HunterGirl Recalls ‘Freaking Out’ When She Met Carrie Underwood On ‘American Idol:’ ‘I Lost My Mind’

Following the Season 20 finale of American Idol, runner-up HunterGirl is opening up about her life-changing experience on the show…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

May 26, 2022


3:46 pm

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HunterGirl, Carrie Underwood; Photo via American Idol, Instagram

Following the Season 20 finale of American Idol, runner-up HunterGirl is opening up about her life-changing experience on the show and her time working with Idol alum and country superstar Carrie Underwood.

During an appearance on Live with Kelly and Ryan, the Tennessee native recalled her American Idol journey and admitted she “can’t believe” the outcome of the competition. 

“If you had told me a year ago that I’d be sitting here talking to y’all – you know, I would have told you, you were about crazy,” HunterGirl confessed. “Whenever I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to sing. I sing all the time, grew up singing in my grandpa’s church. But yeah, I always wanted to do this and so I was trying to do whatever I had to – working hard to make it happen.”

One of the most memorable moments of her Idol journey was having the chance to sit down with Underwood when the eight-time GRAMMY winner mentored the Top 5 contestants. 

“Oh my gosh, I lost my mind,” Huntergirl told Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest. “I remember walking in – I walked in and I just looked at her and I was like every word to your song… I just forgot it because I’m freaking out right now because I was like I was having to sing for her!”

As a young girl, HunterGirl witnessed Underwood’s rise to fame on the show and admits it was inspiring. 

“I was little I know I was young, but just watching her on TV, you know, it made me think like, you know, maybe I could do that someday,” the Middle Tennessee State University alum admitted. 

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Now that her time on American Idol has come to an end, HunterGirl said her number one focus is to release new music. 

Her deeply personal debut single, “Red Bird,” is already turning heads. The rising singer/songwriter explained the emotional story behind the song. 

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“It’s a really personal song for me. Growing up, my mom always said that whenever you see a red bird it’s a sign that somebody’s watching over you and so whenever I was going back home to watch the first episode of American Idol, I was freaking out, I was scared, I was like ‘I don’t think anybody’s gonna like me, I don’t think I’m gonna sound good,’ and I was driving back home and I started praying and I was like ‘hey I know that you know everything’s gonna be okay God, but could you just let me know?’ And a red bird flew in front of my car,” HunterGirl recalled. “So, I was just, like, started crying – because I cry all the time – and then I got back to Nashville and wrote that song. So, full-circle moment.”

Fans can keep up with HunterGirl on Instagram

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.