WATCH: Former Miss America Betty Maxwell Covers Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood During ‘American Idol’ Audition

Could Betty Maxwell be the next American Idol?  The Warner Robbins, Georgia native was crowned Miss America in 2016 and…


Lauren Jo Black

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March 6, 2022

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Could Betty Maxwell be the next American Idol

The Warner Robbins, Georgia native was crowned Miss America in 2016 and sang her way through the competition with classical opera. She’s been singing since she was just three years old and says her biggest dream is to be the voice of a Disney princess, but Idol judge Katy Perry has other plans for her. 

Maxwell, who brought her Miss America crown along for her audition, introduced herself to Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan and went on to share a cover of  “A Moment Like This” by Kelly Clarkson

Betty Maxwell - American Idol

Her performance seemingly impressed the judges, but 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.”

“There’s a lot to work with,” Perry chimed in. 

Equally impressed, Richie offered Maxwell a bit of advice. 

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“For the first time, we have to take you down. And the next thing, I’m trying to get out of your head is, ‘I sing everything.’ I don’t want you to sing everything. I want you to have a style,” he advised. 

Perry encouraged her to stick to one genre as well. 

“I think you could be country,” she said. 


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Betty Maxwell was open to the idea, telling her, “When I moved to Nashville, that was where my heart was. I love country music.” 

The former Miss America earned a “yes” from all three judges and is now advancing to Hollywood. 

American Idol airs Sundays on ABC at 8/7c. 

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.