The 16-year-old from Whiteville, North Carolina, who is a sophomore in High School and has been singing since she was a child, credits Idol alum Gabby Barrett as one of her biggest musical influences.
Donning bell bottom denim pants and backed by a piano, Madison performed a stunning cover of Gabby Barrett’s second No. 1 hit, “The Good Ones,” a track that appears on Barrett’s record-breaking debut album, Goldmine.
“That’s a good song, you’re super country and you’ve got a great voice,” Perry said before joking that she just gained a country accent of her own., prompting Bryan to joke, “you just caught the country.”
“Your accent is so thick when you sing still,” Perry gushed, to which Madison replied, “Yes ma’am, I’ve been told that a lot this trip.”
“I love it, but I’m also like ‘what is she saying?’ I’m missing words, but I love it. I don’t want you to get totally rid of it. I just need you to dial it down like 25%,” Perry added.
“I’d love to just see you relax that song a little bit. It was a little quick for me,” Bryan shared, before Richie chimed in, “she was hyperventilating on that a bit.”
“Listen, you’re sixteen and you’ve got a really great voice,” Bryan gushed.
Richie then gave the young contestant some advice as he thinks her “nerves took over for a minute” during her audition.
“For future, just take that breath and if it’s anything you want to do, just lay it on the backside,” Richie advised. “Just always in the future, because your nerves are going to make you go forward with adrenaline, but you’ve got a great voice.”
After all three of the Idol judges “caught the country,” Ryleigh Madison earned a unanimous ‘yes’ and a golden ticket to advance to Hollywood.
American Idol airs every Sunday at 8/7c on ABC.