Honoring his late grandfather, 22-year-old Paul Jolley auditioned for Season 12 of 'American Idol' by singing the Rascal Flatts hit 'I Won't Let Go,' wowing the judges with his polished vocal skills and genuine spirit.

Jolley spoke movingly of his grandfather, who was a First Sergeant. "He was such a good role model, because he taught me to take things out back -- go in your music room, woodshed it yourself and get it right," he said.

He performed the song with a combination of passion and polish that universally impressed the judges.

"I like it a lot," Nicki Minaj said. "I like your vibe."

Mariah Carey concurred, saying, "I know that people are gonna love you."

Keith Urban was equally enthusiastic. "It was a great, crafted vocal performance," he gushed. And after all four judges voted him through to Hollywood, Jolley's family reacted with tears. "This is for Jewel," his grandmother whispered in tribute to her departed husband.

"I'm just so thankful," Jolley told Ryan Seacrest. "It's a blessing."

Watch Paul Jolley Perform 'I Won't Let Go'