"Through this entire competition I've just kind of been at peace with whatever happens," she said of hearing she would not be in the top two. "I was so glad I got to that point, I got to go home and see my family and see everybody who's been supporting me the whole way through. I didn't feel like I lost."
"Now that American Idol has ended, this is where the hard work begin," Kinstler added.
RELATED: And the new 'American Idol' is....
Now she's transitioning from a world of sequins and sparkle back to normal.
"The wardrobe team was amazing," she said. "It was so cool. I had never worked with people who were like 'Let's make you feel good and let's make you look good.' They were so ready to work with my body and that was amazing for me; I've never had that before.
'She had an energy and a spark': HS choir teacher recalls American Idol star Grace Kinstler
And the trip home to Crystal Lake was both gratifying and humbling too.
"I just feel so loved and I'm so grateful," she said. "I can't believe this many people came and showed up, I didn't even know Crystal Lake had that many people."
Grace Kinstler talks about 'American Idol' experience ahead of new single release
"Some people are going to like you and some people aren't gonna like you, but you have to focus on the people that love you and have supported you," Kinstler added. "And you have to use that to fuel you. Do it for them, do it for the people who have always believed in you. I just want to sing to people. The hometown concert was everything I ever wanted."
WATCH | Hundreds attend Grace Kinstler's homecoming celebration in Crystal Lake