Contestant Who Fled the Congo Gets a Second Chance at Being the Next American Idol

Ron Bultongez is chasing his dreams, one song at a time.

In an exclusive clip of Sunday’s new episode of American Idol, the 21-year-old contestant who escaped the Congo at a young age reveals his most recent challenge.

“To be here on American Idol right now, the third day of Hollywood week, a little kid from the Congo, it doesn’t sound real,” he says. “I  recently became the guardian of my two younger brothers. They were in a pretty bad situation.”

Continues Bultongez, “So I decided to step up and be the man, the brother that they needed in their life — probably one of the biggest responsibilities I’ve taken on and that’s given me more fire to come perform my best here.”

During his first audition, Bultongez won the hearts of viewers when he performed his own rendition of James Bay’s “Let It Go.”

But it wasn’t enough for the judges — at first.

“I think that I don’t know who you are yet,” judge Katy Perry told him. “I know about your story and I respect your story and I think it’s beautiful and inspiring but sometimes you have to separate the story from what we’re really looking for. I think you were really goo at doing that imitation but I don’t know who you are at all.”

Initially, with only one “yes” from Luke Bryan, Bultongez didn’t make it to Hollywood Week. But, Lionel Richie quickly had a change of heart and decided to put him through.

Now, the singer and father of one is focused on one thing — bettering the life of his family.

RELATED: Scotty McCreery on Former American Idol Judge J.Lo: ‘She’s So Normal But She’s So Cool’

“Tonight is for my family — my son, my brothers, for me to be able to provide them the life that they deserve,” he adds. “If I go through, we all go through.”

American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.






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