Whitney Duncan (born August 3, 1984) is an American country music artist. She finished as the fifth place finalist on the fifth season of Nashville Star. She has released one studio album and has charted on the U.S. country singles charts with "When I Said I Would" and "Skinny Dippin'," as well as a Christmas single and guest appearance on a Kenny Rogers single which was released before her Nashville Star appearance. Duncan competed in the CBS reality series Survivor: South Pacific in late 2011.
Whitney Duncan was born on August 3, 1984 in Scotts Hill, Tennessee, a town consisting of only 900 people. Her father is a state environmentalist and her mother is a schoolteacher. Her grandfather introduced her to music.1 Duncan began singing at her church, later performing in local talent shows, fairs, and festivals. She would also travel to the neighboring states of Kentucky and Missouri to perform at events. In her early teens, she began to travel to Nashville, Tennessee2 to perform at local clubs, including Tootsie's Lounge.1
In her senior year of high school, Duncan signed a recording contract with a label, cutting a few sides she had written. One of these sides was "My World Is Over", which became a duet with Kenny Rogers, and appeared on his 42 Ultimate Hits album in 2004.2 A single was made of their duet, and charted for one week on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in July 2004. Afterwards Duncan parted ways with the label.3 In 2006, she opened for the CMA Music festival, performing the National Anthem and singing the next day as well.4
In 2007, Duncan participated on the USA network show Nashville Star and self-released her debut album. After coming in fifth place, she signed to Warner Bros. Records Nashville. Her first solo single, "When I Said I Would" was released from the label in August 2008,2 peaking at No. 48 on the U.S. country charts. The second single, "The Bed You Made," followed in December 2008 and failed to chart. The third single, "Skinny Dippin" was released in July 2009, and debuted at No. 60 and reached No. 48 as well. A Christmas digital single, a cover version of the Mariah Carey hit "All I Want for Christmas Is You", was issued in November 2008. A digital EP titled Selections From Right Road Now was released in December 2008.
Duncan's debut album, Right Road Now, was originally slated for a May 2009 release, but was pushed back due to the lackluster success of the singles. The album was released digitally and through Amazon.com on compact disc on April 20, 2010.
Whitney's song "So Sorry Mama" is featured in the Footloose movie and on the soundtrack. She sang and co-wrote "So Sorry Mama" with John Shanks and Gordie Sampson. "So Sorry Mama" was also on her "Right Road Now" cd released on Warner Brothers in 2010. Whitney released a new single called "That's How You Make Love" on July 31, 2012.
Survivor: South Pacific
Beginning September 2011, Duncan appeared as a contestant on the CBS reality television series, Survivor: South Pacific, as part of the Savaii tribe. Duncan formed a very close, romantic bond with Keith Tollefson, and the two teamed up with Jim Rice and another romantic pair, Ozzy Lusth and Elyse Umemoto, early on within the tribe. At the urging of Rice, Duncan cooperated in the elimination of Umemoto to limit Lusth's power.
At the merge, Duncan and the rest of the old Savaii tribe were betrayed by former tribemate John Cochran, leading to the voting out of the entire former Savaii tribe; Duncan herself was voted out on Day 27. She and Dawn Meehan lost the Redemption Island duel the next day against former tribemate Lusth. Duncan placed 9th and was part of the Jury.5
Duncan married musician Donny Fallgatter on August 1, 2010 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee after two months of dating.7 The couple's divorce was granted in November 2011.7 She became engaged to Keith Tollefson on February 14, 2013. The two had begun a relationship on their season of Survivor.7