HunterGirl’s Heartfelt Performance of ‘Like My Mother Does’ Brings Tears on ‘American Idol’ [Watch]
When HunterGirl stepped on stage on Sunday night (May 8) to perform in front of American Idol judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, she proved they made the right choice in giving her one of this season’s coveted Platinum Tickets.
She clearly proved that to folks at home, as well, since they voted her into the Top 5 at the end of the two-hour episode.
Tackling not one but two performances during the broadcast, HunterGirl first took on Tate McRae’s “You Broke Me First" for the evening's TikTok challenge. Then, she performed “Like My Mother Does” by Idol alum Lauren Alaina as part of a Mother’s Day tribute.
While her first performance was a fluid take, it was the "Like My Mother Does" cover which made for the most emotional moment of the night.
“I wanted to dedicate that song to you because I’ve always wanted to be like you when I grow up,” HunterGirl told her mom through a stream of tears in a clip that showed the two spending time beachside ahead of her performance. “You work so hard for me to be able to live my dream.”
While serenading her mother — who was there in person, and who was visibly emotional —HunterGirl delivered her angelic tone, while personal photos of her life back home flashed on giant screens behind her.
“Listen, HunterGirl. You got the Platinum Ticket. You still deserve the Platinum Ticket today. You’ve got a platinum heart as well, my dear,” Perry said afterward.
“I’m still trying to process what you said to your mother on that beach. It was beautiful. You need to go back and write a couple of songs based on that moment. But to be able to see the appreciation and love you have for your mother. Great song choice and performance,” Bryan added.
“You’ve got me crying. Katy is crying. People around us are crying and hugging,” Richie said of the sentimental moment. “I’m thinking to myself, ‘If you did not do a better job of selling not only that song, but your mother and the feelings you have for your mother.' You did a fabulous job.”
Now in the Top 5, HunterGirl is in the running for the American Idol title alongside fellow country singer Noah Thompson and contestants Leah Marlene, Nicolina Bozzo and Fritz Hager.
American Idol returns on Sunday, May 15, on ABC.