Luke Bryan Gets Choked Up By ‘American Idol’ Contestant’s Soulful Audition

American Idol / YouTube

We can bet that no one was more excited for American Idol to return to TV more than 26-year-old Dennis Lorenzo. He was born and raised in West Philadelphia, a part of town that locals call “The Bottom,” and is plagued with violence.

Lorenzo knows this first hand because his father was murdered when he was just five years old. Growing up, he began going down the wrong path, but always had a knack for music. When he was 16, his grandparents bought him his first guitar and his life was never the same. He moved to Los Angeles to escape the violence of his hometown, but didn’t have a place to stay.

He slept in cars, parks, storage units, tents, and anywhere else he could find. Luckily, he got a job and his life completely turned around. He now lives with his girlfriend and their daughter and feels that American Idol is his chance to step up and support his family, and be a good father to his daughter.

He confidently walked in to his audition in front of judges Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry and intrigued them right away.

Performing Allen Stone’s hit song “Unaware,” Lorenzo showed off his amazing falsetto and impressive runs with his unique rendition while accompanying himself on a guitar that had a hole in it. After he sang the final note, the three judges were in awe.

Bryan asked him how long Lorenzo has had his guitar and told him that hundreds of contestants come in with the latest and greatest guitar on the market, but Lorenzo’s beat up guitar had more soul in it than any of those fancy ones.

“Your deal is why I signed up for this,” Bryan told him, getting a little choked up. “This feeling…like you said, it’s your journey, and what this show’s about — American dreams.”

With high praise from all three judges, Lorenzo moved on to the next round of competition, Hollywood Week! We don’t know about you, but we can’t wait to see what else Lorenzo has in store for us!

Watch his full audition below.