American Idol 2023: Did Phil Stacey’s “Baby Girl” Audition?

Did McKayla Stacey, the daughter of American Idol season 6 contestant Phil Stacey audition in front of the American Idol judges–Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan–in New Orleans this past October?

While sniffing around American Idol related social media, our crack researcher, Blake Busch, discovered that Phil and McKayla were both in New Orleans at the time of the Idol judges auditions at the Four Seasons Hotel. And that both follow key American Idol staff members and current hopefuls.

Of course, the two being in New Orleans at the same time could be just a coincidence. But Blake has done a compare and contrast of photos McKayla posted to Instagram and it appears that the Four Seasons exteriors are in the backgrounds of some of her photos.

McKayla’s birth was a MAJOR part of Phil’s American Idol backstory

American Idol LOVES full circle moments, and having McKayla, who is a singer like her Dad, audition for the show would be the mother of all full circle moments!

Phil’s audition backstory was about how he missed McKayla’s birth when his wife suddenly went into labor while he was waiting to audition in Memphis. With his wife’s blessing, he didn’t rush home, but stayed to sing in front of the judges.

He performed “My Girl” and “Let’s Get it On.” A little fight ensued–judges Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson said yes, while Simon Cowell said no. At the end of the segment–which ended the episode–American Idol cameras followed him as he met little McKayla for the first time. Phil went on to finish season 6 in the Top 6.

At the time, Phil shared with TV Guide that he could only see his family on and off. “McKayla started crawling while I was here. And when I saw her in Florida, my wife [Kendra] started feeding her solid food and I was like, ‘What are you doing?’ She was like, ‘It’s time, honey. We can do that now.’”

Clues can be found in photos, social media activity

And now, 16 years later, she may be auditioning for the show herself! WOW. Check out the Instagram photos of the grown up McKayla in New Orleans among other places. She mentions that some of the posted photos were taken in New Orleans. The background in the photo below matches pretty well with New Orleans Four Seasons hotel where the contestants were staying. Also, Phil posted clips and photos to his stories at the time.

On a personal note, I met Phil and his family backstage at the American Idols Live concert in Manchester New Hampshire and got a photo of Phil holding McKayla in his arms. I feel very old.

About mj santilli 34526 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!