‘American Idol': Daniel Marshall Griffith’s Cover of Garth Brooks’ ‘The Dance’ Is a Winner [Watch]
One artist stood out as the sole country singer on Sunday night's (March 20) episode of American Idol. His name is Daniel Marshall Griffith.
Standing in front of Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie with his guitar in hand, the Chesapeake, Va., native made it clear that he had a tall order — he would be auditioning with Garth Brooks’ “The Dance.”
After opening up the song with a lengthy intro on his instrument, Griffith began to serenade the judges with a clear country sound. He nearly hypnotized the celebrity panel, as they kept their gaze on him the entire time.
“Dan Marshall, you have that storytelling thing, man,” Richie said after the performance. “There’s something that you can’t teach, and that’s called natural talent and your craft of who you are. I like what I just heard.”
Perry also chimed in, telling Griffith that she was already “thinking about marketing” him, believing he possesses a “natural-born talent.”
Bryan, who was last to deliver commentary, told Griffith that he thought he was “one of the best sounding country artists that have come through” in the competition.
Although Griffith thoroughly impressed the judges, he did admit that he had only been singing publicly for a short time. He also shared that he mainly focused on playing sports growing up.
“Football has always been a huge part of my life ever since I was five years old. After high school, I was recruited as a walk-on to play for Virginia Tech. It was incredible to go out there and play every Saturday,” the former linebacker said in a clip ahead of his audition.
Griffith said it wasn't until his grandfather died that he began to get serious about his passion for music.
“In the beginning of summertime, I sang at my grandfather’s memorial service. I forced myself. I was just like, ‘You’re going to do this,” Griffith revealed. “For the first public performance, I sang at a Brewery right down the road from my house. I had all of my friends and family come out. I was pretty nervous, but it went great.”
Despite being a green artist, all three judges chose to send Griffith off to Hollywood with a coveted Golden Ticket. They also offered the hopeful some advice moving forward.
“It’s not there, but the foundation is secure,” Perry noted.
“Playing the guitar may be taking your focus away from singing ... If I had 20 minutes out there to coach you, I could really show you some tricks,” Bryan added.
Griffith was the second-to-last performance of the two-hour broadcast, and American Idol is doubling down this week with an all-new episode on Monday (March 21) on ABC.
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