"Your story is everything, and your talent, it just supersedes all," Katy Perry told Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon
The 26-year-old contestant from Maryland wowed the American Idol judge, 34, with his stirring rendition of Elton John‘s 1975 hit “We All Fall in Love Sometimes.”
Perry broke down in tears during Harmon’s performance, not only because of his singing talents that proved he should be in the top 14, but also because of his perseverance to be his authentic self despite his parents, who haven’t accepted his sexuality.
“Me and my family are in a better place and things are looking up,” Harmon said in an update on his relationship after revealing two weeks ago that “my parents still have not been able to accept me being gay.”
After his emotional performance, Perry was seen wiping the tears from her eyes before giving Harmon some words of encouragement.
“I’m a mess a little bit. I’m just so proud,” she said.
“I’m just so glad because you’re such a gift. You’re a light to the world. Your story is everything, and your talent, it just supersedes all, and just, I mean, I’m so proud of you,” the 13-time Grammy nominee added.
And Perry was not the only judge who became teary-eyed.
Harmon has been very open about his personal life since his audition in New York.
RELATED: Katy Perry Reveals Her Favorite American Idol Contestant During All-Star Duet Episode
Ahead of his performance in Hawaii — where each contestant in the top 40 performed in front of a live crowd — Harmon told guest host Bobby Bones that he chose Fleetwood Mac‘s “Landslide” because of his emotional connection to the song.
“I remember one day after having a tough conversation with my parents, I went to bed that night and listened to that song and really connected to it,” Harmon said. “I want my parents to know that I love them no matter what and that I’m sorry for disappointing them and not turning out to be everything that they dreamed of.”
Following his performance, he told the judges: “I was going to dedicate that song to my mom and dad. They were on my mind when I sang that. I just want them to know that I love them and I tried to communicate that.”
Perry and Harmon share a similar upbringing as the pop star previously noted they come from religious families.
“Look, you’re a pastor’s kid, I’m a pastor’s kid — we have a lot in common,” Perry told Harmon. “I don’t know about you, but for me, I was always being watched. Then I started to find my true voice,” she said in Hawaii.
“Can you imagine when my first single was ‘I Kissed a Girl’ and my parents, how they reacted? It was difficult for me because I felt very alone in what is supposed to be a very exciting time in my life,” Perry continued. “It has taken some time, but we’ve all come around to agree to disagree. I just want to say from one pastor’s kid to another that I see you and I love you and I accept you and I’m so proud of you.”
American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.