WATCH: Former ‘American Idol’ Contestant Nails Impressions Of Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire
Betty Maxwell was Miss America 2016.
American Idol fans may remember Betty Maxwell, who auditioned for the singing competition in 2020. Since her elimination from Season 20, the singer has continued to grow her fanbase through social media and now has one million followers on TikTok.
Recently, she stunned her TikTok followers by showing off her vocal range through spot-on impressions of country music icons such as Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire, in addition to a few non-country acts like Cher, Kristin Chenoweth, Billie Eilish, and Beyoncé.
Many users took to the comment section to praise Maxwell for her ability to replicate the vocals of these artists in their iconic songs, especially the country stars.
One user wrote, “Reba one was INSANE. WOAH.” Another said, “You caught me with Dolly, but you floored me with Reba <3.”
The singer delivered a few lines from each song, including Parton’s “Jolene” and McEntire’s “Fancy.” Maxwell even surprised herself with her rendition of McEntire, which she revealed in her caption, “The last one😅🤌🏼 “
It’s no surprise that the singer/songwriter excelled at the country music impressions, considering during her Idol audition, Katy Perry insisted that she was better suited for the genre, rather than her broadway training which she showed off at the time.
Re-Live Her Idol Audition
The Warner Robbins, Georgia native first stood out to music lovers everywhere when she brought her Miss America crown to her Idol audition. She then earned a golden ticket after dazzling judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan, with her performance Kelly Clarkson’s “A Moment Like This.”
At the time, Perry then asked, “Do you sing country?”
“I can sing country,” Maxwell declared as she went on to sing Carrie Underwood‘s “Jesus, Take The Wheel.”
Following her performance, Bryan told her, “So listen. Pageant girls sing like pageants girls. You don’t sing like a pageant girl. You sing like a real singer.”
Perry added, “I think you could be country — and big!”
Her pageant days eventually led Maxwell to earn the ultimate title when she was crowned Miss America in 2016.
Idol Goes Country
American Idol returned for Season 21 with the premiere on Sunday (Feb. 19). So far, several hopeful country singers have made their way through auditions hoping this might be their chance at achieving their musical dreams.
In 2022, country singers Noah Thompson and HunterGirl took home first and second place while Leah Marlene took home third. Following the competition, they have both released several new songs and completed their first-ever co-headlining tour.
Noah, who was crowned winner, recently made the move from Kentucky to Nashville where he plans to continue honing in on his skills and growing his career.
He announced his move in a social media post with the caption, “Lil bathroom selfie in the new house!! Figured after months of traveling back and forth, just to give y’all an update of what’s been going on I finally moved to Nashville,” he shared. “It’s been hectic trying to get everything done in the move but it’s all coming together. I’m really looking forward to this new chapter, can’t wait to get back out on the road and put out some new music for y’all, stay tuned.”
HunterGirl, who already lives in music city, has also been teasing new music on social media. With the new season of American Idol underway, she recently took a moment to reflect on her journey on the competition and the impact it’s had on her career.
“It’s wild thinking that a year ago was the start of my American Idol journey. Being on the show completely changed my life, and looking through the memories today made me smile. I am so excited to watch the new contestants’ journey this year starting tonight on Season 21. Can’t wait to see y’all kill it this year! 💛🙌🏻 #americanidol,” she wrote.
Idol judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie have returned to find the next singing sensation in New Orleans, Las Vegas, and Nashville.
American Idol airs on Sundays at 8/7c on ABC. The show is also streamed on HULU.