A domineering dad from Mississippi got fed up — and showed it — when his 17-year-old daughter failed to earn a golden ticket to Hollywood on “American Idol.”
Dan Steakley of Gulfport, 73, made his frustration clear on Sunday’s episode of the ABC reality series, which marked the Season 19 debut.
Steakley, who’s retired from the U.S. Navy, was a forceful presence throughout the TV segment, pushing for a golden ticket for his demure daughter, Danica Steakley, and predicting her win this season. It almost seemed like the elder Steakley was the “Idol” contestant, as he answered questions posed to his daughter and accompanied her on guitar.
Danica’s cover of Hank Williams’ “I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still in Love With You),” received supportive comments from judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan. However, two of the three said the teen wasn’t quite ready to compete on the show. (Perry voted yes and said she thought Danica would learn quickly.)
As soon as he realized his daughter didn’t make it, Steakley walked out of the audition room, ignoring a call of “Lieutenant Dan!” from Bryan. Steakley let out a curt “Bye!” when he saw series host Ryan Seacrest in the hallway.
“Well, I just think you just need some more time,” Steakley said, mocking the judges’ criticisms. “We need some more time, timing, da-da-da-da-da. Why didn’t they just say no right away?”
A nonplussed Danica appeared distressed by her father’s behavior, but the teen took the judges’ comments in stride.
“I mean, I’m disappointed, but as a singer, you have to take criticism well, and I understand that,” she said.
Papa Steakley was considerably less gracious in defeat.
“I don’t even know any Luke Bryan songs, anyway, besides ‘Knockin’ Boots,’” the elder Steakley said. “Next time … we’ll have her audition for ‘The Voice.’”
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