‘American Idol’ Platinum Ticket Winner Talks Working With Veterans: ‘Outlook on Music Completely Changed’

by Shelby Scott
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Things are becoming more intense by the week as we slowly narrow down our winner for “American Idol” Season 20. And as many will remember, fan-favorite artist HunterGirl, or Hunter Wolkonowski, won “Idol’s” first platinum ticket. Receiving the first ticket definitely makes for a memorable “Idol” experience regardless. However, the “American Idol” contestant said that since working with U.S. veterans in writing songs, her outlook on music has completely changed.

HunterGirl is now a part of the show’s Top 10. Many fans hope to see her progress through the end of the rounds. However, aside from scoring the show’s first platinum ticket, it’s not just her musical accomplishments that have helped enlarge her fanbase.

According to Insider, the country singer also works with the non-profit organization, Freedom Sings USA. There, she writes songs with U.S. veterans in an effort to help them cope with the “aftermath” of serving.

“We turn a story into a song,” HunterGirl explained. She shared, “I go into a room with a veteran and they talk about what they went through.”

From there, she works with each individual to write a song about their experiences. The singer explained, “We go record it in a studio and in the end, they have that song forever.”

However, her work with our nation’s veterans doesn’t end there. Aside from Freedom Sings USA, the country artist started an organization called “Trailblazers,” an all-women veterans class.

“It’s something I’m really passionate about,” she said. As per the outlet, Hunter Wolkanowski comes from a family of service members, including a grandfather, great-grandfather, and six great-uncles.

‘American Idol’ Contestant Speaks Out About Receiving the First Platinum Ticket

As supporters of our U.S. veterans, we love seeing some of “American Idol’s” talented individuals contributing to a good cause. However, HunterGirl has every right to celebrate receiving the singing show’s first-ever platinum ticket. And, with the next all-new episode of “American Idol” airing Sunday night, which is the show’s Disney night, the country artist shared her reaction with Insider.

“The platinum ticket was definitely a blessing,” she said, “but I also want to live up to it and work as hard as I can to prove I deserve to be here.”

The platinum ticket is a new bonus for “American Idol’s” season 20 contestants. As per the outlet, the ticket honors the singing show’s 20th anniversary. It also guarantees that its recipient automatically moves on to the next round. In Wolkonowski’s case, the country singer took home the platinum ticket after performing Rascal Flatts‘ song, “Riot.”

In addition to taking home the first winning platinum ticket, country star Luke Bryan also asked HunterGirl to perform at his Nashville Bar.

Outsider.com