Slade chose to perform Lee Ann Womack’s emotional hit, “I Hope You Dance.” With an acoustic guitar in hand, strumming the chords as he sang, Slade demonstrated not only his singing abilities, but also that he held the talent of a promising musician.

Despite his talent, however, the judges immediately expressed their doubts, particularly about his stage presence. Judge Katy Perry started off by expressing her concern towards Dawson’s audition, feeling like it missed the wow-factor they look for in the competition.

“You’ve got a great voice, a great tamber, a great kind of country thing to you. You’re just not giving it the attack,” she explained.

“It’s a little linear. It just starts here and stays there. It’s a little calm and safe,” Luke Bryan added.

As they bounced back in regards to what Dawson’s audition lacked, when it came time for judge Lionel Richie to express his opinion, he ultimately delivered a “no” vote, due to him believing that Dawson needed more experience.

“Dawson. I think that truthfully, as much as I want to celebrate, I think you need to really, you got to put more time in. It’s going to be a no for me this trip,” Richie said.

Dawson Gets a Second Chance For a Golden Ticket

This left Dawson’s fate hanging, with Katy Perry and Luke Bryan as the deciding voices. Recognizing his talent, Bryan questioned if he was ready for the competition, noting a songwriter vibe but lacking the confidence of a true performer. Offering a second chance, Bryan asked him to sing a different song.

Seizing the opportunity, Slade delivered a powerful rendition of Justin Moore’s “Somebody Else Will,” showing remarkable improvement and newfound confidence. Encouraging Slade to step up his performance, Katy Perry challenged him to sing without his guitar and project his voice louder. The transformation was clear, and both Perry and Bryan were impressed by the genuine improvement in Slade’s delivery.

With unanimous approval from the judges, Dawson Slade secured his golden ticket to Hollywood, marking the beginning in his Idol journey.

Watch Dawson Slade’s American Idol audition below.

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