Half a year removed from her runner-up finish on Season 20 of American Idol, HunterGirl is paving her way in country music by releasing her own original songs and touring all over the country.

The Tennessee native certainly has experience playing on big stages, as she performed on national TV throughout her stint on the singing competition. However, she says curating her own show is much different from singing on Idol.

One of the positives of playing her own shows versus singing on Idol is the amount of preparation time she has before her performance, she says.

"On the show, it was scary," HunterGirl admitted in an Instagram Live interview with Taste of Country. "You’re just so nervous because you’re playing on everybody’s TV screens all at once. There’s a lot of pressure and it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ But I had a lot of fun, too. We were learning songs on the fly as well. You know, we have a lot of time to prepare for a tour, so learning a song in a couple of days and singing it on live television can get a little nerve-racking."

Being featured on a national television show did have its perks, though: HunterGirl says she was in awe of the way show was produced and how the contestants were treated like stars before they became them.

"It’s also a really cool experience being on TV because of how much work everybody puts in: The lights, somebody’s dressing you, somebody’s doing your hair, and they really took care of us."

"It was just so cool to feel like the people that I looked up to forever. Like, ‘Oh my gosh, they do this every day? This is awesome,'" she says. "Then we’re flying everywhere and I hadn’t really been on a plane too much before the show."

In addition to having more time to prepare, HunterGirl says another important aspect of performing on her own tour is getting to create special moments with the fans who come to her shows.

"It’s also kind of an intimate experience because all the people that are there in that moment for that hour, hour and a half that I get to have them, we get to make our own little journey, our own little experience that’s special to this group of people that were awesome enough to come out and buy a ticket to the show," she says.

"It’s two different sides of it because it was so special getting to be on TV," she says. "And then the flip side of it, getting to do a tour show, it’s different because you get to have this group of people that you’re trying to have a good time with by the end of the night. I’m just lucky that I got to experience both."

HunterGirl has a handful of dates on her schedule early next year.

See American Idol Contestants Then and Now

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