Season 4 of ABC’s American Idol premiered on February 14, 2021 and featured a number of auditions ranging from very impressive to not so much. One contestant’s father responded to a “no” from the judges by saying he’d have his daughter try out for The Voice instead, leading Luke Bryan to take a shot at his friend Blake Shelton on Twitter.
American Idol hopeful 17-year-old Danica Steakley showed up to her audition with her father, Dan, who said he was confident that his daughter would be the next winner of the show.
“The first time I heard Danica sing, I knew she was gonna be the winner of American Idol,” her father told the camera.
It was clear throughout the package that her 72-year-old father was calling the shots and choosing the music for the audition, and it didn’t work out for Steakley, as she ended up getting a ‘No’ from the judges.
Steakley Did Not Get a Golden Ticket to Hollywood
Steakley auditioned for the show singing while her father played the guitar; when he realized the guitar he brought was out of tune, the judges let him use the one that was already in the room.
While the judges thought she had a nice voice, they did not think she was ready for American Idol.
“Danica, I think you’re very talented, but I think you’re 17 and you can hear it in your voice a little bit,” judge Katy Perry told the singer. “Kind of, a little lack of experience. There’s a bit of a timidness, or a shyness when delivering.”
Richie agreed, saying that the high end of the song was beautiful but the lows weren’t quite there and she needed to keep working.
“Well, Dad, I know this is quite frustrating to hear, and for you too, Danica,” Bryan started. “You have all the makings to grow into a really, really, really great singer… you’re not quite ready to tackle this competition.”
Bryan Teased Shelton on Twitter Following the Audition
— Luke Bryan (@LukeBryanOnline) February 15, 2021
Ultimately, Steakley received just one yes, from Perry. Both Richie and Bryan told her no and said that she needed to take some time to work on her vocals and come back next year.
“Well Pops needs to go practice the guitar,” Bryan later commented to the other judges.
Dan started to leave immediately, trying not to stop to talk with Ryan Seacrest.
“Why didn’t they just say ‘no’ right away?” Dan said while he walked down the hallway. “I don’t even know any Luke Bryan songs anyway besides ‘Knockin’ Boots’. Next time I’ll have her audition for The Voice.”
Bryan thought that comment was funny, especially after hearing that Dan didn’t know any of his songs.
“Welp, hopefully @DanicaSteakley’s Dad knows your songs @blakeshelton haha!” he tweeted while the episode aired.
Fans thought the tweet was hilarious and also thought that Steakley’s dad was maybe a little overbearing in the audition.
American Idol airs on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. The Voice returns to NBC on March 1.