‘American Idol’ Hopeful’s Dad Loses His Temper on Air When Daughter Is Rejected [WATCH]
After a largely virtual season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, American Idol judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan are back in the studio for the TV singing competitions 19th season. They'll be practicing social distancing as they audition hopefuls in only three California cities, rather than making their usual national rounds,but as Perry dramatically put it during Sunday night's (Feb. 14) season premiere, "Dreams are not canceled."
In addition to country-leaning standout Alex Miller, whose audition earned him a golden ticket to Hollywood, viewers also met another country-focused hopeful on Sunday night. Mississippi teen Danica Steakley made quite the impression ... but not a great one.
Two out of the three judges ultimately thought Steakley's rendition of "I Can’t Help It If I’m Still in Love With You" by Hank Williams wasn't quite ready for the big leagues, but it likely isn't what viewers will be talking about in the morning. Rather, it will be her dad, a retired Navy member whom the judges promptly dubbed "Lieutenant Dan."
Steakley's father accompanied his daughter on guitar during her audition, and while both were competent, neither was quite prime-time material. Perry was willing to give the teen a pass to see if being around more experienced contestants would prove beneficial, but Richie and Bryan kindly told her that she needed a little more time to season her voice, and that she should come back once she'd developed a bit more confidence.
That sat fine with her, and she thanked the panel with remarkable composure for a high school student, then calmly admitted off camera that she was disappointed, but also that performers need to learn how to take criticism. Steakley's father, however, stormed off set, his daughter following in an embarrassed attempt to chill him out.
"Dad!" she protested as he ranted to host Ryan Seacrest about the judges.
"I don't even know any Luke Bryan songs anyway," he snapped. "Besides "Knockin' Boots.""
The final shot? "Next time I'll have her audition for The Voice," he hurled over his shoulder. Yikes.
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