Waters advances in American Idol competition

Published 11:55 am Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Luverne native Summer Waters is following her dreams and advanced one step closer to fulfilling her goal of becoming a rising Nashville star when she was named as an American Idol competition finalist.

The University of Alabama freshman won the top spot in the reality TV show’s local competition sponsored by WAKA in Montgomery. She, along with three others from the tri-county area – Jon Henderson, Sara Coger, and Curk Mosley – were awarded the chance at a virtual audition with the show’s executive producer after being selected from the top twelve among 48 original contestants.

The accomplishment is something Summer takes seriously, and feels is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. At press time, she and the other finalists had not yet learned the results of the audition.

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“My whole outlook on [the competition] has been if I don’t make it through this round, at least I made it to the virtual audition,” Summer said. “That’s much farther than most people make it because we actually got to audition with an executive producer of the show.”

According to Summer’s mother, Melissa Waters, the young woman has always loved to sing.

“Ever since she was a tiny little thing, I’m talking three or four years old, we would hear her sometimes just belting out songs,” Melissa explained. “Her voice has become a lot richer as she matured, but even when she was little, she had this deep, rich tone in her voice. She’s always been able to sing.”

Summer recently competed in the Miss University of Alabama pageant and the Luverne School graduate said pageant participation helped her feel comfortable on the stage.

“I’ve been doing pageants since I was nine months old,” Summer said. “I started out in the Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen system, back when I was 13. It had a talent portion, which made me learn to be comfortable singing in front of people. And that’s where I’ve gotten the confidence to be able to go onstage.”

Summer credits her parents for pushing her to excel and helping her manage the effort. She takes inspiration from her older brother, Ryan Waters, who is himself a rising country music star.

“The reason why I’m here is all because of my parents,” Waters said. “They pushed me to do things, especially in my teenage years. I wouldn’t be here without them.”

The artist was named Entertainer of the Year by the Alabama Music Association and released her first song, “In Love with Your Ghost,” on Aug. 11.

She is currently pursuing a degree in communications and hopes to eventually move to Nashville to work with CMT (Country Music Television) or the Nashville Predators.

Until then, Summer expects to keep working toward her dreams and will compete Sunday for the Miss Phenix City title.