It’s on to the ‘American Idol’ final 14 for Cohoes’ Madison VanDenburg

Shaker High student advances to next round
Madison VanDenburg, center, performs "We Belong" with Neil Giraldo and Pat Benatar on "American Idol" Sunday night.
Madison VanDenburg, center, performs "We Belong" with Neil Giraldo and Pat Benatar on "American Idol" Sunday night.

Cohoes’ Madison VanDenburg will continue her journey on ABC’s singing competition, “American Idol.”

On Sunday night’s show on ABC, the 17-year-old Shaker High School student performed a duet with rock legend Pat Benatar and husband Neil Giraldo, singing their hit song “We Belong,” off Benatar’s sixth studio album, “Tropico,” in 1984.

The performance catapulted VanDenburg into the final 14.

“You look like a star,” said judge Katy Perry, “your voice is a Ferrari and you should never be afraid to show off a Ferrari.”

Twenty contestants began the competition Sunday, with 10 performing Sunday night and 10 more set to perform Monday night at the Wiltern theater in Los Angeles.

Three were eliminated after the Sunday night “duets” with stars from the music world. Three more will be eliminated after Monday’s duets. The final 14 will advance to live competition next week, where the viewing audience will vote. 

Advancing along with VanDenburg were Ashley Hess, Walter Burroughs, Laine Hardy, Riley Thompson, Uche and Laci Kaye Booth.

The all-star performers included Benatar, Jason Mraz, Shaggy, Brett Young and Elle King. 

ABC showed clips of VanDenburg in rehearsals with Benatar and Giraldo before her performance.

“I get to work with the legendary Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo. I’m in shock,” said VanDenburg. “It’s going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Said Benatar, “Madison is a great singer. She has this confidence about herself, and this vocal prestige. You put those two things together, you can anything.”

After the performance, judge Luke Bryan said of VanDenburg, “For you to sit there and go toe-to-toe with [Benatar] is incredible.”

“You took it to the next level,” added judge Lionel Richie.

“Whatever you did is great,” said Katy Perry.

Afterward, VanDenburg said backstage, “Oh my God, that was the best moment of my life.”

On Monday night, Chris Isaak is among the all-star performers.

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