"You have always been enough": Fans react as American Idol judges send autistic singer Sam Finelli to Hollywood

American Idol contestant Sam Finelli impressed  judges with his journey and music (Image via Instagram/samfinellimusic13 and americanidol)
American Idol contestant Sam Finelli impressed judges with his journey and music (Image via Instagram/samfinellimusic13 and americanidol)

American Idol Season 20 auditions continued in Nashville and explored a new set of talented singers and songwriters. The city has contributed a lot of talent to the show, with stars like Carie Underwood and Gabby Barrett having emerged out of it.

Sam Finelli, one of the contestants in Episode 3 of the show, impressed judges with his story of strength and determination and received a golden ticket to Hollywood. He was diagnosed with autism early on in his life, but his courage to audition for the show struck a chord with fans. One fan tweeted:

@AmericanIdol You are amazing Sam! You have always been enough. Take your gift and inspire the world- πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™

American Idol judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie judged the hopefuls and were elated at the incoming talent from Nashville. Contestants for this round of auditions include Tristen Gressett, Cadence Baker, Dontrell Briggs, and Abigail Brooks, among many others.

Fans cheer for American Idol contestant Sam Finelli

After listening to Sam Finelli's story, fans were emotional and applauded him for his audition.

@usatodaylife @AmericanIdol Sam!!! We LOVED your audition and we loved you! πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»
The ending of tonight’s @AmericanIdol had me in happy tears!! Sam was unbelievable 🀍 My husband watched, knows how special my Autistic students are to me. He said,β€œI just got a glimpse into what you feel, that was absolutely inspiring.” EXACTLY!! #AmericanIdol #inclusion
@AmericanIdol Sam you’re amazing 🀩 β€οΈπŸ“šπŸ₯°
@samfinellimusic Even though you have Autism you showed the world you could sing. Sam you really did well during the audition. Congratulations Sam you should have gotten the other ticket not gold. #AmericanIdol
Wow. Sam put me in tears. What a very inspirational story and song. He was singing from the heart. They really saved the best for last today. He deserved that standing ovation from the Judges. I believe his moment has finally come.#AmericanIdol #AmericanIdol2022 #Idol
Take NOTE AMERICA! #AmericanIdol Dreams can come true for people with autism and Sam is a prime example of it! CONGRATS SAM! I was in tears when I watched your audition and you were spectacular! I'll be cheering for you to make it to the top!
@AmericanIdol Thank you Sam your a Hero for so many Stand Strong πŸ’ͺ🏼 Love #AmericanIdol TeamSam
@AmericanIdol #AmericanIdol Sam know that you connected with us VERY well! Congrats on your accomplishment and enjoy the journey over the "Rainbow" -πŸŒˆπŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹

Sam Finelli shares his autism story, impresses judges with his audition

According to his mother, Suzie, Sam Finelli was diagnosed with autism at an early age. He has usually struggled to mingle with people and make friends. Music has been a great support and has helped him cope with life's difficulties.

At the American Idol auditions, a nervous Sam Finelli entered the room and opened up about his insecurities in dealing with autism.

"I kind of shy away from singing with people. I'm gonna be honest with y'all. I never thought I would be here in a million years."

In a confessional. the contestant shared his journey and said:

"I don't like talking about it usually, but I was always different as a kid. I was always, um, I don't connect with people very well, it's just a small part of who I am. It's not all of who I am. So it was lonely growing up, but music was like my best friend."

The American Idol contestant performed Rainbow by Kacey Musgraves, a song which the judges felt aptly described his journey. Lionel Richie was emotional as he said:

β€œYou told us about your struggles. Now, you walk out here to American Idol with no other experience, and you have three judges giving you a standing ovation. I want you to know right now, we are so proud of you. Sam, you were born enough. What you consider your handicap is your gift. You understand me? You are enough.”

Katy Perry said:

β€œYou are 28, and the moment is now. All you have to do is let go of all that fear and negativity and always sing from your heart. That’s all you have to do, and that’s what you did just then. We felt that.”
The final ✨ π†πŽπ‹πƒπ„π π“πˆπ‚πŠπ„π“ ✨ of the night goes to Sam Finelli!#AmericanIdol

The next episode of American Idol has more talented singers and songwriters coming up and showcasing their performances to impress the judges. Viewers will have to tune in next week to see the next set of singers that make it to the Top 24 of the show.

American Idol airs every Sunday at 8.00 pm ET on ABC.

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Edited by Siddharth Satish
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