American Idol Season 20 officially kicked off its Hollywood Week at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles on Monday (March 28). Contestants who scored a golden ticket during their audition round returned to showcase their vocals on the microphone as part of the show's Genre Challenge, and one of them chose a country cover.

The challenge, which helps judges whittle down the competition, saw singers choosing a song from the genre they identify with the most while going head-to-head with their peers from the same genre.

First up was country singer Mike Parker. Fans may recall, he dedicated his audition in Los Angeles to his mother, who was in the hospital with leukemia.

“Being here in Hollywood, it is a little tough,” Parker shared with viewers on Monday night’s two-hour telecast. “She’s still fighting. It’s still a marathon, but her numbers are back where they’re supposed to be. She is in great spirits.”

Although Parker felt the struggles of wanting to be with his mother in her time of need, he added, “My mom would hate it if she were the reason I wasn’t singing.”

Making his moment onstage count, the Virginia native dazzled judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie with his cover of Cam’s “Burning House.” Dressed in black, Parker earned some positive high-fists from Perry, who seemed delighted seconds into his performance. Parker also received nods of approval from Bryan and Richie while showcasing his vocal range on the ballad.

When Parker hit a high note, both Bryan and Richie rose from their seats to applaud the singer for his Genre Challenge debut.

Afterward, all three judges put their heads together to decide Parker’s fate in the competition, with Richie noting that the hopeful did exhibit a few nerves. Despite that minor hiccup, they moved Parker through to round two of Hollywood Week.

This week, Lauren Alaina, Ruben Studdard, Lee Dewyze, Haley Reinhart, David Cook, Jordin Sparks and Season 19 American Idol winner Chayce Beckham were all brought in to help mentor artists who represented their genre in the Genre Challenge. The next phase of the competition will find contestants going into round two of Hollywood Week, where they will sing with one of their peers as part of the Duets Challenge.

American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 8PM on ABC.

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