Interview: Abi Carter reflects on her American Idol win, her loyal fans, and teases what's coming up next

Hidden Remote had the chance to speak with the newly crowned champ about her time on the competition series, and her plans for new music. Get all the details here!
(Disney/Eric McCandless)
(Disney/Eric McCandless) /

On May 19, 2024, Abi Carter's life changed forever! Of course just being on the show has been a wild experience, but not everyone can say that they're officially an American Idol winner. The 21-year-old from Indio, California now joins that list, with runner-ups Will Moseley and Jack Blocker coming in second and third place, respectively. I'll tell you that I had a few favorites on season 22, but it was Abi who I was rooting for all along. And I wasn't the only one!

We here at Hidden Remote had the opportunity to speak with Abi about the life-changing moment of winning American Idol 2024, what it's been like to have the support of fans and viewers from Day 1, and what she has planned next when it comes to music. Check out the video interview below, or keep on scrolling to read what she had to say!

Winning American Idol and fan support

Hidden Remote: Congrats on winning American Idol! I know it's an obvious question, but can you just take me back to that moment when you heard your name? What were your thoughts and feelings?

Abi Carter: Absolute shock, and every feeling and nothing. It was like being completely numb and the world was spinning and you were staying still. It was incredible.

HR: Now that you've had a few days to process, how are you feeling? Has it hit you yet?

Abi: No, it definitely still has not hit me yet. But I'm feeling super grateful just trying to take as many opportunities right now as I can.

(Disney/Eric McCandless)ABI CARTER /

HR: When you auditioned with "What Was I Made For?" by Billie Eilish, I became an Abi Carter stan. It was the perfect song choice. You've had really loyal fans throughout your time on the show. Why do you think people have connected with you in such a strong way? And what does having that support mean to you?

Abi: I went into that audition room and just became - I immediately blacked out. I felt so overwhelmed and it's really hard to stand in front of three music legends [judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan], and then sing for them. When I got in that room I absolutely blacked out and I sat at the piano. I [couldn't] think of anything except for what I [was] singing. And [I thought] if I can just focus on that, then it should go ok.

I think people connected with me because I connected with what I was saying and what I was singing. And I think that's the most important thing for singer to do. You can have an amazing voice. But if you don't believe in what you're saying, it's not going to reach people. And so you really need to feel it. And I'm so thankful that people felt it. I've known ever since I was a little kid that being a singer was what I wanted to be. And for a long time, I didn't think that I would ever get the opportunity to kind of chase that dream. So having all of this support actually means my life. It means the entire world to me. I get to do what I love forever because of that support.

Standout moments on the show

HR: Is there a favorite song or performance that stands out in your memory?

Abi: That audition obviously was the audition that changed my life. So that stands out to me a lot. But "Bring Me to Life" by Evanescence I think made me realize that I could do a lot more than I ever thought I could. So that was a big pivotal moment for me.

HR: Is there something people might be surprised to know about the competition, or just how difficult it is?

Abi: When you're in this competition, you become best friends with everybody and you just want them to succeed. Every time it comes to eliminations, it's actually not nerve-racking because to you, it's a win either way. Whether you make it through or get sent home because your friends are being successful. So maybe that's something people might not know. Something else - it is really hard. It's a lot of really early days and really late nights. It's stressful and tiring. Exhausting really. But worth it. (Side note - Carter mentioned that they rehearse all week, but actually only get to practice on stage once the day before for camera rehearsal. Wow!)

(Disney/Eric McCandless) /

HR: You did touch on this, but I was wondering who you grew closest to when it comes to the other contestants?

Abi: Julia Gagnon. I'm a bridesmaid in her wedding. She's just the light of my life. I love her so much.

HR: That's so sweet! What would you say you've learned in this competition, and what's your proudest moment?

Abi: I have learned to step outside of the box that I made for myself. I've learned stage presence. I didn't have stage presence before. I mean, if you look in that little audition room, I stood with my hands behind my back and just spoke with the judges and went over to the piano. And when I was done, I stayed there. I didn't know what to do. So I've learned how to be on a stage. I've learned how to interact with the crowd and people and be engaged and engaging. I think that that's an experience that I'll be able to take with me forever.

(Disney/Eric McCandless) /

New Abi Carter music

HR: We're all wondering what is coming up next - music, album, tours. What's coming up for Abi Carter?

Abi: All of that is in the works, I'm working on it. I think coming out of [American Idol], it's hard to just jump right back into something else. But I am working on setting up writing sessions and wanting to release music. I have some demos that I would love to release. So I'm just kind of getting my plan together. But I do want to do all that stuff. I want to release music, I want to release an album, I want to go on tour. I want to do all of it. It's just figuring out how I'm going to do that.

Well, while we impatiently wait for the talent to do all of those things, and take a much earned break, you can listen to her new original song, "This Isn't Over," which Abi first debuted at the American Idol finale. Hoping for a music video? I've got you covered! Watch it below:

*This interview has been edited for length and clarity

Stay tuned to Hidden Remote as we bring you news and updates about American Idol on ABC!

Next. A full list of American Idol winners: Where are they now?. A full list of American Idol winners: Where are they now?. dark