Adam Sanders was the last contestant featured on the San Antonio portion of tonight’s episode of ‘American Idol’ (Jan. 30). The emotional 19-year-old Texan teared up more than once during his audition, but he managed to control the waterworks long enough to deliver an impressive version of ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’ by Etta James.

“I like to keep the soul thing going,” said Sanders before launching into the song. He was also sure to emphasize his undying love for ‘Idol’ judge Mariah Carey. Perhaps he should have foregone the teary introduction and let his amazing singing voice speak for itself. All four panelists – including Carey, Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson – were so impressed that they rose from their seats in an enthusiastic standing O.

“You came in here and wrecked the whole thing up … You shocked all of us, dog!” Jackson exclaimed. “You shocked the whole thing!” Minaj was stunned speechless, and Carey was so blown away that she had to sit back and throw her hands up in the air.

“Abso-freaking-lutely,” Urban confirmed when asked if the singer should move on to the next phase of ‘Idol.’ “That’s the way to audition!” Jackson called after him as he walked away.

“I got a standing ovation from one of my biggest idols, Mariah Carey, and that means the world to me,” Sanders proclaimed, proudly displaying his golden ticket to Hollywood.