Hunter Metts Offers a Bonnie Raitt Crossover Classic on ‘American Idol’ [Watch]
American Idol hopeful Hunter Metts has typically chosen pop selections so far during his run on Season 19 of the show. However, he dipped into the country genre during Sunday night's episode (April 12), performing "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt.
Originally released as a single in 1991, "I Can't Make You Love Me" was a crossover hit for Raitt, reaching the No. 6 spot on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart and notching a place in the Billboard Hot 100's Top 20, too. The song comes off of Raitt's '91 Luck of the Draw album, which also produced another major single, "Something to Talk About."
Metts' rendition of the song offered both passion and vocal precision, a combination that played well with the three judges, including guest judge Paula Abdul. (Abdul, an OG American Idol judge who first helmed the show alongside Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell during its inaugural season in 2002, filled in for Luke Bryan during Sunday night's episode. Bryan was out after testing positive for COVID-19.)
"Your vocals are so distinct and so present. Your tonal quality is beautiful. I'm a big fan of yours," Abdul told the young contestant after he finished singing. In fact, she added, she was blown away by this year's crop of Idol contestants overall.
"I just wanna ask all of you: What did your mothers breastfeed you?!" she continued. "It's incredible. I mean, tonight's incredible. This whole season."
Metts is joining the elite Top 12 batch of contestants moving ahead after Sunday night's episode. He was among a group of 10 would-be Idol champs who were sent directly to the next round by fan vote; the final two contestants rounding out the Top 12 were the "Wildcard" entrants named by the judges at the end of the show.
American Idol airs on Sunday and Monday nights at 8PM ET on ABC.
See American Idol Stars Then + Now: