‘American Idol’: Meet Top 3 Finalist and Tennessee Native HunterGirl

by Emily Morgan

American Idol’s top three contestants are gearing up for what is bound to be their most memorable night. Ahead of the three-hour-long finale this Sunday, we’re taking a closer look at one top-three finalist, Huntergirl.

The 23-year-old country music powerhouse was born Hunter Wolkonowsk in Winchester, Tennessee. She immediately won us— and the “American Idol” judges— over when she delivered a stunning rendition of Rascal Flatts’ “Riot.”

Luke Bryan, who will take the stage with Huntergirl during the finale, literally did a victory lap after her audition. He even dubbed her a “new age Miranda Lambert” and his “favorite female country voice.” The judges put all their faith in her when they awarded her one of the highly coveted Platinum tickets.

However, Huntergirl also has a heart as big as her voice. Passionate about our veterans, she partnered with the organization Freedom Sings USA when she lent her voice to help soldiers who have PTSD. She used music as therapy to turn their turmoil into healing.

Before her big break on “Idol,” HunterGirl had already begun her music career. She released her own original music after graduating from Middle Tennessee State University’s music business school.

Huntergirl used her years of musical training and raw talent to impress the judges, and America, on the show. She even showed us she wouldn’t be put in a country music box when she gave a stellar rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.”

Huntergirl heads into the finale having wowed us all

An obvious fan of Rascal Flatts, she later performed “Banjo.” She proved she also had songwriting talent when she sang her original piece, “Heartbreak Down.”

HunterGirl also channeled Miranda Lambert when she sang “Vice” and continued to let her country twang shine when she sang Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5.” She also impressed with Sugarland’s “Baby Girl.”

Again, she proved she couldn’t be confined by one genre. She tunned us with her rendition of “I See the Light” for Disney Week, and Tate McRae’s “You Broke Me First.”

HunterGirl later gave a nod to Season 10 runner-up Lauren Alaina when she performed her song, “Like My Mother Does.”

If you weren’t already hooked on Huntergirl, she later wowed us with Carrie Underwood’s “Undo It.”

The top three will join the judges for duets following the finale’s traditional “Hometown” episode. As we see how Huntergirl’s fate unfolds this Sunday, we’ll also have eyes on Noah Thompson and Leah Marlene.

All three released original songs last week, which each will perform for the final episode. Marlene will break out “Flowers,” HunterGirl will sing “Redbird,” and Thompson will deliver his “One Day Tonight.”

The top three will take on the music of Bruce Springsteen for the three-hour finale on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.