Ahead of his performance, the Tennessee native sat down with American Idol alum Gabby Barrett, who returned to the show to offer the Top 14 contestants advice.
“Oh my God, you’re a serious country artist, cowboy boots on… Stamped a country artist,” Barrett said of Parker, who was wearing brown boots during their first meeting.
After Parker told her he had plans to sing “Hurricane,” Barret joked, “Oh, you got some boots to fill, boy!”
Barrett then offered Parker advice, encouraging him to move around on stage and to be more aware of his facial expressions.
“When I get up on that stage, I’m going to open my eyes and do my best to win America back,” Mike Parker declared.
His performance of Combs’ chart-topping debut single earned praise from the Idol judges and showcased his confident stage presence.
“Okay Mike, Okay, that was your stage. You made that stage yours,” Katy Perry said. “You were singing, that was some authentic country, soul… I was locked in on that, you were feeling it, that was your stage.”
“I was so into that,” Luke Bryan told Parker, referencing his stage presence. “Mike, that performance showed me you’re a fighter. You’re out here fightin’, you know, to come from last week to battle back and then have this performance. I mean, way to show up and show America you’re here to play.”
“That is the way you were supposed to be, come get us, we’re the audience right?” Lionel Richie said. “You did it, you killed it and what I’m loving the most is your storytelling… That storytelling voice you have, more of it, more of it. Relax and enjoy it, it’s your stage.”
Mike Parker’s performance ultimately secured him a place in the Top 11. American Idol returns on Monday, April 25 at 8/7c on ABC.