updated 01/31/2014 AT 3:00 AM ET
•originally published 01/31/2014 AT 7:45 AM ET
Referring to the popular ’70s and ’80s country singer and TV star, Connick told Tessa Kate, a 25-year-old from Branson, Mo., that she had the same timeless “vibe.”
Kate sang “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash and although Jennifer Lopez said the guitar-playing performer “almost went into chipmunk territory” with her high-pitched notes, Keith Urban said, “You’ve got your own lane.”
Air Force band specialist Paula Hunt, 20, certainly had her own lane. Singing an elegant, natural version of Etta James’s “All I Could Do Was Cry,” Hunt did just that after earning a golden ticket and sharing the emotional story of her mother’s diagnosis with multiple sclerosis, which robbed her of her voice.
“She didn’t get to do this, so I m here for her,” a teary Hunt told the judges. “I get to finish what she started.”
“You just made her real proud,” said Connick.
“I’m so proud of my baby,” her mother said. “I can’t sing anymore my children sing for me.”
And 21-year-old Quaid Edwards sang for his mom, too.
“I feel like I’m rekindling her dream,” the University of Nebraska senior said about his mother, Jolie Edwards, former lead singer of the country band Jolie & the Wanted, which used to play alongside Urban.