Former Miss America 2016 Betty Maxwell, formerly Betty Cantrell, is back on ABC — only on a different show. You probably recognized during her audition for “American Idol” on Sunday’s episode of the talent competition.
The diva had always been a singer and also showcased her talent at the national pageant when she sang opera for her pageant talent during the Miss America competition in Atlantic City.
Yes, the former Miss Georgia brought her Miss America crown to the show, and the sash — “It’s filthy from a year of spray-tanning,” she said in a segment.
“My biggest dream would be to be the voice of a Disney princess,” she said on the show, then proceeded to do various impressions of Disney characters, including Belle from “Beauty and the Beast” and Ariel from “The Little Mermaid.”
After a bit where “Idol” judge Katy Perry teased her about putting on the crown — Maxwell said she wasn’t allowed to let other people try it on — she auditioned. “The real question is, will you be Miss … American Idol?” Perry said. Maxwell, 27, went with a bold choice — “A Moment Like This,” Kelly Clarkson’s No. 1 song after winning the first season of “American Idol” in 2002.
Throughout Maxwell’s performance, Perry slowly lowered the crown almost to her head, teasing the former Miss America. Then she asked her to sing some country — one of Maxwell’s specialties. The pageant winner moved to Nashville to pursue a career as a country singer after her reign was over. Maxwell stuck with the “winning” theme as she went with “Jesus, Take the Wheel” by Carrie Underwood, the “Idol” champion in 2005.
The verdict? Betty won her Golden Ticket to the American Idol 2022 edition, and joins New Jersey American Idol contestants Camryn Champion and Cole Hallman, who were shown getting their golden tickets to Hollywood in the premiere of the talent competition series, which is now in its 20th season.
“Pageant girls sing like pageant girls,” judge Luke Bryan told Maxwell. “You don’t sing like a pageant girl, you sing like a real singer.” Judge Lionel Richie said that in a departure from other contestants who have to be taken a up a notch, Maxwell has to take it down a notch, but also get the notion that she sings all types of music out of her head. “I don’t want you to sing everything,” Richie said. “I want you to have a style.”
After winning the golden ticket, Betty shares her joy on her social media:
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As Miss America, Betty served as the official National Goodwill Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals among many other works