Tristan McIntosh Gets Ticket to Hollywood, Also THIS Huge Surprise

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You got us again, American Idol.

We're well aware of how you stage and sort of manipulate certain situations during initial audition episodes in order to tug at the heartstrings of viewers...

... but darn if that still doesn't work sometimes. 

And the audition of Tristan McIntosh was one of those times.

Only 15 years old, McIntosh tried out in front of Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr.

Guitar in hand, she put on an impressive performance of Mickey Guyton’s “Why Baby Why," one that earned her a ticket to Hollywood.

Before doing so, however, McIntosh told the panelists about the one family member who could not be there to support her at that time.

Her mother is a Major in the army and she was all set to retire ... before she was called up to serve as a hero in the Middle East.

“It’s just a really weird feeling she’s not here for something of this magnitude,” said the 15-year-old. “I just want to make my mom proud, she’s sacrificed so much.”

Connick Jr. then read an emotional email from Tristan's mother, but the emotion got turned up far more when the parent came out and surprised her daughter right then and there!

"Do you think I would miss this for the world?” mother told her sobbing child.

And that's when we started sobbing, too. So did Urban and Lopez.

Check out the full audition below and then also take a look at Tristan's competition. We must say, Olivia Rox looks awfully tough to beat.

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Brooke White's tears come from the authentic, good soul that she is. Her heart was breaking because she was overwhelmed with the experience she had with the show and the gift that it brought.

Paula Abdul [after Brooke White was eliminated on season seven]

I read some of this online this morning and just for the record, the rumors — they’re not true. She’s part of our family and we love her.

Ryan Seacrest [on rumor of Paula Abdul being drunk on the show]