Mike Parker and Jimmie Allen Create Tight Bond After Sharing Tear-Filled Moments on ‘American Idol’

ABC’s American Idol returned on Sunday evening with performances from the Top 24, who were vying for America’s vote for…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

April 10, 2022


10:12 pm

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Jimmie Allen, Mike Parker; Photo Courtesy ABC, American Idol

ABC’s American Idol returned on Sunday evening with performances from the Top 24, who were vying for America’s vote for the first time ever. Contestant Mike Parker has endured an emotional Idol journey so far and his experience during this round was no different. 

After auditioning for the show with a cover of Deana Carter’s “Strawberry Wine,” Parker has continued to pursue country music and admitted that Luke Bryan telling him he was a country singer lit a fire in him to keep on his country path. 

Mike Parker; Photo Courtesy ABC, American Idol
Mike Parker; Photo Courtesy ABC, American Idol

Parker emotionally explained how Idol mentor Jimmie Allen inspired his career and was thrilled over the opportunity to meet him. 

The Virginia native’s song choice was Jimmie Allen’s “Best Shot.” 

“That song… I was the first black country artist with a No. 1 debut single,” Allen told him. “To have you singing that song right now is so dope.”

The pair bonded over their experiences as Allen told him, “To hear you tell me that I’m an inspiration just proves this is all worth it.” 

“He made me feel like there is a spot for me in country music,” Parker added. 

As Allen watched from the front row, Parker confidently made his way around the stage and said this moment was “another dream” that came true for him.

Allen was overcome with emotions following the performance. 

“For him to tell me that I mean to him what Charley Pride meant to me is more than I could’ve asked for, so thank you,” Allen said as tears steamed down his cheek. ”And thank you for continuing what me, Charley, Mickey [Guyton], Kane [Brown], and Darius [Rucker] want to see in this genre of music. So, thank you.”

The Idol judges also praised Mike Parker’s performance. 

“Thank you for making me not have to judge,” Luke Bryan said. “I got to sit back and really watch what we’ve kind of been telling you start coming altogether. Then to see that he’s inspiring you and you guys get to meet. I mean, what a great moment you just had on stage. I could just enjoy the birth of you as an artist.” 

Mike Parker; Photo Courtesy ABC, American Idol
Mike Parker; Photo Courtesy ABC, American Idol

“I kept flashing back and forth between what you were just experiencing and what I experienced. One of those guys in my life showed up, it was Kenny Rogers,” Lionel Richie recalled. “I was in the audience, he was on stage singing my song and so I just kept watching the two of you interact, and I said ‘there’s his Kenny.’ You know, because you were in the mindset and having that guy you cherish the most says it all.” 

“Mike, I really think that this experience has helped you arrive. Finally, I think you have landed because it was all the things we’ve been saying all season long… all the ingredients were in that song. I also agree with Luke, it’s all coming together,” Perry added.

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To vote for Mike Parker visit AmericanIdol.com/Vote or Text 7 to 21523.

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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 Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. 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.