Through the years since it began in 2002, “American Idol” has supported their winners and even runners-up. Just this week, Gabby Barrett, who was the second runner-up on Season 16, performed her new country single, “I Hope,” about a cheating boyfriend. Meanwhile, Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert — who acted as a coach on Queen week since he is the band’s current frontman — will perform on the May 19 finale.
Last year’s winner, Maddie Poppe, showed up with her beau, Season 16 runner-up Caleb Lee Hutchinson, during a Disney-themed week on April 21. They did a brief duet of “A Whole New World” from the animated musical “Aladdin,” which has been redone in live-action form starring Will Smith as the genie and opens May 24. However, there was no promotion of her upcoming album, “Whirlwind,” released on the Disney-owned label Hollywood Records, which will land on May 17.
The week after her appearance on the Top 10 episode, Poppe vented her disappointment about the lack of “American Idol” promotion on Twitter:
Was waiting for “ALSO from last week, our season 16 winner has an album coming out May 17th”….
— Maddie Poppe (@MaddiePoppe) April 29, 2019
She then wrote, “Unfortunately, I won’t be returning to perform for the finale.” Fellow finalist Ada Vox took note of the fawning over Gabby but was baffled by the lack of support for Maddie, who was hoping to perform her single, “Made You Miss,” on the three-hour show that closes the season.
I’m so glad that Gabby is getting to perform her single “I Hope” on @AmericanIdol . It’s so great seeing contestants doing well and getting to come back!
But… Why is Maddie not going back to perform a song off of her album that’s dropping just days before the finale?
— Ada Vox (@AdaVox) April 30, 2019
“Variety” reached out to a rep for “American Idol” and was told that, “It was not always a hard and fast rule to have the previous year’s winner at the finale.” Nonetheless, the spokesperson assured that Maddie will “indeed be a part of the season finale.” We will just have to see if that is the case.
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