Country singer Kree Harrison has made it all the way into the final three on this season of 'American Idol,' and this past Saturday (May 4) the pride of Woodville, Texas returned to the tiny town for an emotional hometown visit with the cameras rolling.

Harrison tells People that she couldn't believe the outpouring of local support. "I kept thinking as I was getting ready that I was just going to an event rather than something that was for me," she says. "It was so surreal ... tons of people I've never seen in my life [showed up] that were from all over actually."

The 22-year-old singer has weathered her share of heartbreak to get to where she is now, losing both of her parents before she was out of her teens. The support of her siblings and remaining family has been crucial, and she says one of the standout moments of returning home was a visit to a special place with a lot of family history.

"I went to this amazing church that was the first place I ever sang and I got to see our preacher, who is this amazing woman," Harrison shares. "And the church itself has so much history. That's where my parents got married. That's where I was baptized. My sister got married there. The preacher actually spoke at both of my parents' funerals, so to see her and to get to go to that church was really, really cool."

KTRE in Beaumont, Texas reports that Harrison's homecoming included a press conference, a parade and an appearance at the Tyler Country Rodeo, all topped off by a concert at Ford Park. The singer also visited with the mayor, who presented her with a letter from Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Her aunt tells the local news station that seeing her niece return home to such a buzz is a dream come true.

"Oh, it's so exciting," says Penny Harrison. "We just can't believe she's made it this far. Though we know she deserves it. She's been trying since she was 8 years old."

As for the singer, she admits she's still having a hard time processing all of the commotion that accompanies her newfound fame. "This is the dream that I've had or a long time, and to be able to live it is pretty insane," Harrison tells KTRE.

Harrison's hometown visit will air this week on 'American Idol.' She will compete against Candice Glover and Angie Miller to see which two contestants go on to vie for the top spot in this year's competition.

Watch a Video of Kree Harrison's Hometown Visit


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