WATCH: Former Miss America Betty Maxwell Helps Kelsie Dolin Find Her Confidence with ‘American Idol’ Duet

ABC’s American Idol returned on Sunday evening with the contestants who made it through Hollywood week. The remaining Idol hopefuls…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

April 4, 2022


9:32 am

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Kelsie Dolin, Betty Maxwell; Photo by ABC, American Idol

ABC’s American Idol returned on Sunday evening with the contestants who made it through Hollywood week. The remaining Idol hopefuls were paired up together for the exciting duets round.

Judges hand-picked Kelsie Dolin and Betty Maxwell to perform together. While they may make an unlikely pair, as Dolin is more reserved and Maxwell is more outgoing, their pairing made sense to the contestants. 

“When I found out I was paired with Betty, I was pretty nervous because I’ve never met a Miss America before,” Dolin admitted. 


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A post shared by Betty Maxwell (@realbettymaxwell)

“I think they put us together, because I think they knew that I would kind of bring her out of her shell,” Maxwell shared of the Idol judge’s reason for pairing them together.

Dolin and Mawell got to work as they dubbed their duo Mining For Peaches and rehearsed together backstage. 

Ahead of their performance in front of Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, Dolin admitted that she had “never” performed a duet before, so she was having some trouble harmonizing with Maxwell during rehearsals. 


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A post shared by Betty Maxwell (@realbettymaxwell)

“She has a better range than I do, it’s kind of intimidating,” Dolin confessed. “I’m a little stressed out because I’ve never been in a competition thing before and it’s like you’re going all the time and I’m starting to feel pressure a little bit.”

Maxwell, a seasoned competition contestant (as she previously competed in the Miss America pageant), tried to help boost Dolin’s confidence by praising her vocal abilities during rehearsals.

“She has to want it for herself and I think her lack of confidence is holding her back a little bit,” Maxwell shared. “As much as I know the judges want me to help her burst out of that shell. I don’t know if I can do that in the span of less than 24 hours.” 

Kelsie Dolin, Betty Maxwell; Photo by ABC, American Idol
Kelsie Dolin, Betty Maxwell; Photo by ABC, American Idol

Idol judge Katy Perry also offered her words of advice prior to their performance.

“I know you’re shy and quiet here and this whole bit, but there’s some place that you go at home, whether it’s in your bathroom or in your bedroom. You sing your heart out and you don’t have any fear, so I’m just trying to see if you can bring that version of you more on stage, because it’s in there and we hear it,” Perry said. 

The pair then went on to perform P!nk and Nate Ruess’s “Just Give Me A Reason” where Dolin showcased her newfound confidence and Maxwell impressed with her powerhouse vocals. 

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Dolin and Maxwell’s performance earned a standing ovation and brought Lionel Richie to tears.

“I’m loving this,” Richie shouted in the midst of their performance as he wiped a tear from his eye.

“Kelsie, remember when I told you ‘would you like to take my hand and come to Hollywood?’” Richie asked. “You couldn’t look at me straight in my face and I was worried for a moment because I thought you weren’t going to rise to the occasion. You were scared, but what you did tonight, you broke through. You were harmonizing, attitude and choreography. Who the heck are you now?”

“I agree with Lionel, and Betty you supported it and you helped draw it out of her,” Perry added. “No matter how far either of you go, I think you found something that you can build on for the rest of your life because you finally believe in yourself.”


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A post shared by Kelsie Dolin (@officialkelsiedolin)

“We see the distance, we see your future, we do, and we see it in the next round on American Idol,” Perry gushed. 

Dolin and Maxwell advanced to the next round, which is The Showstopper round.

The Showstopper round will find the contestant taking the stage for the first time with a full band. According to an Idol press release, Idol hopefuls will sing for their last chance to make it in the Top 24. 

American Idol returns with another round of duets on Monday evening (April 4). 

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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.