Mike Parker has come a long way since beginning his journey on Season 20 of American Idol. But Sunday night (May 1) marked the end of the road for him, as he was one of three contestants eliminated at the end of the two-hour telecast.
A Top 10 standout in the competition, Parker represented the country genre throughout the season, delivering covers of songs like Morgan Wallen’s “Chasin’ You,” Deana Carter’s “Strawberry Wine” and Luke Combs’ “Hurricane.” He completed his run on the show with a performance of Phil Collins’s “You’ll Be in My Heart.”
He dedicated the heartfelt rendition of the tune to his mother, DeJuanna, who has been battling Leukemia. Before taking the stage, Parker received some musical guidance from guest mentor Derek Hough for his performance.
“I really want to feel like you’re singing that to your mom,” Hough told Parker. “Like it’s really just a conversation between you and her. Sometimes getting overwhelmed by the emotion is more powerful than being perfect.”
Onstage, Parker showed conviction while displaying his deep country vocals alongside thumping drum rhythms. Even judges Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan and Katy Perry couldn’t help but applaud him for his strong performance and impressive falsetto.
“Mike Parker! With the key change and then all of that stuff at the end, who are you?” Perry beamed. “It’s amazing that you sang that with your mother and your heart and we could feel every moment of that.”
“When you really sit back and listen to that song, what a tough song to get through and navigate it amazingly. You showed us new elements. That was an amazing, great job. “ Luke Bryan added.
“Your mother said it best when she said, ‘I came out here to see my Top 10 No. 1 superstar son.’” Lionel Richie added.
Indeed, Parker’s mother was well enough to pay a special visit to her son during the Disney-themed episode, which took place at Disneyland. So, even though the singer didn’t make it into the Top 7, he did get to spend some quality time with family.
Those who will be moving forward when American Idol returns are Christian Guardino, HunterGirl, Leah Marlene, Nicolina Bozzo, Jay Copeland, Noah Thompson and Fritz Hager.
Hopefuls Lady K and Emyrson Flora also got cut from the competition on Sunday.
American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays on ABC.
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