WATCH: Luke Bryan Says Huntergirl Will ‘Carry the Torch of Country Music’ After Magical ‘Idol’ Performance

HunterGirl had what Katy Perry considered a ‘Cinderella moment’ during american idol‘s Disney Night on Sunday evening (May 1) after a performance of a fan-favorite Disney hit.

“It’s my little sister’s favorite Disney movie,” Huntergirl said of Tangledthe film in which the song “I See The Light” appears.

Huntergirl; Photo by ABC, American Idol

Ahead of her stunning performance, Huntergirl had a chance to sit down with Dancing with the Stars pro Derek Hough to get some pointers. Hough admitted his stage presence blew him away.

“The only thing that surprised me a bit was the unwavering eye contact throughout the song,” Hough told Huntergirl during rehearsals. “It shows a confidence there, it shows a certainty and it’s really, really powerful. Really beautiful.”

The singer-songwriter was thrilled to have the chance to work with Hough, admitting, “It was so excited to meet him. Please pinch me, I feel the Disney magic here!

Huntergirl with Ryland;  Photo by ABC, American Idol
Huntergirl with Ryland; Photo by ABC, American Idol

Huntergirl not only relished the opportunity to work with Hough, but she also enjoyed a surprise appearance from her sister.

“The best part was my little sister, Rylan, who surprised me. I love her and hadn’t seen her in so long, and that was the boost I needed to get into the Disney night and the Top 10,” she explained. “My sister and I loved Disney growing up. It was a big part of my childhood and I feel like America is letting me chase my dream right now.

“She’s worked so hard for this, and I don’t know, it’s so surreal that she can experience what she’s been passionate about for so long,” Rylan said of his sister.

The music therapist was over the moon ahead of her performance, admitting: “Disney taught me that I could follow my dreams and anything could happen. It was probably one of the best weeks of my life.

Joined by a small orchestra and wearing a skin-colored dress with sequins, Huntergirl performed “I See the Light” from Disney’s Tangled. The singer really allowed her powerful country voice to be on full display during her soaring performance.

“Wowwow!” Katy Perry screamed in shock as Huntergirl concluded her performance.

“So there’s a time when you just have to go to graduation…It’s graduation, I mean, let me let you know something,” Lionel Richie said. “From the moment we first heard you, laid eyes on you, you were there with the idea of ​​having a huge career in country music. To stay there and sing such a beautiful Disney song, I can only tell you that it’s your whole career there.

“It’s like you all just went to this magical place… If that’s how you talk about going to Disneyland, I recommend you go at least once a week. I think the magic is real and it really rubs off on all of you tonight,” Perry said. I mean, you’ve never sounded better, held notes so spectacularly, you’re pushing that vocal girl, it’s your Cinderella moment.

“Yeah, that was uh… It showed me so much momentum of your career going forward with that performance,” Luke Bryan said. “I mean, obviously you’re a country girl from Tennessee, but the elegance and beauty of this performance, just like I can see award shows in the future where you have the spotlight. It was just incredibly inspiring.

Huntergirl;  Photo by ABC, American Idol
Huntergirl; Photo by ABC, American Idol

Bryan then took a moment to pay tribute to the late Naomi Judd of The Judds.

“I want while I have the mic to send prayers to the Judd family. The country music family lost Naomi Judd and I think that was just my heart and I know everyone’s heart goes to the Judd family,” he said, adding, “I had to say that because you’re here and you’re going to carry the torch for country music. It was a very inspiring performance.

Huntergirl finally secured a Top 7 spot and will advance to the next round of competition.

american idol airs every Sunday and Monday at 8/7c on ABC.

About Roy B. Westling

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