Everyone knows it’s not polite to ask a woman if she’s pregnant. But on Sunday night’s (March 20) American Idol audition special from Los Angeles’ famed Sunset Strip, new mom Katy Perry couldn’t help herself when 23-year-old Iowa native Haley Slaton walked out for her chance to shine.
“Tell me a a bit about yourself, I don’t want to assume anything,” said Perry as she gazed at Slaton, who was pointedly cradling her belly. “I’m five-and-a-half months pregnant,” Haley smiled as Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan all re-affirmed that you “never” assume anything. “No, you’re totally fine,” Haley promised them. “It’s definitely a baby,” she added, while standing sideways to confirm what they already suspected.
In a pre-taped package, Slaton said being on he show preggers is no big deal for her — while also revealing that she’s picked out a cute boy name — because she’s been singing in church since she was three-years-old. “Just being a mom shouldn’t stop you from following your dreams,” she said after her own mom offered up some loving support.
“I really want to show him to never stop chasing his dreams in the future… never give up on your dreams, mommy went and chased hers,” she said. The temp agency worker — who Perry reminded viewers could have a baby while she’s on the show — set out to wow the judges by singing Miley Cyrus’ signature 2009 power ballad “The Climb.”
With a clear, strong voice and a confident delivery, Slaton seemed to nailing it as she reached for high notes while placing her hand on her bump. “Can you hit that note,” Perry asked her about one of the trickier high bits in the tune, which Slaton then pulled off flawlessly twice in a row.
Perry liked Slaton’s rasp and thought there was “a lot there” even as Bryan said it wasn’t “a perfect audition,” pointing out some “amateur moments,” then wondering if Slaton would be able to consistently replicate the better portions. Perry recalled that she had to drop some notes d0wn during her pregnancy, sympathizing with Slaton seemingly stretching to reach her higher range.
“I think there’s a lot there.. I am worried. It’s a lot, it’s a lot, it’s a lot… we are unsure,” Perry said, challenging the mom-to-be to fight for her spot. Undaunted, the singer agreed to do a second song, Adele’s “One and Only.”
“Fight for it… you’re fighting for your son, your future, your voice to be heard,” Perry counseled her.
And just like that, Slaton proved she had plenty of soul in the tank, drawing smiles and whoops of support from the panel with her joyful, golden ticket-worthy, run through the big-voiced deep track from Adele’s 21 album.
Watch Slaton’s audition below.