Aspiring country singer Micah Johnson was dealt a setback in his dreams of going pro on 'American Idol' Thursday night (Feb. 7). The 24-year-old performer washed out of Hollywood Week after singing the Randy Travis classic 'I Told You So.'

Johnson astonished the judges at his audition with a note-perfect rendition of Zac Brown Band‘s ‘Chicken Fried’ that was all the more remarkable for the fact that his voice had been damaged by a mistake during a routine tonsillectomy. Mariah Carey was visibly affected, telling Johnson,  “I was moved by your story, but even if you didn’t have that story, I would have been moved by your voice."

But she was less impressed with the singer on Thursday night. He imbued the country song with an interesting, soulful vibe, but Carey said she wished he'd done something more with the performance. It was her job to deliver the bad news.

"We all know how talented you are, but for this round, it's not gonna work," she told Johnson gently.

The singer took the news bravely. "Of course I'm sad," he admitted. "But there's always next year."

Watch Micah Johnson Sing Randy Travis