Sunday marked Hollywood Week's first night on "American Idol", and emotions ran high for both contestants and judges.
After a series of nationwide auditions, more than 100 "Idol" were hopefully flown to Los Angeles for a tight showcase of two solo performances and one with a group that will ultimately reduce competition by half.
Many participants were prevented by nerves and disease – R & B crooner Nate Walker was even rushed to the hospital by ambulance for a lost voice and abdominal pain at the end of the episode.
Emotionally, Dimitrius Graham, 27, could have had the hardest of all: When he went out on stage, Baltimore Natives showed his sick mother, Lorraine, had called some times earlier to tell him she had surgery next day.
"Her spirits were down, and I'm in LA, so I can't be there for her," Graham said. "It's my mother, it's my best friend, it's my rock. It's my American Idol."
Graham asked the judges if he could FaceTime his mother before he delivered his phone to Katy Perry.
"Hey, Mom," said Perry. "Lorraine, we believe in you tomorrow, that you will be safe and protected, and the angels are around you. When you talk about an angel, your son must sing to us and we want you to be part of this moment. "
When Graham broke into Bette Midler's" Wind Under My Wings ", Perry buried her face in her hand and began to cry and continued to sob through the whole show.
"Woo" She told Lorraine afterwards, wiping away tears with a tissue. "What did you think about it?"
"Your boy did, honey," Lionel Richie raised. "Your boy did."
You can find out if Graham makes it to the next round in Monday's episode on ABC (8 EDT / PDT), which continues the second and last part of Hollywood Week.
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