'American Idol' Contestant Gets Group Hug from All Three Judges After Performance

It's impossible to deny that Marcio Donaldson had the most stunning performance on American Idol Sunday night.

The 28-year-old's performance of "Inseparable" by Natalie Cole on the ABC singing show made such an impact on judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan that the trio all walked over to him to give him a hug.

Tears streaming down his face, Donaldson looked in disbelief as Bryan praised him for his “world-class performance.”

“To see Lionel so fired up, and when you’re singing to hear what he’s whispering to us is so inspiring,” the country star said. “I got one word, man, you’re a survivor. You keep surviving this competition and you just — you just delivered us a world-class performance. I mean world-class.”

Following Bryan's praise, Perry grabbed hold of Richie's wrist and walked towards Donaldson. Bryan soon followed, and the trio embraced the sobbing singer in a sweet group hug.

In the past, Donaldson revealed that his desire to win the competition isn't for himself, but for Rashaad — the 6-month-old baby boy he adopted after authorities stepped in due to his sister’s drug abuse issues.

At his audition, the Compton, California resident native dedicated his performance to the baby, recalling what it was like for him to step up and be a father in order to break his family's cycle of being in the foster system.

“I didn’t want him to go through what I went through,” Donaldson tearfully told the camera. “I had no idea what I was doing, but actually he’s a real gift. And it was the right decision, I know. He’s changed my life.”

Fans agreed with the judges about Donaldson, and sounded off about the powerful performance on Twitter:


American Idol airs on Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Photo credit: ABC