She became unforgettable the moment she wandered blissfully into her American Idol audition wearing a brown newsboy cap, her signature knee-high boots, and a lavender-colored button-up dress over a long-sleeved shirt. There’s no way she was hiding her sparkling personality behind that hat’s brim, but the judges asked her to toss it aside before she secured her guitar’s position and blew them away with an original song, titled "21st Century Machine," which she wrote to describe how media affected her "as an impressionable young child" and the bitterness she had toward it. Needless to say, it didn’t take long for the judges, and the world, to realize that American Idol contestant Catie Turner was going to be a star.
Fast forward a little more than a month, and she is now part of American Idol‘s top 10 contestants competing for Season 16’s grand prize. She continues to get the votes she needs on a weekly basis to remain on the show, and she has amassed a combined 219,000 followers on Instagram and Twitter.
She has proven that her voice can transcend all genres with her performances of Lady Gaga’s "Bad Romance," "Call Me," by Blondie, and Hozier’s "Take Me to Church." Not to mention, she effortlessly sang and danced through a duet with Andy Grammer performing his hit song, "Good to Be Alive."
But, aside from the Idol buzz, who is Catie Turner? Per Metro, she is a super fun 18-year-old high school senior from Langhorne, Pennsylvania, who didn’t even pick up a guitar until she was 14, according to her website, and then she started uploading bedroom-recorded covers and originals to her YouTube channel. You read that right, that means the young artist has only been plucking at the acoustic strings for four years, not to mention writing her own songs and singing all at the same time.
Turner told Metro that she kind of fell into her love of music and songwriting as a young teenager. “Everybody has that story where they’ve been singing since they were two," she said. "That didn’t happen for me. It happened pretty late. [I was like], ‘I can’t play sports, I can’t act, I can’t draw — I need a talent. What is something I haven’t tried? Music! Wait — I’m actually kind of good at music — I think I’ll work with this.”
Since then, she has more than worked with it. She now has a standing offer from Katy Perry herself, who asked to sing with her in the future. So, it sounds to me like whether or not she claims the grand prize, she’ll be leaving the Idol stage a winner.
Like many people her age, she loves the Netflix original series Stranger Things, per Metro, and she spends a lot of time on social media. Of course, it only makes sense that her tweets and Instagram photo captions match the free spirit she exhibits on the show, and they are super funny.
And Turner is also incredibly supportive of her fellow American Idol contestants.
She has befriended many of them, and took to Twitter to send off those who didn’t get enough votes with words of happiness and love. On Tuesday, she posted a thread that mentioned each of the contestants that were just voted off, titling it, "TO MY FRIENDS:."
She also told Metro that she’s a big fan of thrift shopping and finding treasure. “That’s my favorite hobby. Going to a thrift shop and finding some treasure," she said. “I love selecting trinkets — little floral vases and pots. My bedroom is such a mess.”
She’s a role model that women of all ages need today, and Catie Turner is doing everyone a service by unapologetically being herself, always. And even if she doesn’t win American Idol, America has definitely won her.
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