Luke Bryan and Carly Mickeal; Photo Courtesy of American Idol/ABC
Luke Bryan and Carly Mickeal; Photo Courtesy of American Idol/ABC

Luke Bryan Labels 23-Year-Old Dog Groomer Carly Mickeal “A Star” On ‘American Idol’ After Elton John Cover

Carly Mickeal, a 23-year-old from Simi Valley, California, proved her star power with her American Idol audition on Monday, March 21.

With her father playing the piano behind her, Mickeal auditioned with a cover of Elton John’s “Your Song.”

The contestant’s performance of the John hit truly allowed her vocals to shine vibrantly, which earned her praise from Idol judges: Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan.

Following her flawless audition, Perry shouted “Lucky dogs!” as she concluded 

Bryan then praised her star power.

“I really feel like you’re a star,” Bryan gushed. “Your transitions from your tender voice, your voice you use in the verses… maybe some of those transitions could be a little bit tied together a little better, but overall, I think growing up with him playing piano has created a potential star in my opinion.”

Richie asked the contestant to just perform and stop trying to stay in character.

“I watched your father and could tell right away that every little nuance was a part of his expression in teaching you,” Richie said. “Now, I’m going to break a rule with your dad, okay? Don’t think. You were honed in on every phrase, perfectly, but when you finish the phrase you stop and go ‘okay, and here is the next phrase’ and then you break character. Then you, come back and do another one. Just perform.”

“Yes, I want you to sing like you’re a happy Edward Scissorhands, just sheering your dogs,” Perry joked, before asking the contestant to tell her and her fellow judges what breed of dog they resemble.

Mickeal said Bryan looked like a lab, Perry like a “cute little fluffy” Pomeranian, and that Richie resembles a Rottweiler or a Dobermann.

“You are going to Hollywood,” the Idol judges said collectively before Mickeal grabbed her golden ticket and exited the room.

American Idol returns with Hollywood week on Monday, March 28 at 8/7c.

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