DJ Johnson Breaks Down Mid-Song With Emotional American Idol Audition

DJ Johnson Breaks Down Mid-Song With Emotional American Idol Audition

Grab some tissues, because when DJ Johnson breaks down mid-song in her emotional American Idol audition, you’ll feel your heartbreaking, too.

If you’ve ever been a mom, loved a mom, or, God forbid, been abandoned by a mom...this video is a hand to hold as you let the tears flow.

With an utterly riveting piano performance of her original song “Scars,” this 18-year-old from Longview, Texas gives American Idol judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan a look into her soul that has them all crying with her.

As she centers herself for the interview preceding her song, DJ tells Lionel Richie, “I’m one of ten. I’m number 6. We’re all musically-inclined; we all get it from my dad. He was a worship leader, and me and him used to sing together. Up until last year.”

At this point, the room goes silent as she struggles to continue. DJ collects herself and adds, “Our mom left. One day she just walked out.”

You’ll see sweet snapshots of DJ as a little girl growing up, and she opens up about her emotional battle that has led to the scars she now sings about to help others through their pain.

She tells American Idol, “Growing up I did want a relationship with my mom. I just remember wanting her to be there. And she wasn’t. The way she would say’re not good enough...try to be somebody else.”

DJ explains that she would sing, but her mom always made her feel she was worthless. She admits it was hard to not believe her criticisms, and DJ started hating music—and even herself.

It took the shock of her mom leaving to break DJ’s fear, and refuel her desire to sing without condemnation. As she holds her Dad’s hand on a sunny bench outside the American Idol audition venue, DJ expresses, “My Dad has been there, and he helps me all the time.”

In turn, proud papa offers, “I’m very proud of my daughter. I’m so thankful that she decided to do this.” Locking eyes with his daughter, Dad lets her know, “You’re my hero.”

To dad and daughter, this audition is proof that DJ is overcoming her fears, and that she is indeed a strong talent. Strong enough to write from the heart, and share the story of her scars.

Her voice is full, rich, and so very real. As she pulls you through the first verses of her original song, “Scars,” you can’t help but cry along with the judges and her.

Handwritten lyrics to her haunting melody include:

How could I have been so blind
We all see through you and your lies
How could a mother be okay, leaving scars on her children?
How could a woman be okay, leaving her husband heartbroken?

Then DJ is overcome.

With extraordinary grace, the panel of judges drop all pretense...and honor DJ’s sobs with presence and tenderness. Lionel gets up almost immediately to offer her his “magic handkerchief.” Then the team has the compassionate idea to bring in dad for moral support. Now DJ can get through her audition.

Dad’s hug is the turning point.

Lionel reassures DJ, “nothin’ like Daddy’s hug.” And Katy adds knowingly, “I think she needs to finish that song.”

With Dad standing by, DJ picks up her countenance, her fingers, and her tell the world: I know your pain, and I’m singing anyway.

DJ welcomes you into the reality of pain in this world, as she does sing all the way through to her closing lines, “I”ve heard that time heals all wounds. Well, I’m losing patience and I’m confused. I’m tired of this pain that keeps bringing up your name.”

She leaves us all with the question: “How could a mother be okay, leaving scars on her children?”

After the final note, Lionel slowly shares kind wisdom with DJ , “We have a journey in life. We don’t choose it. Things happen. Your dad, thank God, is your rock. Something coming undone in the family is the most traumatic thing you’ll ever experience in your life. That message in that song is a hit record. Your delivery was completely honest, to the point got us crying up here. Please look at it as just a step forward. It’s going to be okay. There are a lot of people watching you tonight that are going to relate exactly to your story.”

The judges agree, they’re happy DJ has an outlet for her remarkable talent.

Katie reminds DJ, “Some of the greatest artists have become artists because they have had the most pain in their life.” And then Katy has to catch her breath. She’s able to finally add, “It’s about if you can take that pain and turn it into a purpose.”

So, do the judges vote “yes” for this teen with a heart for truth? Watch the video to find out. And remember...tissues, please.

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

Related Videos