Season 16 American Idol winner, Maddie Poppe released a music video featuring fellow Idol alum/boyfriend – Caleb Lee Hutchinson.
The former Idol contestants first became friends during their time on the show and even declared their relationship official in the season finale. They have been together since the start of their music careers and that support has continued to this day.
“One That Got Away,” the dramatic single behind the music video was written in 2020 by Poppe, Connor Pledger and Scott Robinson. When it came time to turn the tune into a music video, Hutchinson and his co-director Sam Aldrich stepped up to the plate.
They put their heads together and came up with the idea for the narrative that was filmed in a close proximity to Hutchinson’s home. The story begins with Poppe’s character getting arrested and taken to the police station where she is questioned by the hard-hitting detective played by Hutchinson. The video concludes with her escaping her cell and ending up in France, as police continue to search for her.
“Caleb is so creative and good at everything he does,” she told PEOPLE. “But also, we were on a budget. He worked for cheap!” She laughed. “But yeah, there was never a question he would be in the video. We needed a detective and I think he was perfect for the role.”
The “Wildflowers” singer-songwriter gave full credit to Hutchinson for bringing the story to life through the video.
“Originally, I had a whole different idea in the works, and it was just feeling very overwhelming,” Poppe recalled. “But then Caleb was like, ‘Screw it… why don’t you just do this?’ He really came up with the whole concept and directed it and directed me and told me what I was doing wrong and what I should be doing better. He was the genius behind the whole thing.”
Both the video and the song reveal a shift in Poppe’s music career. During her recent interview with PEOPLE, Poppe also shared that in the midst of the pandemic, she was dropped from her label. She found herself at an all-time low, struggling to find the inspiration to write new music. When things started to spiral out of control, she took charge of the one thing she still had power over in her life.
“I dyed my hair black,” she stated. “I just kept on thinking to myself that if I was really going to start over, I better start over completely.”
Fans first fell in love with Poppe as a folk/Americana artist on the singing competition show, but she knew that making the change musically was the right thing for her to do for herself.
“I feel like for a while, I just wanted to do what other people wanted me to do,” she explained. “I lived to please other people. And I felt that since people voted for my folk/Americana sort of sound on American Idol, that was the sound I was meant to have, because they were the ones that put me here, you know? That’s when I realized that I needed to love what I was putting out.”
Since the show, she has taken the time to rebuild herself as an artist and reignite her passion for music. “One That Got Away” was the song that sparked the beginning of this new chapter.
“I wanted to get the same feelings from the music I put out that I would get from listening to some of my favorite artists,” she shared.” But it took some time to get there. There were times that I was really frustrated. I didn’t even know who I wanted to be and what I wanted my sound to be. But then we landed on this song, and I knew this was it.”
At the beginning of the month (May 2), the lovebirds reunited on the stage that first brought them together. During the reunion episode of this season’s Idol competition, they stood before the audience and sang a duet of “Islands in the Stream” by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.
Throughout the night, other former Idol contestants that have since made a name for themselves in the industry appeared on stage including Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, Jordin Sparks, Laine Hardy, Laci Kaye Booth and more.