Huntergirl Named Luke Bryan’s Favorite Country Singer Ever on ‘American Idol,’ Receives First-Ever ‘AI’ “Platinum Ticket”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

“It’s the year of the girl country singer,” said American Idol judge Luke Bryan, who invited contestant Huntergirl, real name Hunter Wolkonowski, to perform at his Downtown Nashville bar 32 Bridge following her audition during the AI premiere of Season 20.

Following the Winchester, Tennessee native’s audition singing Rascal Flatt’s 2014 hit “Riot,” Bryan called the artist his “favorite country singer ever.”

“I want to see real country fans react to this girl,” Bryan told fellow judges Lionel Richie and Katy Perry and even compared the singer to Miranda Lambert. “So we’d love to see you again, and we want to put you on stage in front of people in my bar, tonight.”

Wolkonowski later took the stage at the Lower Broadway venue and performed Lambert’s 2019 hit “Bluebird.” 

Unbeknownst to Wolkonowski, she also received the first-ever “Platinum Ticket,” which will be given to three contestants this season, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the show. Similar to America’s Got Talent Golden Buzzer, which allows the contestant to move ahead to the finals, the AI ticket will allow winners to bypass to Hollywood Week.

“What we’re going to do is surprise her,” said Richie, “and she has no idea that we’re coming, and just maybe leave with a little platinum.”

Already shocked when the judges entered the bar, Huntergirl was speechless when awarded the Platinum Ticket.

“Because it’s the 20th year of American Idol—for 20 years, you’re supposed to have platinum, right,” said Bryan. “So inside this guitar case is another ticket that only one person in the city gets during audition times, the Platinum ticket.”

Perry added, “This not only means you get to go to Hollywood, but you get to relax for one day, rest your voice and size up the competition and figure out how to become the next American Idol.”

Photos: ABC/Eric McCandless

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