On Monday night’s episode of American Idol, the judge panel met the competition’s first “Idol Baby”–a girl born on the day the show premiered in 2002. The big moment came halfway through the two-hour episode, when 15-year-old Victoria McQueen revealed that she barely made the cut for auditions by being born on June 11, 2002. “I’ve watched this on TV my whole life, and I can’t believe I’m here,” she told judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan before covering Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing.” While McQueen’s youth showed in her vocals, Katy told her she was a “queen” and handed her a golden ticket to Hollywood. It was also revealed on Monday’s episode that auditions for this season took place on Katy’s birthday. Contestant Cody Martin even earned a ticket to Hollywood by simply serenading her with the “Happy Birthday” song.
Meet Brandon Elder: According to his publicist, Elder was abandoned by his birth mother when he was 10 months old; rumor had it she traded her baby for a car. He was raised and adopted by his step-grandmother, Patricia Elder. When she became ill with cancer, Elder dropped out of Snead State Community College to become her full-time caregiver. She bought Elder his first guitar, and he would sing to ease her pain. After his adoptive mother died, Elder wrote “Gone” to honor her memory.