HomeEntertainmentMusicWATCH: ’American Idol’s Huntergirl, Who Luke Bryan Compares to Miranda Lambert, Nails Ashley McBryde’s ‘Girl Goin’ Nowhere’

WATCH: ’American Idol’s Huntergirl, Who Luke Bryan Compares to Miranda Lambert, Nails Ashley McBryde’s ‘Girl Goin’ Nowhere’

by Leanne Stahulak
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ACM)

One of Luke Bryan’s favorite “American Idol” contestants, Huntergirl, just secured her spot in the Top 24 after crushing a performance of Ashley McBryde’s “Girl Goin’ Nowhere.”

During her “American Idol” audition, Bryan compared Huntergirl to Miranda Lambert, and he’s not wrong. Huntergirl has insane vocal control and sings with the clarity and purity most seasoned country singers strive for. The 23-year-old from Winchester, Tennessee, definitely has a bright music career ahead of her.

But first, we have to see how far she goes in the singing competition. Fifty-nine contestants, Huntergirl among them, competed in the Showstopper Round to see who would advance to the Top 24, per CountryNow. It was a no-brainer for the judges to send Huntergirl through.

‘American Idol’ Judges Say Huntergirl Could ‘Win It’ All

When Huntergirl started off her “American Idol” performance of Ashley McBryde’s “Girl Goin’ Nowhere,” the judges quickly gave their input.

“She’s the best country singer I’ve heard,” Luke Bryan told Katy Perry during the performance. When Huntergirl finished it out, Lionel Richie added, “She’s the real thing.”

During the performance, fans listened to clips from Huntergirl’s personal interviews with producers.

“You know there were so many times that I wanted to give up,” Huntergirl said, holding back tears. “Not thinking I was good enough. And someone told me I was. It meant a lot. I wouldn’t be here if people didn’t believe in me. And I thank God I’m on ‘American Idol.’ I’m finally feeling like I’m good enough.”

Later, Huntergirl added, “You need to have that full-circle moment. It’s like, ‘Hey, I wasn’t crazy for chasing after a dream.'”

After all 59 contestants performed in front of a live audience, the judges pulled them aside for individual judgments. When Huntergirl sat down, Luke Bryan quickly kicked things off by saying, “You just have all the magic. I can feel one million percent confident and Lionel can too and Katy can too. Katy, what’d you say?”

“If she plays her cards right, she could win it,” Perry said. Huntergirl quickly cut in with, “I love you, thank you. I’m gonna try.”

“Guess what? It’s up to America now, because you are officially in the Top 24,” Bryan continued.

“Oh my God, I’m so excited! Thank y’all so much,” Huntergirl said. She gave Bryan a hug before heading out.

After the “American Idol” episode aired, Huntergirl took to Instagram to share a special thank you message with her fans and supporters.

“YALL I MADE IT TO THE TOP 24!!” Huntergirl began. “I am so thankful for this opportunity. I have been doing music since I was 14, and that was almost 10 years ago. Every show I played, song I wrote, and music I was a part of led me to this moment. Thank you so much to everyone who has believed in me. It means so much to me and I appreciate all of you more than you know. I wouldn’t have gotten here without you guys. Thank you to my family for loving and supporting me. Most of all thank you to God for creating a plan for me greater than I could’ve ever imagined.”