Crystal Bowersox's Friends Looking Forward To 'American Idol' Finale

'We come from this little town, and to see her do it ... is pretty awe-inspiring,' one friend tells MTV News.

During Wednesday night's results show, Crystal Bowersox talked about how exciting it is for her to see how her run on "American Idol" has brought some hope to her struggling hometown of Toledo, Ohio. She got emotional when reliving her trip home last week and the joy she saw in the eyes of her northwest Ohio fans. On Thursday (May 20), that pride was peaking after the single mom made it to next week's finale.

"I feel incredible about her making it all the way," said good friend Nate Woodward, who was in the audience for both shows this week in Los Angeles. "I'm not surprised, because I certainly think she has the ability, but it's still kind of weird. We come from this little town, and to see her do it — even though we know she has the talent — is pretty awe-inspiring."

Just like Bowersox, Woodward hesitated for a second on Wednesday night when host Ryan Seacrest announced her finale bid, because he said it's a bit hard to hear the audio from the stage in the "Idol" studio.

"It was confusing," he said of the moment when Seacrest told Crystal she'd be joining Lee DeWyze in the finale, to which she said "I'm safe? I'm safe?"

"We felt the same way Crystal did, and the crowd was all asking, 'What did he say?' But once we figured it out, it was kind of emotional," Woodward recalled. "I was with her boyfriend, Tony, and his two sisters, and we just all jumped up and down and clapped and got pretty emotional."

Woodward said he also got emotional when watching the footage of the hometown visit, because he knows what a huge impact her success has had on people back home and how genuine her feelings are about the trip back. "It really does give us something to feel good about right now," he said. "People have something to smile about. But more than anything else, it comes down to the fact that she does actually have a gift and talent."

Will she win? Nate sure hopes so, and he thinks she deserves it, but he knows Lee is stiff competition and that no matter what happens Crystal — whom he used to watch play to a dozen or so people from behind the bar at the Village Idiot bar back home — has already won just by getting this far.

"I wasn't surprised that Crystal advanced yesterday, but still, I was nervous and happy when they announced that," said John Schafer, the booker for the Village Idiot. "I believe that, clearly, she has been the best from the beginning and is the one to beat. I like Lee, he's good, but Crystal's voice shines."

Are you rooting for Crystal to win it all next week? Let us know in the comments!

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