American Idol season 16 contestant Catie Turner wowed the judges with her incredible and unique performances. Learn about her best moments now.
Catie Turner appeared on American Idol season 16 and it’s time to look back on her most memorable performances. She wowed the judges with her incredible and unique singing style. Catie, then 17, was a high school student from Langhorne, Pennsylvania when she auditioned in New York. Full of energy, she was known for her quirky personality and distinct fashion style. Catie’s impressive musical talents won the hearts of the judges, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and the AI viewers. After her audition, the judges repeatedly called her a “genius.”
Catie’s audition has the distinction of being the first one that was aired when American Idol was revived in 2018 on ABC, following its cancellation on FOX. Bringing new, young talent to the American Idol stage was a fantastic way to revive the show. Catie has since had some success in the music industry. In 2019, a live, acoustic version of her song, “Prom Queen” was used in the trailer for YouTuber Shane Dawson’s web series, The Beautiful World of Jeffree Star, gaining over 11 million views in just one week.
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Catie independently released her first EP, The Sad Vegan, in 2019, and supported it with a tour. Her second EP, Heartbroken and Milking It, was released by Atlantic Records in 2021. She is currently touring with the Canadian indie-pop band, Valley. She placed in the Top 7 of American Idol season 16. She had many memorable performances, but a few stand out as her very best. Here are the ones that best demonstrate her immense instrumental and vocal talents.
21st Century Machine
Catie auditioned with an original song, which has become more common in recent seasons of the show. However, that was a risky move at the time. On AI, Catie described “21st Century Machine” as a song about “how media affected me when I was an impressionable young child and my bitterness to it.” She impressed the judges with her guitar skills, singing, and wise lyrics. Katy called Catie a “spectacular song writer.” Luke said that she was “interesting and brilliant” beyond her years. Lionel gushed that he loved her voice. He said that he was fascinated with Catie’s brain and said that her writing was “crazy great.” Katy recognized that American Idol’s Catie’s point of view was fresh and necessary because she understands what it means to be a female in this day and age. All three judges gave Catie a “yes” and she earned her golden ticket to Hollywood.
Take Me To Church
Catie showed a different side of herself when she sang a slow, dramatic version of Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” during the Contestant’s Choice part of the Top 14 round. She took center stage and put her guitar aside to feature her soaring vocals. She mystified the audience and earned a standing ovation from the judges. Katy told Catie that whatever happened, she wanted to sing with her in the future. Luke told her that she could win the competition, and Katy and Lionel agreed. Lionel from AI said that he loved her authenticity.
Oops! … I Did It Again
After being mentored by her celebrity crush Nick Jonas during the Top 7 round of the competition, Catie performed a reggae-tinged version of Britney Spears’ “Oops! … I Did It Again,” and once again completely reinvented herself. Again, she made her voice the star as she put her guitar aside, worked the whole stage, and interacted with the audience. Katy raved that it was one of the most interesting versions of the song that she had ever heard, saying that it sounded like Amy Winehouse singing a Britney Spears song. Luke and Lionel agreed that she was a star.
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Catie was one of the most unique contestants to ever perform on American Idol. She brought her own style to every performance and breathed new life into the show when it needed new energy the most. Catie was always herself, and, although she ultimately did not win the competition, her journey to define herself as an artist was a triumph.
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American Idol airs Sundays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.
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