“American Idol” season 20 finale aired on May 22 with only three contestants left, Leah Marlene, Noah Thompson, and HunterGirl. Thompson won the competition, but HunterGirl stole our hearts.


The “American Idol” season finale began with Leah Marlene’s performing Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA,” followed by her original song, “Flowers.”

HunterGirl went next, and she sang Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” and her original tune, “Red Bird.” Noah Thompson was the final performer. He chose Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire” before singing his original song “One Day Tonight.”

Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan on October 3, 2017 | Source: Getty Images

Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan on October 3, 2017 | Source: Getty Images



Marlene ended in third place, so HunterGirl and Thompson faced off in the finals. He sang Rihanna’s “Stay,” and she chose Rascal Flatts’ “Riot,” the song from her first audition. 

Both singers got nothing but positive feedback from judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie, but the final decision was in the audience’s hands.

Over 16 million people voted, and Thompson won “American Idol.” HunterGirl was the runner-up, but she has thousands of fans. Here’s everything you need to know about the “American Idol” contestant.


Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan on May 12, 2019 | Source: Getty Images

Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan on May 12, 2019 | Source: Getty Images


Born in Winchester, Tennessee, HunterGirl’s real name is Hunter Wolkonowski. She got her college degree from the music business school of Middle Tennessee State University.


She won many songwriting contests as a college student, so she knew music was for her. Apart from opening at music events for Alan Jackson, Trace Adkins, and Sara Evans, HunterGirl has also worked with veterans in music therapy.

[HunterGirl] cried writing the lyrics.


Unsurprisingly, not everyone was pleased that Noah Thompson won “American Idol,” especially after HunterGirl won the first Platinum Ticket of season 20. Some of HunterGirl’s fans took to social media to share their thoughts.

A netizen pointed out that Thompson’s win meant we got another “boring male” in country music while HunterGirl had something Thompson didn’t.

Other Twitter users wrote that they were disappointed at “American Idol’s” voters as either HunterGirl or Leah Marlene should have won, not Thompson.



Like Thompson and Marlene, HunterGirl released her debut single shortly before the “American Idol” season finale aired. It is called “Red Bird,” and it wowed her fans. 

Co-written by HunterGirl, Matt McKinney, and Austin Goodloe, the song is about looking for signs from the “other side” in a cardinal (a small bird with red feathers). HunterGirl’s lyrics say that she is running out of faith and feels lost and empty.


To confirm that God is still with her, she asks Him to send a red bird, which would be a sign of encouragement for her to keep going. In the final chorus, the song moves up a key so that HunterGirl can express her raw emotions.

The “American Idol” runner-up confessed she cried writing the lyrics because her family always told her that cardinals were a sign from Heaven that a family member was looking after her.

Through the song, HunterGirl wants listeners to know that they are never alone as their loved ones are always watching over them. She’s got a bright future ahead.



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