“We are Backwood Mac,” said American Idol contestant Cole Wesley Ritter, introducing the moniker for he and fellow contestant Huntergirl’s made-up band name prior to performing Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors hit “Dreams” together.
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The duo, who paired up for Duets Week on American Idol on April 3, took on the 1977 song but not before explaining their “Backwood” name.
“We’re doing ‘Dreams’ by Fleetwood Mac but you can tell by my accent and us being in the country genre that we’re a little bit redneck,” joked Huntergirl, “so we’re going by Backwood Mac.”
The duo went on to give a soulful country-roots version of the song backed by Ritter on acoustic guitar, both harmonizing effortlessly around the chorus and crossing over one another’s vocals through verses before receiving a standing ovation from judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan.
“That’s so good,” said Bryan following the pair’s performance. “Cole you just put out an immediate vibe that you want to jump on board with some of that.” Perry added, “You all did nothing wrong and you sounded great together.” The two were later voted through to the next round.
A Tennessee native, Ritter founded his alt-country band Cole Ritter and the Night Owls in 2019 and released two singles in 2021—“Hard Times” and “All the Stars Across the Sky.” Following the Winchester, Tennessee native’s audition of Rascal Flatt’s 2014 hit “Riot,” Bryan called Huntergirl his “favorite country singer ever.” Also hailing from Tennessee, the singer, real name Hunter Wolkonowski, was then given a platinum ticket, which helped her skip the previous Hollywood Week auditions.
HunterGirl said that she chose Cole Wesley Ritter to be her partner for the Duets round because she thought their voices sounded great together.
“I know we just met but I feel like I’ve known him forever,” said HunterGirl prior to their performance. “My mom would be proud that I’ve made a good decision.” She added, “No, Not like that. I’m not on The Bachelor. I’m on American Idol.“
Photo: Eric McCandless/ABC