Huntergirl Dedicates ‘American Idol’ Performance of Sugarland’s “Baby Girl” to Her Parents—“I See Everything They’ve Done for Me”

Top 14 American Idol contestant Huntergirl returned this week to give another outstanding performance. Mentored by former contestant and country star Gabby Barrett, Huntergirl focused on looking the part, sounding the part, and refining her storytelling skills on stage. 

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“This mentorship felt like it was sent from heaven this week. Being the only country artist in the competition right now, when I saw Gabby Barrett was coming, I was like, ‘Praise God,’” Huntergirl said.  

Huntergirl performed one of country duo Sugarland’s debut songs, “Baby Girl.” The singer dedicated her performance of the Billboard Hot 100 hit to her parents for the show’s Top 14 round.  

“I just want my parents to know that I see everything they’ve done for me, and hopefully I can give that back to them,” she said. 

Mentor Barrett chimed in, praising the singer for song choices. Barrett said leading with emotion and focusing on the sincerity of what you’re trying to communicate through a song adds that extra “something” to a performance.  

“This is an emotional song for you, like an emotional connection to your parents,” Barrett told Huntergirl. “So try to really sing what you’re feeling, like you’re in that moment together. I remember doing that with my dad. I think your parents are going to be very proud.” 

The judges, who have been forever impressed with the singer’s skills, commented that she’s stepping into her own as an artist.  

“You’re discovering all of the ‘bigness’ of that talent on stage right now,” said judge Katy Perry. 

Lionel Richie agreed, saying, “I love that you came looking the part, sounding the part. You look like an old pro on that stage.” 

Huntergirl is sure to have made her parents proud, regardless, but later in the night, she advanced to the reality TV competition’s Top 11. She took to Instagram to share her gratitude. 

“YALL MADE ME CRY!! I AM IN THE TOP 11! Thank you so much,” she wrote. “I can’t tell you how much this means to me. Tonight was so special with my parents there. YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST 💛 Tune in tomorrow to vote for Top 10! I LOVE YOU GUYS. Y’all are the reason I get to be here. Thank you all.” 

Photo by Eric McCandless / ABC.

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