WOODVILLE, TX (KTRE) - Now that Woodville native Kree Harrison has made it to the final two on American Idol, East Texas News found out how excited the hometown fans are to cheer on their favorite singer.
Harrison advanced to the next round Thursday night. Last weekend, Harrison paid a visit to the town she group up in during her hometown tour. She finished up the tour with a concert in Beaumont.
Folks in Woodville love Harrison and have been proud fans of their hometown idol since her childhood.
"It makes us very proud that a hometown girl can make it big," Trey Allison said.
Woodville residents say watching her perform over the years and work hard to become an American Idol top two contestant has been unforgettable.
"It obviously means a lot for Kree Harrison, but Woodville is just ecstatic for Kree," said Woodville Mayor Ben Bythewood. "We all remember her when she was younger coming and singing at rodeos and different events, you know, trying to get started."
Fans showed their support Friday for Harrison by wearing special designed T-shirts made by the idol herself.
"Her mom always liked the yellow roses and so this is something that she has on the shirts that kind of help bring part of her mom with her," Terri Bible said. "It's just special for us. We try to wear them throughout town. Even when I've gone out of town, and it's Wednesday, that's our Kree Day, and we wear them People have asked about them and stuff. So, we're real proud of them."
Supporting her with these custom T-shirts is something the city thinks Harrison would be excited about in light of the fact she has showed her support for East Texas on the West Coast.
Bible said Harrison's parade and concert cost almost $50,000. She said the money raised from T-shirts and the Kree Harrison koozies being sold at City Hall will help offset the expenses of the parade and concert.
"She seemed like a very genuine, sincere person when we spoke to her this weekend," Bible said. "We actually sent her a care package from Woodville and it had a lot of just Southeast Texas things in it for all of the LA people."
This past weekend, the proud community had the chance to see their favorite contestant.
"We had 12 to 15,000 people here for the parade, which is larger than anything that we've done in the past," Bythewood said.
Having a Woodville native on American Idol has created a certain atmosphere around town.
"We are so happy and so excited for her," Tracy Johnson said. "She's going to put Woodville on the map, I think. And my heart is so happy for her."
"To see her excel and succeed the way that she is, it's just a delightful experience," Bythewood said.
Residents say next week's watch party will surely be one for the books.
"We're nervous," Nicole McCollister said. "We want her to go all the way; we want her to do good. She deserves it, and we're definitely going to buy her record when it comes out.
Next week, Harrison will compete against Candice Glover for the 2013 American Idol title. A winner will be announced on Thursday.