Kristy Lee Cook may not have waltzed away with the crown during the ultra-talented seventh season of American Idol.
But she won over plenty of new fans Monday night during her performance on the WGTY Great Country Radio Stage at the York Fair.
Fans like Tara Henry, 27, of Glenville, who knew more about Kristy Lee from listening to the radio than from American Idol.
“I’d go see her again,” Tara said, adding that she was particularly impressed with one of Kristy Lee’s new songs, “Looking for a Cowgirl.” “I’d buy her CD just for that song.”
During an interview with Idol Chatter last week, Kristy Lee described the rollicking tune as a personal favorite. After all, there’s a line about “ammo and camo” in the song and the 29-year-old says the camouflaged Camaro she drives is just one example of how country she is.
“Cowgirl” was one of at least four new tunes she performed during a brief, but entertaining seven-song set in York.
Those included the two singles she’s released since signing with Broken Bow Records three years ago — “Wherever Loves Goes” and “Airborne Ranger Infantry.” The latter, a song she helped write about her father’s Vietnam War experience, earned her a standing ovation from many in the York crowd.
She also performed “I Don’t Care,” dedicating that song to cranky former Idol judge Simon Cowell, and ended the night with a country curve by covering “I Love Rock and Roll.”
Patrick Saltzgiver, 23, of Spring Grove, said he turned out for Kristy Lee’s Monday show because she was his Season 7 favorite on Idol. He was also impressed with her first post-Idol single, “15 Minutes of Shame,” a top 30 country hit back in 2008.
Idol memories were also one of the reasons friends Miranda Snyder and Mikaela Mummert, both 17, arrived early enough Monday to snag front-row seats to watch Kristy Lee.
“I remember her from Idol,” Mikaela said. “She’s a really good vocalist.”
Added Miranda: “We were really young then. This is kind of like reliving childhood memories for us.”
But not everyone who showed up for Monday’s show did so because of Kristy Lee’s Idol past.
Kathy Wolfe, 59, of Hanover, said she wasn’t a huge fan of Kristy Lee’s back during Season 7.
“But then I saw her in Nashville (at CMA Fanfest) two years ago and loved it. When I saw her live, that changed my thinking,” she said.
Dawn and Tom Forrest, who traveled to York from Cascade, Md., with their 7-year-old daughter Carleigh, weren’t even familiar with Kristy Lee Cook, the American Idol contestant.
When they heard she was performing at the York Fair, they went to YouTube to listen to her music. “Airborne Ranger Infantry” won them over.
“She was awesome,” Dawn said. “Very talented.”
Added 7-year-old Carleigh, moments after having her photo taken with Kristy Lee: “It was great.”