America’s Got Talent singer Drake Milligan Previously Quit American Idol — Here’s Why

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Country singer and Elvis impersonator Drake Milligan participated in the second audition night of the 17th season of America’s Got Talent. The audience and judges loved every second of Milligan’s energetic performance with his band. And while Drake Milligan was a new face for AGT fans, he probably looked familiar to loyal American Idol viewers. That’s because back in 2018, Milligan impressed the Idol judges with an audition, but disappeared during Hollywood Week. That’s what happened.

Drake Milligan auditioned for the 16th season of “American Idol” and got a ticket to Hollywood

Milligan previously appeared on the 16th season of American Idol at the age of 19. A native of Fort Worth, Texas, said that at the age of 10 he became interested in Elvis Presley, which inspired him to take music lessons. Eventually, he began performing publicly as an Elvis impersonator, even getting the role of the iconic singer in Sun Records 2017 on CMT (via IMDb).

However, the more time Milligan spent performing, the more he was drawn to country music. So Milligan came to American Idol hoping to start a career for himself.

Milligan auditioned for Idol with George Strait’s song “You Look So Good in Love”. Judge Luke Bryan told Milligan he “crushed him” and Lionel Richie praised Milligan for how comfortable he looked. Katy Perry said Milligan was “a star in the making.” The judges handed Milligan a golden ticket and sent him to Hollywood, but he never showed up.

Why did Drake Milligan quit American Idol?

American Idol singers often quietly disappear after listening. Sometimes they participate in Hollywood Week and don’t make it to the next round, so Idol doesn’t show them on television. In other cases, the show may have to be cut to Hollywood Week because they sent too many people. However, many fans believed that Milligan had serious potential, so his absence confused them.

Luckily, Milligan took to Instagram to clarify the situation, announcing that he had left the competition after auditioning.

“After my audition, I get a lot of questions about not appearing on American Idol anymore, just thought I’d let you know what’s going on!” he wrote. “After listening, I decided that I wasn’t quite ready for this platform yet and that it would be better for me to move to Nashville and focus on my music first!”

Milligan added that his “difficult decision” to leave had nothing to do with the audition process.

“Everyone on the show has been very kind and I feel absolutely blessed and gracious to be a part of this!” he continued.

Milligan kept his word and headed to Nashville. In 2021, he released his first self-titled EP with BBR Music Group. He also released the single “Cowgirl for Christmas”.

The country singer took another chance in the 17th season of America’s Got Talent.

Now Milligan feels ready to try his luck at the singing competition again. He and his band appeared in the 2nd episode of the 17th season of AGT with their original song “Sounds Like Something I’d Do”. The audience loved him immediately, and judges Sofia Vergara, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel couldn’t help but smile. Simon Cowell kept a straight face, but even the famous critical judge seemed impressed.

After the performance, the audience gave Milligan’s group a standing ovation. Mandel called Milligan “the new Elvis of country” and said his song could be a hit. Meanwhile, Klum said the band is “perfect for America’s Got Talent.” All the judges said yes, sending Milligan to the next round. And this time he seems ready to continue.

America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC. Stay tuned in the Showbiz Cheat Sheet.