You may have noticed that reigning American Idol Maddie Poppe was quiet on Twitter during Sunday’s (May 5) American Idol Top 6 episode. Typically, she’s live blogging the show and offering support to the current crop of contestants. But the singer is mad. And upset. She believed the show would invite her to the May 19 finale to perform her single “Made You Miss” from her upcoming album, Whirlwind. Maddie literally cried when she found out the producers booked up the show without her.
When Maddie performed a duet on Disney night with runner-up and boyfriend Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Ryan Seacrest threw to commercial before she had the opportunity to plug her album, as she expected.
Fellow American Idol 2019 finalist Ada Vox dropped in for support. Maddie’s fans have been all over my Twitter mentions in the last week. They aren’t happy either.
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
— Cheyenne-Maddies Biggest Vermont Fan (@cheyenne_hatin) April 29, 2019
No shade on Gabby Barrett, but fans can’t understand why the show invited the 2nd runner up to perform her single on the show, but not the winner. During her appearance on Idol’s recent Showstoppers/Woodstock episode, Gabby also announced that she signed a major label deal with Warner Nashville.
An Idol insider told Variety that Maddie believed that, following her duet with Caleb, she would be making a “big plug” for her new album with host Ryan Seacrest, “but the show ran out of time.”
Two weeks later, Maddie threw shade, refusing to promote the show on social media.
A spokesperson for the show tells Variety: “It was not always a hard and fast rule to have the previous year’s winner at the finale.” That said, the rep assures that Maddie will “indeed be a part of the season finale.”
It’s true that the show does not always invite the winners to perform in the finale. Remember the social media battle between executive producer Nigel Lythgoe and season 9 winner Lee DeWyze over the season 10 finale in 2011? When Lee learned his Idol appearance would not include a performance, he passed.
When Lee told fans a couple of days ago, that he was not asked to sing at this year’s finale, folks were pretty upset. His brother, Mike in particular let loose with some invective, calling the situation b******t–going as far as to call Idol producers “scumbags”. He later deleted his angrier tweets and apologized. But heh–that was nothing compared to what Lee’s fans had to say to Nigel!
Maybe it was the abuse at the hands of Idol fans that led the American Idol producer to tweet this strange message in the wee hours of Thursday morning: “I was so upset Lee DeWyze wouldn’t present the winners trophy to Scotty. Especially as he’d been on the show this Season. I guess he was shy.”
It’s deja vu all over again!
Still, Idol’s new overlords at Disney promised to promote the Idol winner, making up for errors of the past: “Something I was pretty emphatic about, that always felt like a miss for the show, was that we have to continue telling the story of the winner,” Disney Music Group president Ken Bunt told Variety, saying repeatedly that the show would be completely invested in the winners for the year following their season.
To be fair, Disney has promoted Maddie all year, inviting her to perform on Disney specials, promoting her throughout the current season of American Idol. However, Maddie’s album will drop on May 17. Her single “Made You Miss” has been hovering on the outside of the Top 40 charts. She is being denied THE most crucial promotion American Idol could provide–a major album plug. A performance spot could give her single the extra boost it needs. Her frustration is understandable.