Deana Carter, Mike Parker Deliver Soulful ‘Strawberry Wine’ on ‘American Idol’ Finale [Watch]
Deana Carter and Mike Parker brought everything full circle on the Season 20 finale of American Idol. After auditioning with Carter's song "Strawberry Wine," Parker was able to sing it with the woman herself.
Carter opened the song solo on the stage for the first few lines before being joined by Parker. The two harmonized beautifully on the chorus and then resumed trading lines. They closed the song holding hands and singing to each other. At the end of the performance, the two shared a long embrace.
Carter released the No. 1 hit in 1996 off of her album Did I Shave My Legs for This? Parker — who reached the Top 10 before being eliminated from American Idol by votes — wowed the judges with his take on the song from a male perspective. He opted to keep his performance simple and stripped it down to just his vocals accompanied by a piano.
At the time, judge Luke Bryan proclaimed Parker as a country singer, while Perry said he would be in the Top 24. Fellow judge Lionel Richie spoke to how special his voice is. “Simplicity is king. You don’t have to worry about runs or riffs,” Richie shared. “Your voice cries. That texture in your voice is the goal. I really mean that because you have all the goods to make that happen.”
In his audition, the Virginia native spoke about his parents performing in a band together. He also opened up about his mother's battle with Leukemia and the impact it has had on his life. He then dedicated the performance to her.
Parker kept to country throughout much of the competition. He covered Morgan Wallen's "Chasin' You" and Luke Combs' "Hurricane." His finale performance on the show was a cover of Phil Collins' "You'll Be in My Heart."