After ‘American Idol,’ HunterGirl Sets Her Sights On New Music and the Grand Ole Opry

HunterGirl; Photo by ABC, American Idol
HunterGirl; Photo by ABC, American Idol
HunterGirl; Photo by ABC, American Idol

After finishing American Idol Season 20 as the runner-up, HunterGirl is ready to hit the ground running with her music career. 

The Tennessee native recently sat down with TV Insider to reflect on her American Idol journey and share her plans for life after Idol. \

Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, Huntergirl - American Idol; Photo via Instagram
Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, Huntergirl – American Idol; Photo via Instagram

HunterGirl, who received the first-ever Platinum Ticket in American Idol history, admitted the competition was “probably the hardest thing” she’s ever done. The music therapist said there were times when she really doubted herself.

“Getting to have Luke there to cheer me on meant everything. I’ve looked up to him since I was a little girl,” she said of judge Luke Bryan’s unwavering support throughout the season. 

HunterGirl, Luke Bryan; Photo by American Idol, ABC
HunterGirl, Luke Bryan; Photo by American Idol, ABC

She continued, “There were moments when you are down, worried, or scared. We’re learning songs on the fly with a band, then we’re on TV. I do remember [during Contestant’s Choice week] I was really nervous and scared about getting the songs right. It was just a lot. [For finale week] we were running on no sleep to get everything done. It has been a nerve-wracking experience. It was cool to get to this point because I didn’t think I would make it past the Nashville audition.” 

HunterGirl, Carrie Underwood; Photo via American Idol, Instagram
HunterGirl, Carrie Underwood; Photo via American Idol, Instagram

HunterGirl also credits Idol alum and country superstar Carrie Underwood for helping her along the way

“We had so many great mentors,” she said. “The one I was so excited and terrified to meet was Carrie Underwood. I’ve loved her for a long time and watched her on Idol. To see how far her career has gone made me think I could do this one day. She has shown so many little girls what was possible. She just told me to believe in myself. She said it was hard work, but you’ve got to keep pushing on. She gave me that confidence boost going into the final two weeks. She made me feel like I was good enough.” 

With newfound confidence, HunterGirl is ready to embark on her career and has no plans to slow down. 

“I want to put out new music. I want to go out on tour. I want to sing songs,” she said, adding, “I want to say thank you to everyone who supported me through this entire year. I want to hear my song on the radio. I would love to play the Opry one day. Doing all these things I’ve dreamed of my entire life.”

HunterGirl’s debut single, “Red Bird,” is out now.

Tags from the story
,