Maddie Poppe / Instagram
Right before the winner was named on the latest season of American Idol, the two finalists, Maddie Poppe and Caleb Lee Hutchinson, dropped a bombshell. They’re dating!
You would think that would have made things awkward between the two when Poppe took home the trophy, but it didn’t. In fact, Hutchinson immediately took to Instagram to gush about his girlfriend and her big win.
“No one deserved it more than you babe,” he wrote.
After the show, Poppe also took to Instagram to brag about her love. Calling him “one of the best gifts” she got from her time on the show, she spoke of how glad she was they got to go through it all together.
“I’m so blessed to be able to have had you alongside me throughout this journey and hopefully for many more moons to come,” she wrote.
But while Hutchinson surely offered Poppe a wealth of support during her time on the show, she credits someone else as being a main source of encouragement for her. And it’s someone you probably never expected her to name.
That someone is none other than country radio host Bobby Bones, who mentored the Top 24 contestants and returned to mentor the three finalists.
Bones had a profound impact on Poppe from the start, which is something few likely realized until she brought it up on Instagram. Along with a series of photos showing them together, Poppe detailed exactly how Bones encouraged her to achieve success on Idol:
“I didn’t have much confidence, and he could tell…But somehow he still saw something in me that I didn’t even see in myself. After meeting for the first time, he pulled me aside and said “you’re my favorite”… just that one comment made me believe that I might just be good enough. So yeah, I definitely credit Bobby Bones as a big part of the reason I won this show.”
The message didn’t go unnoticed by Bones. He shared it on his website for The Bobby Bones Show, admitting that he teared up a bit when he read it. Honestly, we did too.
Thanks to Bones, Poppe is now well on the way to enjoying a successful career. You can watch the two of them interact during their final mentoring session in the clip below.