Daughter Of Former “American Idol” Finalist Auditions For Show

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American Idol premiered on Fox in 2002. Kelly Clarkson won the show’s first season, making her an instant superstar.

Over the years, Idol has served as the launchpad for other successful singers such as Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Scotty McCreery, and Adam Lambert.

The original Fox version of Idol ended in 2016. After a brief hiatus, the show was revived on ABC in 2018, and has been on the network ever since.


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A new season of Idol premiered in February 2023. As proof of how long the show’s been on the air, one contestant who auditioned was actually BORN while he father auditioned for Season 6.

Phil Stacey got the news the morning of his audition that his wife had just given birth to their second child, a daughter. That was quite the way to kick off his Idol journey! He ended up becoming a Top 6 finalist.

Now, the baby girl who was born when Phil auditioned for the show is 16 years old. Her name is McKayla, and she’s a singer just like her father.

McKayla came to Idol to audition for its newest season. She had the support of her father and of original Idol judge Paula Abdul, who surprised Phil and McKayla with a video call before McKayla’s audition.

The judges were charmed by McKayla’s story, and were anxious to hear her sing. She performed a rendition of “She Used to Be Mine” by Sara Bareilles. Phil accompanied her on piano during her performance.

The judges loved the sound of McKayla’s voice, but could hear her inexperience when she sang. Lionel Richie offered her some advice on how to better connect to her performance on an emotional level. Both Luke Bryan and Katy Perry felt like her verses were weaker, and that she sang like a scared teenager…which rightfully so, she is!

Luke ended up voting “no,” saying he thinks she’s still a little too young. Lionel felt like she was worth taking a gamble on, so he voted “yes.” That left Katy, who gave her the second “yes” she needed to advance to Hollywood.


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Before she gave McKayla her “yes” vote, Katy said she felt like she was “born for a moment like this.” That’s certainly true!

Watch McKayla’s Idol audition below. Time will tell if she follows in her dad’s footsteps and becomes a finalist herself.