HunterGirl Reflects On Her Friendship With Fellow ‘American Idol’ Alum, Noah Thompson

HunterGirl says she and her fellow ‘American Idol’ alumni are like “a big family.”


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

August 29, 2023

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Noah Thompson, HunterGirl; Photo Courtesy Instagram,

HunterGirl’s time on Season 20 of American Idol not only brought her new opportunities to advance her career but also a group of lifelong friends. 

While catching up with Country Now, the rising singer/songwriter revealed that Idol is basically “a big family” and even though it’s been over a year since coming off the show, she’s found that the bond between the contestants has remained strong. 

HunterGirl was already a Nashville resident before auditioning for the singing competition show, but many other Season 20 alums have since joined her, including Noah Thompson, Fritz Hager, Dan Marshall and Leah Marlene.

Leah Marlene, Noah Thompson, HunterGirl; Photo by ABC American Idol
Leah Marlene, Noah Thompson, HunterGirl; Photo by ABC American Idol

“Anytime anybody needs anything, I can call any of those guys,” HunterGirl shared.

She went on to explain that she and Idol winner Thompson have maintained a fairly busy schedule over the past year, including their co-headlining tour at the end of 2022, but when they do happen to find themselves in town at the same time, they make sure to keep their friendship a priority in their lives. 

“Noah, you know, we’re both on the road right now, but anytime we’re both in town or anything, we’re always calling and being like, ‘Hey, like, are you okay? What’s going on?’ And you know, just catching up.”

Iam Tongi, Megan Danielle, Haven Madison, Colin Stough, Grace Leer, HunterGirl, Fritz Hager, Noah Thompson; Photo via Instagram
Iam Tongi, Megan Danielle, Haven Madison, Colin Stough, Grace Leer, HunterGirl, Fritz Hager, Noah Thompson; Photo via Instagram

She continued, “During summertime, it is so wild, but it’s always good just because I know that I always have people to call while I’m in Nashville and have friends for life, honestly, after the show. So, I’m really blessed that I get to say that.”

In April, Thompson and the “Red Bird” singer reunited on the American Idol stage to perform the duet version of Thompson’s debut single, “One Day Tonight.”

First, Thompson graced the stage on his own, and then HunterGirl joined him to help finish off the sentimental lyrics that find the singers dreaming of a future with their partners. Together, they belted out the track in front of an excited audience as well as Idol judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie. 

“She wants a wedding in September/ Save up all winter/ Spend our summers in a fix ‘er upper in Denver/ She wants a girl and a boy/ And a old dog named Ole Roy Lord I hope this old boy can give her that life/ So go on girl/ Pour a glass of wine/ And dream aloud, talk about/ One day tonight,” they delivered in the chorus. 

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Considering the fact that just one year prior, they were both singing their hearts out in hopes of making it to the very end of the competition, this performance marked a milestone for the pair. Luckily, the hard work paid off because Thompson was crowned winner of season 20 winner while HunterGirl earned runner-up.

“It was so cool getting to go back. You know, just a full circle moment since the previous year and just getting to see everybody getting to say hi to the judges and producers and getting to sing the song with Noah. It was just so much fun,” she shared. 

HunterGirl most recently unveiled her powerful new song, “Ain’t About You,” which proved to be a fan-favorite among those who had already seen snippets of the inspirational lyrics on social media or during her live shows prior to its release.

Two years ago, HunterGirl found herself feeling frustrated and ready to give up on her dreams, so in an attempt to counteract those dark thoughts, she let her songwriting act as a secure outlet for her emotions. Her brand-new song, “Ain’t About You,” is a product of this experience as it uncovers an authentic look into the power of prayer and patience in her personal journey. 

Throughout the dreamy melody and acoustic guitar strums, HunterGirl delivers a last-chance plea to God to guide her in the right direction in what she dubs her “45-minute conversation with Jesus.”

“This has been my dream since I was a kid. This has been everything that I’ve been working towards and two years ago, nothing was really going on for me in Nashville,” she told Country Now. “A lot of my friends were getting deals and I was like, ‘Lord, what am I doing wrong?’ And you know just overthinking your life in the span of five minutes. I think I played a show that day and I’d written a song that day with some other people, and I got back to the house and I was like, ‘Lord, why do I feel like I need to write another song?’ I ran into my room and grabbed my guitar, and I called this song my 45-minute conversation with Jesus, and it’s the song that kept me in Nashville.”

HunterGirl - Ain't About You
HunterGirl – Ain’t About You

This tune also serves as a glimpse into HunterGirl’s next project that is currently in the works. However, it may be some time until fans get their hands on the entire collection because as she explained, she’s “really taking my time to put together something I’m really proud of.”

Throughout the year, HunterGirl has been showcasing her star power on the road at fairs, festivals and supporting dates with Luke Bryan, Parmalee, Josh Turner and Luke Combs for his pre-show tailgate stage.

Next up, she will take the stage at the Nicholas Country Potato Festival 2023 in Summersville, WV on September 9.

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.