A Compton, California, native is setting his sights for success on American Idol not just for himself, but also for Rashaad, his sister’s baby whom he now calls his own.
Marcio Donaldson, 28, returned to the Idol audition stage on Monday’s episode after trying out in season 15, this time with the purpose of going to Hollywood with the 6-month-old baby boy he adopted after authorities stepped in due to his sister’s substance abuse.
Donaldson recalled having to step up to care for little Rashaad to set a strong example for the child and to break the cycle of their family’s history of being in the foster system.
“I didn’t want him to go through what I went through,” Donaldson tearfully told viewers. “I had no idea what I was doing, but actually he’s a real gift. And it was the right decision, I know. He’s changed my life.”
As judge Luke Bryan cradled Rashaad in his arms, Donaldson told the panel, including Lionel Richie and Katy Perry, “I want to give him a better life,” before giving an emotional rendition of Labrinth’s 2014 single “Jealous.”
The moving lyrics were even more gripping as Donaldson sang and pointed directly to his son who was laughing and smiling back to him.
As tears streamed down his face, Donaldson received three consecutive nods from the judges with Bryan handing the golden ticket to Rashaad in celebration. “Daddy’s going to work,” the proud parent said to his infant son.
“God bless you for being an incredible, standup man. You’re an incredible example,” Perry praised Donaldson.
American Idol airs on Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.