WATCH: Lauren Alaina Says She Sees Herself In 16-Year-Old ‘American Idol’ Contestant Ryleigh Madison

“I feel like you’re me 10-years ago,” Alaina sweetly shared.


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

March 28, 2022


9:49 pm

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Ryleigh Madison, Lauren Alaina

16-year-old Ryleigh Madison returned to American Idol with hopes to leave a lasting impression on the judges and she did just that after covering Patsy Cline’s “Crazy.” 

Prior to her performance, Madison had the opportunity to spend some quality time with Idol alum Lauren Alaina and was immediately starstruck upon meeting her. 

“Some of my biggest inspirations in the country scene today have walked these footsteps that I’m walking in,” Madison said. 

Tears filled the North Carolina native’s eyes as she spoke with the “Getting Over Him” singer. 

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“Oh, don’t you do that, that’s what I did when I met Carrie Underwood, I’m not going to lie,” Alaina said. “I met Carrie when I was on the show and I cried like a baby, so, I never thought I’d feel like Carrie Underwood, so thank you.”

“This is crazy, like this feels like a dream,” Madison said as happy tears streamed down her cheek.

“I feel like you’re me 10-years ago,” Alaina replied.

“I feel like this could change my life like it did yours,” Madison told the “Getting Over Him” singer. 

Ryleigh Madison, Photo Courtesy American Idol
Ryleigh Madison, Photo Courtesy American Idol

Madison previously stunned with a performance of Gabby Barrett’s “The Good Ones” during auditions. She also credited Barrett as one of her biggest musical inspirations.

Her audition earned praise from Idol judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan.

“You’re super country and you’ve got a great voice,” Perry gushed.

“Listen, you’re sixteen and you’ve got a really great voice,” Bryan exclaimed, before Richie added,  “you’ve got a great voice.”

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​​American Idol airs every Sunday and Monday at 8/7c EST on ABC.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

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.