WATCH: Kelsie Dolin Hopes She Makes Her Late Grandma Proud with Cover of Country Hit on ‘American Idol’

18-year-old West Virginia native Kelsie Dolin brought her natural-born talent to Hollywood Week on American Idol and once again impressed…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

March 28, 2022


7:48 pm

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Kelsie Dolin; Photos via American Idol, YouTube

18-year-old West Virginia native Kelsie Dolin brought her natural-born talent to Hollywood Week on American Idol and once again impressed with her effortless vocal abilities. 

Dolin had the chance to sit down with American Idol alum and country star Lauren Alaina ahead of her performance. Before working on her song for Hollywood week, Dolin and Alaina re-watched her audition. 

“You made me cry,” Alaina confessed. 

“A lot has happened in the past couple of years, moving around, losing my Grandma… She was like my mom, she raised me,” Dolin shared. 


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A post shared by Kelsie Dolin (@officialkelsiedolin)

She went on to detail her insecurities and open up about feeling inferior to her peers. 

“I’m not really confident in myself, because growing up I guess I’ve always felt like I was on the back burner or like at Thanksgiving when you have turkey or mac and cheese, I guess other people are the main things and I’d be the mashed potatoes. No one really pays attention to them,” Dolin said.

Alaina then offered the contestant words of advice before she took to The Orpheum Theatre stage to perform in front of Idol judges, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. 

“Let’s practice, practice makes perfect,” Alaina told Dolin ahead of her performance. “You can sing and you will, go for it, girlfriend.”

“I’m terrified I’m going to freeze on stage,” Dolin admitted.


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A post shared by Kelsie Dolin (@officialkelsiedolin)

“I know it’s intimidating, I know it is so overwhelming, however, this show was created for Kelsies. You are what American Idol is all about,” Alaina gushed. “This is your moment, you get to decide who you are and what you’re going to be.”

After receiving some comforting words from Alaina, Dolin was welcomed to the stage by applause from her fellow Idol contestants, who also made it to Hollywood week. 

Upon entering into the spotlight on stage, Dolin was full of nerves, but was given a boost of confidence when Katy Perry shouted “You got it!” from the judges’ panel.

Kelsie Dolin, American Idol
Kelsie Dolin, American Idol

Wearing a hat and a flannel shirt, Dolin put her unique vocals on full display, performing a cover of Lainey Wilson’s chart-topping hit, “Things A Man Oughta Know.”

Her stunning performance earned a standing ovation from Richie, Perry and Bryan as well as dozens of other Idol hopefuls.

“I hope that made my grandma proud,” Dolin said after her performance.

YouTube video

Dolin previously brought Lionel Richie and Katy Perry to tears during her emotional Idol audition with covers of Kelly Clarkson and Adele.

At the time of her audition, which she said was a tribute to her late grandmother, Perry gushed over Dolin’s talent. 

“You are very special. You’re worth it and I hope that you can trust us,” Perry said. 

American Idol airs every Sunday and Monday at 8/7c EST 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.