‘American Idol’: Huntergirl Opens Up About How Luke Bryan’s Support ‘Meant Everything’

by Emily Morgan

“American Idol” season 20 runner-up Huntergirl is reminiscing on her whirlwind of an experience on the show. But, for the Tennessee native, one judge’s support was a game-changer when she looks back on her “Idol” journey. 

Luke Bryan, country music star and “American Idol” judge, gave the up-and-coming vocalist continuous support, which is something she says “meant everything” to her. She also revealed she’s looked up to Bryan since she was singing into her hair brush. During a recent interview, Huntergirl expressed her gratitude for the “Waves” singer for being there to “cheer [her] on” during the competition’s more challenging moments.

“[American Idol] was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” Huntergirl tells TV Insider. “Getting to have Luke [Bryan] there to cheer me on meant everything. I’ve looked up to him since I was a little girl.”

She first captured Bryan’s attention when Huntergirl auditioned with a cover of Rascal Flatts’ song, “Riot.” After her impressive audition, Bryan called her a “new age Miranda Lambert,” even going so far in saying she was his “favorite female country voice” on the show.

Yet, despite his support, Huntergirl still had challenging moments on the show. 

Huntergirl opens up about Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan’s support

“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.” Yet, she describes that it was “cool to get to this point because I didn’t think I would make it past the Nashville audition.”

During the season finale, Bryan joined HunterGirl on stage for a duet of Randy Travis’ classic country music song, “I Told You So.””Your #AmericanIdol journey has been incredible. I’m proud to have shared the stage with you @huntergirlmusic,” Bryan wrote on Twitter after their duet.

Huntergirl, the show’s first-ever platinum ticket winner, was also praised by fellow country singer Carrie Underwood. Underwood was a mentor for this season of “Idol.”

“We had so many great mentors [this season],” 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.” Huntergirl added that Underwood made her feel like she “was good enough.”