KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A singer-songwriter from Dandridge, Tenn. is featured on the newest season of ABC’s “American Idol.”

Cay Aliese is a stay-at-home mother of two who made it to Hollywood after auditioning for the show. Though her journey ended there, she said the experience is already opening doors for her.

“So, like this weekend, I got to write so many songs, got to be a part of incredible things. I’m going back to Nashville next weekend, to record a brand new song that we wrote last night, all because of American Idol,” Aliese said.

She said the biggest benefit of being on the show has been the connections she made.

“The town that I come from, it’s small, there’s not really a lot of art there,” Aliese said. “So getting to go to American Idol and being in a room with everyone who is just so talented, and they’re so good at their craft and their art that they do, it just really inspired me. So then Hollywood week, I got to make even more friends and get closer with people.”

Though her American Idol experience didn’t go as planned, she said she more motivated than ever to keep chasing her dreams.

“Literally, my whole life I loved music but I was scared to dive into it. When you dream, and you don’t make it in that dream, it’s crushing. So, I think that was the thing for me, I was so scared to fail, but doing American Idol I was like oh, I can do this, I can dream again,” she said.

Now that she’s back home, she said her kids have shown nothing but excitement for her.

“They think it’s just really cool and even on the way up here, I was showing them all my new songs that I wrote in Nashville this week,” she said.

Aliese is continuing to work toward her goals, and said she sees a great future for herself and her career.

“I’ll probably be living in Nashville, I will have released an album, I really hope the community gets to see a lot more from me because there’s some incredible things I’m working on. A year from now, my life is going to look even more different than it does now,” she said.

Aliese already has music released, that is available on Apple Music and Spotify.