Despite Danica Steakley's solid performance of Hank Williams' "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love With You)," American Idol judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan didn't give her a golden ticket to Hollywood. The 17 year old from Gulfport, Mississippi took rejection and constructive criticism in stride, which is the right attitude for anyone in a creative field.
Her dad and acoustic guitarist, 73-year-old Dan Steakley (or, as Bryan calls him, Lieutenant Dan), was less willing to stick around and talk to host Ryan Seacrest about ways Danica can improve her chances to compete on a grand stage.
The segment from Sunday night's season premiere of ABC's singing competition ends with Dan claiming he'll take his daughter's talents to rival network NBC's The Voice.
Before things got heated, Perry gave the young contestant a thumbs up, while Richie and Bryan agreed that she needs to go out and play gigs after the pandemic ends to overcome what they perceive as a lack of experience.
— Luke Bryan (@LukeBryanOnline) February 15, 2021
Bryan has since took to Twitter, joking that he hopes Dan knows multiple songs by The Voice judge Blake Shelton.
Other American Idol auditions of note include those of Grace Kinstler, who made Bryan cry instead of laugh while belting out Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman," plus TikTok star Benson Boone and famous daughter and Adele fan Claudia Conway.
For country fans, the best talent to make it out of the audition room Hollywood-bound has to be Kentucky-born teenager Alex Miller. The 17 year old performed an original song he wrote for an ex-girlfriend, "I'm Over You, So Get Over Me."