burnell-taylor

*Randy Jackson called the audition the best he’s seen so far this season. Mariah Carey wiped away tears and joined Randy and Keith Urban in a standing ovation – all for Hurricane Katrina survivor Burnell Taylor.

The 19-year-old unemployed New Orleans native – who lost everything during the storm and moved with his family to Baton Rouge in the aftermath – took the stage at the Baton Rouge auditions of “American Idol” and delivered an emotional rendition of  Fantasia’s “I’m Here” from Broadway’s “The Color Purple” to close Thursday night’s episode.

“All I can say is somewhere there’s a spotlight right now just waiting for you to walk into it,” Keith Urban said.

“That is what we came for,” Minaj said. “I feel like we’ve been flying all around this country for that. That thing that can’t even be put into words. That thing that gives everybody chills and goosebumps. I’m so happy you did that because that wasn’t even an audition, that was just entertainment for us.”

Watch Burnell’s performance below.