HunterGirl Reunites With ‘American Idol’ Judge, Luke Bryan, In Las Vegas

The former ‘Idol’ contestant recently got to see Luke Bryan in action when she attended his Las Vegas Residency.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

February 6, 2023


10:31 am

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HunterGirl, Luke Bryan; Photo Courtesy HunterGirl

Over the weekend, HunterGirl took a break from building her flourishing music career to visit her former American Idol judge, Luke Bryan, in Las Vegas. The rising country star took to Instagram to share the moment they got to reconnect in Sin City, where she attended one of his shows as part of his headlining residency at Resorts World.

The two artists smiled big as they posed together in the photo shared on social media. Bryan wore an all-black ensemble while HunterGirl was decked out in a rhinestone-studded jean jacket, rhinestone fringe skirt, and blinged-out cowboy boots. 

Her caption read, “Look who I ran into in Vegas last night 🤠! Thank you so much for letting me come see your show at Resorts World. It was an incredible show, and I had so much fun! 🙌🏻”

In September 2022, the five-time Entertainer of the Year announced that he would be making a return to Luke Bryan: Vegas at Resorts World Theatre.

“I love doing these headlining shows in Vegas because the intimate room at Resorts World allows me to really connect to the crowd in such a different way,” says Luke. “Sitting at the piano each night has become one of my favorite moments in the show.”

Bryan will continue to show off his impressive stage presence in Vegas for three more nights in February. He will later return for several more dates in March and April.

At the start of her Idol  journey, HunterGirl impressed the panel of judges with a cover of Rascal Flatts’ “Riot.”  After earning a standing ovation from earned a standing ovation from Katy PerryLuke Bryan and Lionel Richie, she walked away with a golden ticket. During her audition, Bryan even compared her to female country superstar, Miranda Lambert. 

“I wrote Top 10 on my sheet… It’s like a new age Miranda Lambert deal going on,” the “Country On” singer shared at the time. “It’s my fifth year doing this and that is my favorite female country voice I’ve heard in five years.”

Lucky for her, the golden ticket wasn’t enough. The judges were so in tune with what she brought to the table that they surprised her with the coveted Platinum ticket after the Nashville auditions. Their predictions turned out to be accurate as HunterGirl went on to earn the title of the Season 20 runner-up.

Leah Marlene, Noah Thompson, HunterGirl; Photo by ABC American Idol
Leah Marlene, Noah Thompson, HunterGirl; Photo by ABC American Idol

She previously revealed that having Bryan there to support her and the other contestants throughout the grueling competition was truly a driving force that got her to the very end. 

“Getting to have Luke there to cheer me on meant everything. I’ve looked up to him since I was a little girl,” she shared.

“There were moments when you are down, worried, or scared. We’re learning songs on the fly with a band, then we’re on TV. I do remember [during Contestant’s Choice week] I was really nervous and scared about getting the songs right. It was just a lot,” she continued. “[For finale week] we were running on no sleep to get everything done. It has been a nerve-wracking experience. It was cool to get to this point because I didn’t think I would make it past the Nashville audition.” 

Since her time on the show has come to an end, HunterGirl has kept the ball rolling by releasing several new songs such as “Red Bird,” “Hometown Out Of Me,” and her EP, “One Day.”

YouTube video

She also had the chance to further her connection with listeners when she hit the road for a co-headlining tour with Idol winner, Noah Thompson. 

The trek kicked off Thursday, October 27 in Columbus, Ohio, and continued through December 2, where they wrapped up in St Louis, MO at The Hawthorn.

HunterGirl already has a slew of performances lined up for the year. She is next slated to appear at Brillion, WI on February 10.

As for Luke Bryan, once he wraps up the extended Las Vegas residency, he will hit the road for his summer headlining trek. The Country On Tour is set to kick off on June 15 in Syracuse, New York, and will visit 36 cities across the U.S. with stops in major markets like Philadelphia, Denver, Nashville, Orlando, Charlotte, Raleigh, and more.

Chayce Beckham, Tyler Braden, Ashley Cooke, Jackson Dean, Jon Langston, Conner Smith, Alana Springsteen, and Hailey Whitters will join Bryan on the run alongside DJ Rock. 

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.