By Jenna Bagcal

From the tender age of three, Maddie Walker has been pursing her passion for music. The 17-year-old singer from Ankeny, Iowa, first auditioned for American Idol in season 13 but was sent home during Hollywood Week. However, this minor setback didn’t stop her from auditioning again, and she made it to the Top 11 on season 14 of the reality TV show. Last week, she sang “Let’s Hear It For the Boy” from the film Footloose, which earned her a place in the bottom three. Unfortunately, her journey ended on Wednesday when was sent home in a double elimination along with fellow contestant Adanna Duru.

Aspiring Country Artist Discusses Her Time on American Idol 

Related Link: ‘American Idol’ Contestant Sarina-Joi Crowe on Being Eliminated: “It Motivates Me Even More”

As the last contestant on American Idol this season representing country music, Walker says, “I think that it’s sad that no one is representing country. It breaks my heart a little bit.” The aspiring star was lucky enough to work with mentor Scott Borchetta, who is known for discovering Taylor Swift. “I really loved working with Scott. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor because country really is in his wheelhouse,” she shares in our celebrity interview.

Last week, Walker suffered from a ruptured appendix, and there were questions as to whether or not she could perform. “They were saying, ‘Do you think you can sing? You have to put your health first. Don’t worry about the competition.’ The thing is, people voted me through, and I wanted to sing for them,” she explains.

She adds that, although she was in pain prior to and during the show, her fans helped her find the strength to perform. “There were people in the crowd with signs that had my name on it, and I was standing there thinking, ‘How can I say that I’m not going to sing for the people that have taken the time to make a sign and cheer for me?,” she shares. “I wanted to prove to people that, no matter what happened, I was in it for them — not just for the competition itself but because they were supporting me.”

Related Link: Adanna Duru Says ‘American Idol’ “Is Like Superstar College!”

Despite her elimination, Walker maintains a positive outlook on her journey and time on the show. “I just need to keep working and moving forward because American Idol motivated me and taught me so much that I could’ve never learned anywhere else.”

We haven’t heard the last of this talented performer. “I’m definitely going to start writing and hopefully recording country music because that’s my goal,” she reveals. “That’s what I want to do.”

Find out what Maddie is up to on Twitter @TheMaddieWalker! Tune in for American Idol on Wednesdays at 8/7c on FOX.