LENOX, Mass. (NEWS10) – Former American Idol contestant Katherine Winston thanked all the people who supported her during her journey on the show in her hometown of Lenox, Mass. Wednesday night.
It was not the ending her family, friends and family were hoping for, but Winston was grateful for the opportunity while it lasted. The Berkshire County native made it past tens of thousands in the audition round to the top 24.
The young singer performed a welcome home concert at Lenox High School in Massachusetts Wednesday night. She performed and spoke with her fans about her experience in Hollywood, and she said ‘thank you’ the best way she could – through song.
“It was the most exciting thing you could ever imagine,” she said. “Every single step of the way was more exciting.”
Winston, 18, made it past so many hopefuls to sing in front of the whole country on American Idol as one of the top 24. Even though she didn’t make it to the next step, she wouldn’t change a thing.
“Honestly, I had such a good time,” she said. “I met some amazing people. I learned so much about myself as a person, as an artist. I’ve gained experiences I will cherish forever. It was amazing.”
But were the judges as harsh as they sometimes seemed?
“You’re supposed to be intimidated by them, but they’re all so nice,” she said. “Even if they give you some harsh criticism, they mean well.”
Even when she didn’t make the cut, it wasn’t as bad as many think, Winston said. She was more worried about her new friends – friends she said she’ll keep forever.
Now that she’s home, old friends like Julia King are happy to hear her sing in person again.
“I knew that music makes her really happy and was going to continue in it, and I just want her to be happy,” King said.
While her journey on Idol has ended, Winston is excited about the next steps. She plans to write new music and is looking forward to where the road takes her next.
“I hope that people tag along,” she said. “I’m excited, but I’m nervous.”