Former American Idol contestant HunterGirl is stepping into a new era in her music career after finishing as the runner-up on the singing competition show on May 22. She joined Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest on Live With Kelly and Ryan on Thursday (May 26) to chat about her future in music and to look back on the whirlwind experience of Idol.

One of the star-studded moments HunterGirl experienced during her Idol journey was being mentored by former winner and current country music superstar Carrie Underwood. She also performed Underwood's song, "Undo It," during the competition. Many young singers would be nervous to perform for such a star — and, actually, that includes HunterGirl.

"I lost my mind," HunterGirl admits to the show hosts of meeting Underwood. "I walked in and I just looked at her, and I was like, 'Every word to your song, I just forgot it, because I'm freaking out right now.'"

HunterGirl says that though she was young when Underwood won the Idol crown in 2005 (she's 23 now), she recalls watching the moment on television, and it inspired her to push for her own dreams in country music.

"Just watching her on TV, it made me think, 'Maybe I could do that someday,'" she says.

Going forward, the 24-year-old singer is excited to record more music after experiencing what she says has been the best year of her life. She has shared her inspirational debut single, "Red Bird," which is based on a sweet concept passed down to her by her mother.

"Growing up, my mom always said that whenever you see a red bird, it's a sign that somebody's watching over you," HunterGirl says. She notes that when she was driving home to nervously watch the first episode of American Idol, a red bird flew across her windshield, and she felt a sense of peace.

"Full circle moment," she acknowledges.

See American Idol Contestants Then and Now

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