The American Idol judges, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan continued their publicity tour ahead of Sunday’s season 20 premiere at ABC’s afternoon talk show, The View on Wednesday (Feb 23).
Watch a preview of Huntergirl’s audition in front of the judges
The interview opens with a preview clip from Sunday night’s premiere. Nashville singer-songwriter Huntergirl works as a music therapist with veterans as her day job, she shares with the panel. The singer turns stories the vets shared with her about their war experiences into a song. “It kinda helps them deal with PTSD,” says Hunter. After a snippet of the singer performing the gritty country tune, an awestruck Katy gushes that Hunter has a voice that “cuts through,” comparing it to a sharp knife. “That is my favorite female country voice I’ve heard in five years,” Luke declares.
The teen daughter of a musical icon auditioned
The judges also dish that Aretha Franklin’s granddaughter’s audition will air this Sunday. Aretha used to cook for Lionel, he shares. Always hoping for a “musical moment,” the late singer would whip up some greens for him instead. A few months ago, 15 year old Grace Franklin performed her grandmother’s favorite songs at the Respect movie premiere while the biopic’s star, Jennifer Hudson, looked on. That MIGHT be the twist Katy hints is coming on Sunday.
“Idol is amazing at evolving”
As far as American Idol’s milestone 20th season is concerned, Luke believes the show is “amazing at evolving with the times, even through Covid.” Pandemic driven online auditions have opened up the show to a pool of talent who wouldn’t have otherwise driven somewhere to audition. Luke added, “It makes the show more raw.”
Katy reminds everybody that Idol is the “only singing show that still…continually creates superstars.” She mentions season 18 singer Gabby Barrett, who has transformed into a No 1 hit making country star. “Lives are being changed, It’s not about the judges. It really truly is about giving this opportunity over to these kids and finding actual Idols.”
“What scares me the most,” says Lionel, “is their coming now at 15 years old and saying ‘I’m ready.’ and the first thing I’m saying to myself is ‘you’re not’ and then they open their mouths. Then you realize, you are ready! Oh my God!”