‘American Idol': Snake-Hunting Teen Charms the Judges With Dixie Chicks Song
American Idol did its part to entertain viewers across the country at home in coronavirus-related quarantine Sunday night (Mar. 15) with judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie giving their final votes for those who will advance to Hollywood.
A charming addition to the night came in the form of 17-year-old MaKayla Brownlee from Wellington, Kansas ("it's the wheat capital of the world"), who introduced herself as "loving snake hunting." An incredulous Perry asked, "What does that mean?" to which Brownlee explained she catches water snakes at night when they feed on minnows. She's gotten bit by the snakes "every time," but "we camp every weekend so it gives me something to do."
After detailing her unusual hobby, Brownlee delivered an earnest version of the Dixie Chicks' "Travelin' Soldier." Perry spoke up first, starting off a string of reptilian references by saying it was like "a snake in the water."
"You know, I'm not a country aficionado, but it's definitely something that I would be tuning in to," Perry added. "As a little constructive criticism, I think you could afford to enunciate a little bit more. But it's so sweet, it's so sincere." Richie agreed, admiring her bit of yodel added to the tune and calling it a "signature" sound.
Bryan had some words of caution. "As far as the competition, you know, we have our girl country singers, and it's really, really strong this year. Get ready for a dog fight in Hollywood, but I'm ready to see you get in there and shake it up....Little Kansas snake hunter, you're going to Hollywood!"
Brownlee didn't slither around how she felt. " I've never been to Hollywood, I'm not much of a city girl, but I'm beyond excited," she enthused.
American Idol airs on Sundays at 8 PM ET.
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