American Idol Platinum Ticket Winner HunterGirl Talked About Writing Songs For Vets

  • HunterGirl, the first-ever platinum ticket winner for “American Idol,” entered the Top 10.
  • The singer-songwriter works with military veterans, writing songs with them to help them cope with PTSD.
  • She said it changed her outlook on music, realizing it was about helping others and making them feel something.

Hunter Wolkonowski, better known as HunterGirlwas the first-ever recipient of three platinum tickets to “American Idol” given out in honor of the show’s 20th anniversary this season.

Blow the judges with it cover of “Riot” by Rascal Flattsshe received a golden ticket before being invited to playing at Luke Bryan’s Nashville bar and be presented with a platinum ticket.

This sent her to Hollywood Week with the benefit of automatically passing the first round, watching and evaluating her competition, and strategically choosing a duet partner for the next round.

A post shared by American Idol (@americanidol)

Now HunterGirl has entered the Top 10 and is fighting to hold onto a spot until the very end. Bryan is proclaimed “favorite female country voice” spoke to Insider, saying, “The platinum ticket was definitely a blessing, but I also want to rise to the occasion and work as hard as I can to prove that I deserve to be here.”

However, his hard work didn’t just start at the start of this competition. The 23-year-old has been performing for over a decade, trying to make a name for herself in Nashville.

HunterGirl also works with the non-profit organization Freedom sings in the United States, writing songs with veterans to help them cope with the consequences of their service. “We turn a story into a song,” she said. “I go into a room with a veteran and they talk about what they’ve been through. We’ll record it in a studio and at the end of the day they have this song forever.”

Not only does she do this every week (temporarily taking a break from competing), but she also started the organization’s “Trailblazers” class of female veterans.

A post shared by Freedom Sings USA (@freedomsingsusa)

“It’s something I’m really passionate about,” she said, citing her long military family history, including her grandfather, great-grandfather and six great-uncles.

“My outlook on music completely changed when I started working with veterans,” she said, explaining that her songwriting process had become more selfless.

“First, in your head, you’re like, ‘Am I singing this song, am I?’ or ‘Is that good enough?’ talk about yourself“, she said. “My vision changed to be, ‘What song will help them?'”

“That’s the whole point of music anyway. It never has to be perfect, it just has to make people feel something,” HunterGirl added.

When asked if she would continue to work with veterans after the competition, she replied, “I will do this for the rest of my life.”

HunterGirl will next perform on “American Idol” on Sunday for “Disney Night.”

Herman C. Harkins