Shaker High’s VanDenburg in Top 6 on ‘American Idol’

Judges give her standing ovation for version of "The Show Must Go On" by Queen
From left, Alejandro Aranda, Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, Wade Cota, Laine Hardy, Laci Kaye Booth and Madison VanDenburg.
From left, Alejandro Aranda, Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, Wade Cota, Laine Hardy, Laci Kaye Booth and Madison VanDenburg.

The names are easy to remember. Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson. Jordan Sparks and Ruben Stoddard. Kris Allen and Scotty McCreery.

All past season winners on the nationally televised “American Idol.”

And now 17-year-old Cohoes resident and Shaker High School junior Madison VanDenburgh appears poised to possibly join that list of “Idol” champions.

VanDenburgh, whose emergence on the ABC show has been witnessed for several weeks as she develops confidence and stage presence to match her strong voice, advanced to the Top 6 on Sunday night’s show while two fellow contestants were voted off.

Alyssa Raghu and Walker Burroughs trailed in the nationwide voting and were eliminated, leaving VanDenburgh to battle for the Season 17 titile along with Alejandro Aranda (age 25), Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon (26), Wade Cota (27), Laine Hardy (18) and Laci Kaye Booth (23).

The show continues next Sunday night. “Idol,” which had been shown on consecutive Sunday and Monday night shows for several weeks, will not be seen tonight (Monday). Instead, a two-hour special on Adam Lambert and Queen will be shown.

On Sunday night’s show, all contestants were asked to perform songs by Queen and were coached beforehand by Lambert, himself an “Idol” competition runner-up in Season 8 (Allen won).

VanDenburgh delivered such a strong version of “The Show Must Go On” that all three judges gave her a standing ovation.

Judge Luke Bryan (who will perform again this summer at Saratoga Performing Arts Center), said, “That was your best vocal performance, and maybe the best performance we’ve heard so far.”

“Madison, way to change the whole game,” said Bryan, noting VanDenburg’s confidence and flair.

Judge Lionel Richie said of her emotional performance, “You can make us feel that you’re feeling it — your voice was impeccable.”

Judge Katy Perry was also impressed and urged VanDenburg to get even more demonstrative in her delivery.

After the judges’ comments, show host Ryan Seacrest told VanDenburgh that a viewing party was being held at her school, Shaker High.

She later teamed with Harmon on a duet performance of “A Million Dreams” from the movie “The Greatest Showman.” Said Bryan, “You really delivered that like pros.”





Categories: Entertainment

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