Luke Bryan might have found his favorite contestant of American Idol Season 20! The country singer was left speechless after Hunter Wolkonowski, also known as HunterGirl, sang Rascal Flatts' "Riot." After hearing the contestant sing, Bryan immediately stood up and began running circles around her, as Lionel Richie kept repeating, "Take the lap, Luke!"
Katy Perry, who was also stunned by the performance, said "Hunter, your voice cuts through, it is like a sharp knife. It's just so nice to listen to, you can tell the story through and through. It's authentic... You're obviously a good-hearted person with what you do helping Veterans. You check so many different boxes. All you need is a shot."
Hunter had already impressed the judges before her audition when she explained that her daily life consisted of helping veterans going through PTSD.
"When I'm not doing music for myself, I also work with veterans in music therapy," Hunter stated. "They tell me their stories of whatever they went through when they were in the war and I turn them into songs. It helps them deal with PTSD in their therapeutic process."
After Hunter earned a standing ovation, Bryan picked up his paper saying he had immediately put her on the top ten list of the singing competition. "I wrote Top 10 on my sheet... It's like a new age Miranda Lambert deal going on," Bryan stated. "It's my fifth year doing this, and that is my favorite female country voice I've heard in five years."
He went on to tell the 23-year-old contestant that he believed she was in the wrong key for the song, asking her to go up a half step. He stated," Do me a favor and slide your capo up a half chorus."
As expected, Hunter belted out the song, showcasing her powerful vocals and range.
Bryan, who is nominated for ACM Entertainer of the Year, quickly presented the contestant with the "golden ticket," also known as Platinum Ticket, after earning a yes from all the judges. This was the first Platinum Ticket the judges gave this season, sending her straight to Hollywood.
American Idol auditions will continue Sundays on ABC at 8 PM ET.
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