American Idol Audition: Ronda Felton Moves Lionel Richie to Tears (Video)

(ABC/Christopher Willard) RONDA FELTON

Ronda Felton gets the second Papa Lionel handkerchief of the American Idol season

When asked to write these little opinion pieces, I had one name on my mind and that was Ms. Ronda Felton. I knew I wanted to write the young singer’s first, as her audition was still fresh in my mind. And boy did it wow me. Every so often, Idol delivers on raw talent. On a night that was a bit weaker than the first two audition episodes, Ronda was one of a few contestants to captivate me.

Ronda had tears of joy at the start of her audition. She described her backstory, moving from school to school, living in shelters and not having much. But Ronda had one thing–her mom as her rock. You could tell when they were on the screen what a special relationship they have. “Don’t you ever stop fighting,”  Ronda’s mother tells her daughter. The singer’s outlet is music, and this audition showcased what raw talent she has.

Prior to her audition, she received Papa Lionel Richie’s handkerchief to dry her tears–which is turning into an artifact on Idol. Ronda let everything go when she belted out Jennifer Hudson’s version of Dreamgirls “One Night Only.” I know I’ve been highlighting the singers’ emotion in these writeups, but Ronda had true genuine emotion that delivered the vocal in a raw, yet nearly perfect way.

The judges noted how music was their outlet, and hers as well. Judge Luke Bryan praised Ronda saying, “that was a good performance, but I have a big ‘ole feeling that it was not your best performance to come”, indicating that Ronda will succeed in Hollywood. After hearing the great comments from the judges, including Katy Perry, Ronda joyfully runs to get her mom. The audition ends with Lionel singing Ronda’s mom’s favorite song with her and her mom– “Zoom” by The Commodores. What a beautiful moment.

American Idol Audition: Ronda Felton Sings One Night Only

The only singing clips Ronda has out there are on Instagram. One is a cover of “Somebody’s Gonna Love You” from The Color Purple. Ronda seems to have a love for showtunes. She delivers the emotion of this one beautifully, as well. But it’s more about the emotion and less about the vocals.

Her other cover is “Body” by Sinead Harnett which is a true standout cover. Ronda can sing. That’s for sure. I look forward to seeing more from Ronda this season as there is so little out there of her on social media.


About Blake Busch 211 Articles
I am a graduate of Drake University with a BSBA in marketing and minor in data analytics. My favorite shows to follow are American Idol and The Voice. I also love crime thrillers, Top Chef, and Masterchef. My hobbies include cooking, baking, playing basketball, and watching sports.