Arts & Culture

Maddie's 'Poppe'-larity leads to 'American Idol' Season 16 win

No, your eyes do not deceive you. That is Maddie Poppe singing a duet with Kermit the Frog, as she did during the show's finale Monday night. (ABC/Eric McCandless)
No, your eyes do not deceive you. That is Maddie Poppe singing a duet with Kermit the Frog, as she did during the show's finale Monday night. (ABC/Eric McCandless)
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CLARKSVILLE — “Poppe” that champagne: An Iowan has won this year’s “American Idol.”

Maddie Poppe, 20, beat out hundreds of thousands of contestants — including the other top two contenders, Caleb Lee Hutchinson and Gabby Barrett — wowed judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie, and garnered the majority of votes from viewers to claim the Season 16 crown.

She attempted to perform her new single, “Going, Going, Gone,” but cried and was then mobbed by her “Idol” contestants during the performance.

Poppe performed a cover of Stevie Nicks’ “Landslide,” as well as her new single, “Going, Going, Gone,” and her original, “Don’t Ever Let Your Children Grow Up,” on Sunday night’s penultimate episode as voting began.

Her performances prompted Perry on Sunday to say she was voting for the Iowan — even getting out her cell phone to ostensibly do so.



The winner was announced at the end of a two-hour Monday night finale on ABC.

During the two-hour special, Poppe resurrected her “Rainbow Connection” cover she originally sang on her “Idol” audition — this time accompanied by Kermit the Frog “playing” banjo.

Poppe found out she made it to the top two with Hutchinson just after 9:15 p.m. Monday.

Hutchinson also announced that he and Poppe were dating, just before the pair sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” together. After their performance, host Ryan Seacrest announced the show was giving both a trip to Hawaii for making it to the final two.

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Reaction on Facebook from her fans across Iowa leading up to the finale was all excitement and good vibes.

Gov. Kim Reynolds asked Iowans to vote for the Clarksville native on Sunday, while U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst wished Poppe good luck in a video Monday.

Poppe thanked her hometown in a Monday post to Facebook and Instagram, saying Clarksville would be her “forever home.”

ABC has renewed “American Idol” for another season — technically its second season as an ABC show, but its 17th overall. It ran on Fox from 2002 through 2016.

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