WATCH: Mike Parker Shocked By Generous Gift From Luke Bryan After Covering Morgan Wallen On ‘Idol’

Mike Parker returned to the American Idol stage on Monday evening and earned praise from the judges with his memorable…


Lauren Jo Black

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April 25, 2022

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Mike Parker, Luke Bryan; Photos by ABC, American Idol

Mike Parker returned to the American Idol stage on Monday evening and earned praise from the judges with his memorable Top 11 performance. 

With the evening dubbed “Judge’s Song Contest,” Parker was assigned to pick from one of the following songs: Morgan Wallen’s “Chasin’ You,” Diane Warren featuring Diane Warwick’s “Time Like This” and John Michael Montgomery’s “I Swear.”

Parker chose to sing Wallen’s fan-favorite tune, “Chasin’ You.”

“I saw a song that I was familiar with and that’s what grabbed me,” Parker shared of his song choice. 

Ahead of his performance, while chatting with Idol’s associate musical director, Justin Avery, and Idol’s vocal coach, India Carney, Parker further explained his decision to cover Wallen’s “Chasin’ You.” 

“I can relate to this song, I do, I do, just talking about a country boy doing country things, you know, railroad tracks and jumping in rivers. I think, I can really put my spin on ‘Chasin’ You,’” Parker said. 

The former carpenter went on to discuss his position as a black country artist and shared his hopes to contribute to the ongoing conversation about racism in country music. 

“Luke, he addressed racism in country music, which I appreciate, he said it’s going to take time and I want to be that person that brings two communities together, multiple communities together, and it is going to take time, but I’m here to speed that process up,” Parker promised. 

Joined by a full band and impressive production, Parker put his unique spin on the chart-topping hit.

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Following his performance, host Ryan Seacrest challenged him to guess which Idol judge picked the song for him to perform. 

“I do think my man Luke picked it,” Parker guessed, before Bryan shouted “it’s true baby!”

On top of delivering an exceptional performance, Parker also got the surprise of a lifetime from Bryan when he gifted him with the jacket he wore the previous evening. 

“I love you man,” Parker gushed.

Luke Bryan, Mike Parker; Photo by ABC, American Idol
Luke Bryan, Mike Parker; Photo by ABC, American Idol

Ultimately, his performance earned a standing ovation and praise from all three of the Idol judges.

“You did a great job, what I loved is that he did his own thing with it,” Bryan complimented. “Especially, it was like, your soulful version of certainly a Morgan Wallen song and that was what I was thinking, just being you in that moment with the song. Especially, your choices at the end! When you were rehearsing, you didn’t necessarily hit that note good, the falsetto moment, but you nailed it just then. So, great job!”

“First of all, let me just tell you, I loved the most important part of it, you made it your song. Number two, for the first time, I think you were crooning my man, I mean you were settled in on that and I love the vibe,” Richie gushed. ”You gave us show business, you gave us that attitude on the stage and that’s what’s so important to sell this career.”

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

“I’m just repeating what they said, listen, for me, you parked that car so nice, like just perfectly at the end. All I want to see.. I miss your cowboy hat,” Perry said. “The end was so soulful and it’s just such a wonderful hybrid of like country and soul and it’s your own stamp.”

With a record-breaking 19 million votes cast for the Top 10, Parker 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

Written by

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.