Sunday night on “American Idol,” 19-year-old Maddie Zahm sang Dua Lipa‘s “New Rules” during the 2018 auditions. The Boise, ID native is a special education teacher who brought her best friend Marcus with her to the audition. Judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie gave Marcus a special moment when they let him sit with them at the table while Maddie performed. Can Maddie make it all the way to the Season 16 live shows? Watch her “American Idol” performance video above.
“Maddie, you’ve got a set of pipes on you,” declared Perry. “You’re an incredible woman.”
Richie agreed, telling her warmly, “I really do think you’ve got great potential.”
“Push yourself,” noted Bryan. “Bring it down from deep and let it fly out. Sometimes you get a little timid, but you’ve got it.”
After Maddie and Marcus sang a version of Perry’s “Firework,” the four judges gave Maddie a golden ticket to Hollywood and then took a selfie with her and Marcus.
In his recap of “American Idol,” our live-blogger Denton Davidson wrote, “She works in special education now, but struggled through high school after gaining over 100 pounds in a single year. She lost her confidence, but her life changed when she met Marcus, a boy with down syndrome she met in a music class after he sang a Katy Perry song. At a time they both needed a friend, they found each other. Maddie is singing ‘New Rules’ and the judges are ecstatic this lovable person also has a great voice!”