Huntergirl Hopes To Make Dolly Parton Proud with ‘9 To 5’ Performance On ‘American Idol’

Huntergirl covered an iconic Dolly Parton song on American Idol on Monday evening and her performance got Luke Bryan out…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

April 25, 2022


10:41 pm

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Huntergirl; Photo by ABC, American Idol

Huntergirl covered an iconic Dolly Parton song on American Idol on Monday evening and her performance got Luke Bryan out of his chair shaking his hips.

When given the task to choose from three songs that the Idol judges handpicked for her, including Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5,” Parton’s “Here You Come Again,” The Chicks’ “Wide Open Spaces,” Huntergirl chose her fellow East Tennessee native’s “9 to 5.”

“I don’t know which one I’m going to pick yet, it’s a hard choice,” the contestant admitted. “They picked three great songs, and now I’m just like ‘oh my gosh, which child is my favorite?’ When the judges picked two Dolly Parton songs, I was like okay, I think they want me to do a Dolly song.”

Ahead of her performance, while chatting with Idol’s associate musical director, Justin Avery, and Idol’s vocal coach, India Carney, Huntergirl shared why she chose Parton’s “9 to 5.”

“It’s more like 6 AM to 9 PM, for me right now,” Huntergirl joked, before explaining her decision. 

“When I was a little girl, I grew up in East Tennessee, so I listen to her all the time. So were my grandparents, every time I went in the house, they were listening to Dolly Parton.”

The music therapist, who often works with veterans, admitted that singing the song would be a bit of a challenge for her. 

“I’m going to be breathing hard after this one, maybe I could hit some notes that I never thought I could before, challenge myself a whole lot and I just want to make Dolly proud with this song,” she shared. 

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Following her performance of the iconic country hit, host Ryan Seacrest challenged her to guess which Idol judge picked the song for her to perform.

“I thought Lionel picked this one, I thought it’d be funky and fun and we’d all have a good time,” Huntergirl guessed, before Richie revealed he was not the one who choose that song. 

It was then revealed that Luke Bryan chose the song and he celebrated her choice with a dance from the judges’ panel before allowing Lionel Richie and Katy Perry comment on her performance.

Huntergirl; Photo by ABC, American Idol
Huntergirl; Photo by ABC, American Idol

“‘Here we come again’ that was me,” Richie shared. “Your performance was absolutely amazing!”

“You know you took my advice from last night about the stage presence and you interacted with those background vocalists. I mean, that was great, you showed me there’s more. There’s more sparkle, just add rhinestones girl, you embody Dolly,” Perry complimented. 

With a record-breaking 19 million votes cast for the Top 10, Huntergirl ultimately advanced to the next round.
American Idol airs every Sunday and Monday at 8/7c on ABC.

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.