A Look Back On Huntergirl’s Historic ‘American Idol’ Journey

Huntergirl; Photos by ABC, American Idol
Huntergirl; Photos by ABC, American Idol
Huntergirl; Photos by ABC, American Idol

From the moment American Idol viewers first met Huntergirl, it was clear that she was going to go far in the competition. From her undeniable country vocals to her charming personality, Huntergirl has everything it takes to become the next American Idol.

The Tennessee native has been a standout contestant throughout the 20th season of the show. After she auditioned with a cover of Rascal Flatts’ “Riot,” Huntergirl was deemed a “new age Miranda Lambert” by Luke Bryan.

Huntergirl; Photo by Eric McCandless, American Idol
Huntergirl; Photo by Eric McCandless, American Idol

“It’s my fifth year doing this and that is my favorite female country voice I’ve heard in five years,” Bryan gushed following her audition. 

Huntergirl was the first-ever contestant to earn the coveted Platinum ticket when she had the opportunity to perform at Luke Bryan’s 32 Bridge in Downtown Nashville. 

Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, Huntergirl - American Idol; Photo via Instagram
Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, Huntergirl – American Idol; Photo via Instagram

After taking the stage to perform Lambert’s “Bluebird,” Huntergirl received the surprise of a lifetime when the judges awarded her with a platinum ticket. 

“This not only means you get to go to Hollywood, but you get to relax for one day, rest your voice and size up the competition and figure out how to become the next American Idol,” Katy Perry explained. 

Throughout the season, the Platinum ticket recipient covered songs like Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” Ashley McBryde’s “Girl Goin’ Nowhere,” Rascal Flatts’ “Banjo” and Miranda Lambert’s “Vice.”

Huntergirl; Photo Courtesy ABC, American Idol
Huntergirl; Photo Courtesy ABC, American Idol

For her Top 20 performance, Huntergirl impressed the judges and viewers alike with an original track called “Heartbreak Down,” which is featured on her recently released EP, One Day.

“That is an original song. This is when you pull out those tricks because you are an artist. I put my money on you girl,” Katy Perry gushed. 

“If I had to find one word to kind of give you your place here, it’s [that] you’re a natural,” Richie added. “As a writer, I give you an A+ with that one because I’m singing the second verse and I realize, hold on wait a minute that’s an original. It’s that relatable. Luke said it right, enjoy the ride.”

Huntergirl; Photo via American Idol Instagram
Huntergirl; Photo via American Idol Instagram

With America continuing to vote her through the competition, Huntergirl later performed Sugarland’s “Baby Girl” as a dedication to her parents and proved her showmanship with a rousing rendition of Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5.”

HunterGirl went on to perform covers of “I See The Light,” a song from Disney’s Tangled, Tate McRae’s viral hit “You Broke Me First,” Lauren Alaina’s “Like My Mother Does,” Carrie Underwood’s “Undo It,” and Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush.”

Re-live Huntergirl’s American Idol journey below.

Rascal Flatts – “Riot”

Fleetwood Mac – “Dreams”

Ashley McBryde – “Girl Goin’ Nowhere”

Rascal Flatts – “Banjo”

Huntergirl – “Heartbreak Down”

Miranda Lambert – “Vice”

Sugarland – “Baby Girl”

Dolly Parton – “9 to 5”

Tangled Soundtrack, “I See The Light”

Tate McRae – “You Broke Me First”

Lauren Alaina – “Like My Mother Does”

Carrie Underwood – “Undo It”

Little Big Town – “Girl Crush”

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