Why Maddie Poppe Kept Her American Idol Romance a Secret

The new American Idol won more than just a recording contract—she won love! 

Maddie Poppe claimed the title of the newest Idol this week on ABC, but just 15 minutes before the champion was announced, runner-up Caleb Lee Hutchinson announced he and Maddie had begun dating. 

Related: The New American Idol is Dating the Runner-Up

Maddie tells Yahoo why she and her country beau waited so long to announce their relationship. 

“We didn’t really want people to think that we weren’t focused on the show, and also [fellow contestants] Cade [Foehner] and Gabby [Barrett] had just kind of announced that they were dating, and so we didn’t want to take away their thunder, you know,” Maddie says. “Caleb and I kind of joked, when people would ask about us, that we were cousins!” 

The new Idol adds she and Caleb also decided to remain mum on their relationship, which began “around the Top 24 week,” because they had “noticed that there were some other couples who had gotten split up along the way.” 

Related: Luke Bryan Debuts New Single on American Idol

But the news is out now! Caleb took to Twitter after the Idol finale to congratulation his girlfriend on her win, which includes a recording contract with Hollywood Records.


American Idol returns for Season 2 on ABC in 2019.

Photo: Getty Images


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