Vital Stats: Name: Nicole Kristen
Age: 22
From: Long Island, New York
Singing Experience: "I've been molded into a singer by my father since I've been very young. I've been singing my whole life. It's very freeing to me."

I've been singing my whole life. It's very freeing to me

Heroes: "My hero is my father and my mother. They're both very strong individuals. I look up to them for their strengths and even their weaknesses"
Favorite Country Artist: Carrie Underwood. "She's very strong and fierce. When she takes that stage, she takes that stage and all eyes are on her."
Country Crush: Blake Shelton. "He's tall, dark, and just so handsome. Miranda better watch out. He's mine."

He's tall, dark, and just so handsome. Miranda better watch out. He's mine

The Inside Scoop:

Nicole is 'very open to meeting new people and very accepting toward everybody,' which explains how far she's been able to push her music career in a short amount of time. Her willingness to reach out with her music has led her to a second Hitmaker appearance and she hopes to get her music out to more people than ever this year.

To the country music skeptic:

The only reason you don't like it is because you're not giving it a chance. It's the story of people's lives. This music turns your life around completely.

To potential voters:

This Hitmaker Challenge means the world to me. When I was 16, my Dad passed away and winning this would not only make me happy, but I think it would make him very happy and proud. I want to reach people with my music. I want to be that inspiration to other people, like they've been to me.

Here is Nicole's song. Take a listen and look out for your opportunity to vote once all 9 contestants have been profiled: