'American Idol' contestant from Crystal Lake brings host Luke Bryan to tears with voice

CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. (WLS) -- A Crystal Lake woman is making her mark on "American Idol," even bringing host Luke Bryan to tears.

"It kind of validates everything I do as a performer," Grace Kinstler said. "We do it to make people feel something and connect and so the fact that I was able to do that with someone of his stature is really rewarding."

ABC 7 Chicago's Hosea Sanders spoke with Kinstler about her experience on the show so far. Here's what she said:

Sanders: "Tell me again how it felt looking at those legends and seeing how they responded to your voice?"

Kinstler: "When I walked in the room they just looked like gods and goddesses - to go in and move them the way that I did and have them enjoy the performance I gave was super rewarding.

"Being from Chicago and Illinois and I'm from the burbs and there's a lot of cornfields, so I'm not always surrounded by all of this.

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"To be here with so many people who want this just as badly, it's really cool to be able to talk to them and hear their stories and collaborate with them and sing with them is so cool."

Sanders: "Have you been able to connect with the other people from Chicago?"

Kinstler: "I got to meet Althea Grace, who auditioned this past Sunday; she's just a beautiful person inside and out."

"I used to watch 'American Idol' with my dad a lot and my mom and I always imagined if I go he would be there.

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"I keep thinking about how much he believed in me and trying to believe that much in myself."

Sanders: "It felt like you had a special angel with you that day."

Kinstler: "To have this happen now it's bittersweet cause I wish my dad were here to see it, but I can also do it as a tribute to him.

"I wouldn't be here without him, and I wouldn't have these experiences without him."

Sanders: "Represent Chicago now; we're pulling for you!"

Kinstler: "Thank you, I will; I'll do my best!"
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