Luke Bryan Superfan Brought To Tears After Her Audition Falls Short: ‘Keep Your Chin Up’

Kimmie Caraffa, a 25-year-old Luke Bryan superfan from Cleveland, Ohio has been singing for as long as she can remember….


Lauren Jo Black

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March 21, 2022

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Luke Bryan, Kimmie – American Idol

Kimmie Caraffa, a 25-year-old Luke Bryan superfan from Cleveland, Ohio has been singing for as long as she can remember. Growing up, she spent countless hours singing Kelly Clarkson‘s “Breakaway” in her bathroom and she recently decided to audition for American Idol to show her daughter that she could pursue her dreams. 

Caraffa appeared to be star-stuck as she entered the room to sing in front of Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie

Despite her nerves, the 25-year-old powered through and performed “How Do I Live,” which was recorded by both Trisha Yearwood and LeAnn Rimes and released in 1997.

Toward the end of her performance, Caraffa’s voice cracks and the judges encouraged her to keep going. 

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“Seein’ Luke it’s a dream come true,” the contestant gushed after her audition. 

“I need to call you when I need to feel better [about myself],” Bryan laughed. 

As for her performance, the judges offered kind words of encouragement, but unfortunately, her audition fell short. 


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A post shared by Kimmie Caraffa (@kimmiecaraffa)

“There’s a reason why we are in this business because of people like you,” Richie said. “How you adore Luke, listen, you just helped him tremendously for the rest of his life. Now, let’s talk about you and your career. It’s very simple, it just needs time, but you don’t give up just because you cracked.”

“Kimmie, walking in and singing in front of us is a huge, nerve-wracking deal,” Bryan admitted. “You have a nice voice, but is it complete ready to go tackle the gauntlet and the challenges of American Idol? I wouldn’t say that it is currently right now.”

Caraffa went on to plead with the judges for a chance to advance to the next round. “Please, I promise you I will be ready for Hollywood, this is the opportunity of a lifetime and I really mean it. I just want this, I want this so bad.” 

“We know, we know,” Bryan said. 


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A post shared by Kimmie Caraffa (@kimmiecaraffa)

“I think you’re brave to come out here and I also think that it’s okay to show your daughter that she doesn’t have to be perfect. That she can fall and get back up and keep going sometimes no matter what other people say,” Perry said, offering the contestant advice. “But we do have big shoes to fill, I think it’s going to be hard for you to compete at the level that we’re looking for, but we all appreciate your spirit.”

While Caraffa didn’t advance to Hollywood, she did get to share a hug with Luke Bryan that brought her to tears. 

“Keep your chin up alright,” Bryan told her.

American Idol returns with Hollywood week on Monday, March 28 at 8/7c on ABC. 

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.