From the moment viewers first met HunterGirl on American Idol, it was clear that she was going to go far in the competition and that is certainly the case after her Top 20 performance.
Prior to taking the stage to showcase her country vocals with an original song, Huntergirl opened up about her career working with Veterans in music therapy. She explained how she helps them overcome PTSD through music and songwriting.
“Songwriting is a huge part of my life,” she shared and promised to dedicate her life to singing songs for people who need to hear them.
The Tennessee native and Middle Tennessee State University alum then took the stage to perform an original song called “Heartbreak Down.”
The tune finds Huntergirl confidently moving past a breakup and putting herself first.
“But I’m going put this heartbreak down / get back on my own two feet / start walking the walk and talking the talk and finally doing what’s best for me / Hurts worse before it gets better / and yeah, your memory might last forever / but piece by piece I’m fixing things someway somehow,” she sang.
The Idol judges were blown away by every aspect of Huntergirl’s performance.
“First of all, what you do for the Veterans is profound. Second of all, that is an original song. This is when you pull out those tricks, because you are an artist. I put my money on you girl,” Katy Perry gushed.
“I mean, when you start singing, it just sounds like the dad gum country radio… It’s a real serious dad gum,” Luke Bryan added with a laugh. “You just have that magic sound and then write songs to back it up, sky’s the limit, I see your future, thank you for getting up here and playing a great original.”
Lionel Richie went on to praise Huntergirl’s songwriting skills.
“If I had to find one word to kind of give you your place here, it’s [that] you’re a natural,” Richie added. “As a writer I give you an A+ with that one because I’m singing the second verse and I realize, hold on wait a minute that’s an original. It’s that relatable. Luke said it right, enjoy the ride.”
“It feels really good,” the contestant said after having her original song praised by the Idol judges.
As for the inspiration behind the track, Huntergirl told host Ryan Seacrest, “Well, I was just thinking about I’m not going to let my heartbreak down, just that saying, I’m going to go through and it’s not going to be easy, but I’m going to get through it and I think everybody needs to hear that sometimes.”
Huntergirl and her fellow Top 20 contestants are vying for a spot in the Top 14, which will be revealed on Monday (April 18).
To vote for Huntergirl, visit AmericanIdol.com/Vote, Text 11 to 21523 or use the American Idol app. Voting opens at the end of the show and is open till 9 a.m. EST.
American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.