Maddie Poppe dishes on life after 'Idol,' the secrets of Kermit, the big Caleb reveal and her love of Pizza Ranch
American Idol finalist Maddie Poppe visits her hometown of Clarksville, Iowa. Des Moines Register
Since winning “American Idol” Monday night, Maddie Poppe’s life has been a whirlwind.
She was whisked away on a plane to New York immediately following the show's finale and toured the media circuit all day Tuesday, appearing back-to-back on "Good Morning America" and "LIVE with Kelly and Ryan."
Her life has been so busy that she really hasn’t had any time to process becoming Iowa’s first "American Idol."
“Sometimes I just think to myself, 'Wow, I can’t believe I actually won the show,'” she said. “I still really can’t believe that this is my life.”
Just two days after her win, Poppe talked to the press about the direction of her new album, whether she can persuade the “Idol” tour to stop in Iowa and just how much she is going to miss Pizza Ranch.
Here are some highlights from that call:
On where she is going to live now
That all really depends on what I’m going to do in the future. As much as I love Iowa and it’s my home, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to pursue a career while living in Iowa. It will always be my home, but I really don’t know where my music will take me, and I guess I’m just playing it by ear.
On working with Kermit the Frog
I know Kermit is a huge deal, but, man, I mean, this puppet is legendary. They came in with this box and they put a black tarp over him before he is in action, so no one can see him. You aren’t allowed to touch him and only one person can adjust him — it’s very funny how into it they are. But the people behind the scenes were so awesome, and if you met those people on the street, you’d have no idea that that’s the voice of Kermit.
On the 'Idol' tour not swinging through Iowa
I knew it wasn’t stopping in Iowa before, but I kind of forgot I won, and now it’s not stopping in Iowa — that’s kind of sad. But it is stopping in Omaha and in Minneapolis, so that’s close. Man, I don’t think I have any sway. I think it is all booked, but I will do a show in Iowa, how about that?
On that Caleb relationship reveal
That morning, a producer had actually come up to us and said that Ryan found out about our relationship and that if we were the final two, were we OK with that coming out. We both were like, 'Yeah, that’s fine.'
Before we sang that song together, Caleb said, 'Hey, hold your microphone in your left hand.' And I was, like, 'What?' He is, like, 'Just hold your microphone in your left hand.' And I was, like, 'Oh my gosh, he is going to try to hold my hand during this.' Then he reached for my hand and I’m such an awkward person that I didn’t know how to react, so I just started smiling. I just let him take the reins.
We kind of hid (our relationship) because we didn’t want people to think we weren’t concentrated on the show and we didn’t want it to affect the voting. I guess once the finale hit, all of that stuff didn’t really matter anymore.
On her Iowa roots
I think Iowa really shaped who I am not only as a person but as a musician, too. I really grew up listening to bluegrass with my dad and country music, and I feel like I’ve got a little bit of that twist in everything I do.
But going out and seeing the world after living in Iowa gave me such a much bigger appreciation for the people of Iowa because I didn’t realize how down to earth and compassionate and kind the people of the Midwest are. Coming back from my hometown visit, my whole crew from “American Idol” that was with me just couldn’t get over how kind people were to them. I am so proud to be from that state and that area and I wouldn’t have wished to grow up anywhere else.
More on Iowans' love for Maddie Poppe:
- Iowa showed its love for Maddie on a cornfield
- 'Way to make Iowa proud!': How Iowa reacted to Maddie's win on the internet
- Maddie Poppe returned to her hometown as an 'Idol' finalist and people went bonkers
On her new album
I want to stick with doing the vein I stuck with on the show just because I didn’t realize how far that would take me in the competition. I really want to keep being true to what I want to do and I don’t want to get caught up in the other things that sometimes tend to come from being in the music industry.
I just need to stand up for myself and just be true to myself and not get caught up in the money aspect of it all. I want to make sure I do it right.
On her song choice during 'Idol'
To be totally honest with you, I like the older music better. There are so many old songs that don’t get enough credit, and I wanted to bring those back and kind of remind people how good that music really is. And that kind of music fits my voice — I can’t see me singing on pop radio; I don’t feel like I fit that category.
More of Maddie's music:
- Watch Maddie sing 'Brand New Key'
- Watch Maddie perform her new single 'Going, Going Gone'
- Watch Maddie sing with Kermit the Frog
- Watch all of her performances here
On her family
I have always been super close to my family and I want to make sure that I maintain those relationships because my family is very important to me. I want to make sure that I can make time for them.
American Idol finalist Maddie Poppe of Clarksville, Iowa, visits her hometown to film segments for the finale of the competition. Des Moines Register
On what she’ll miss about home
Basically, a lot of it is food. I’m gonna miss Pizza Ranch, gonna miss Casey’s General store, and also a big one is Asian Garden in Waverly because that’s my favorite.
Another thing is just knowing I'm safe because where I grew up, we don’t have to lock our car doors. I should probably not be saying this because people are going to be like, 'Oh, I can steal Maddie's car now,' but just little things like that. Being able to walk alone somewhere, you know, and knowing everybody in small-town Iowa — stuff like that.
- 'I didn't believe in myself': Maddie Poppe tells a local TV station
- Jimmy Buffett celebrates Maddie Poppe at a concert in Des Moines
- How Maddie Poppe became the darling of 'American Idol'