Mike Parker took the stage on American Idol last night as a Top 11 performer.
This round was dubbed “Judge’s Song Contest,” where each contestant was given the choice to pick a song from a number of choices the judges laid out.
Parker was given Morgan Wallen’s “Chasin’ You,” Diane Warren featuring Diane Warwick’s “Time Like This” and John Michael Montgomery’s “I Swear.”
The 27-year-old from Warrenton, Virginia took Morgan Wallen, stating that he related more to the song:
“I can relate to this song, I do… just talking about a country boy doing country things, you know? Railroad tracks and jumping in rivers, I think I can really put my spin on “Chasin’ You.'”
Parker also took the time to address racism in country music, saying he wants to be the one to unite everybody in country music together.
“Luke, he addressed racism in country music, which I appreciate, he said it’s going to take time and I want to be that person that brings two communities together, multiple communities together, and it is going to take time, but I’m here to speed that process up.”
However, singing Morgan Wallen’s song “Chasin’ You,” had a lot of fans scratching their heads, considering Wallen’s racial slur incident from last February.
Parker admitted that Wallen is one of his musical inspirations in the genre, and also weighed in on the racial slur incident:
“I don’t believe Morgan is a racist. I don’t believe he has a racist bone in his body. Everyone has moments when they would make a second choice.”
Needless to say, people weren’t too thrilled with Parker’s decision to sing Wallen’s song:
Judge Luke Bryan drew criticism as well for giving Parker the choice:
Ultimately, Park gave a solid performance of the song, one that earned praise from all three judges.