Suburban Philadelphia’s Catie Turner Makes It to American Idol’s Top 10

Langhorne’s Catie Turner Waiting to Find Out Her Future As She Inches Toward the Big PrizeWhile other high school seniors are getting ready for final exams, 18-year-old Catie Turner is performing on the world stage in American Idol.

The quirky and high-energy singer, songwriter, and musician from Suburban Philadelphia has made it to American Idol’s Top 10, a major achievement that she is still pinching herself about in addition to how dramatically her life has changed in the past few weeks.

Her life has been whirlwind. After auditioning, rehearsing and performing on American Idol, she was whisked away to Disneyland, where she sang with Broadway and film star Idina Menzel. In short, Turner continues to make positive lasting impressions on her fans around the world.

While Turner is still young in years, the vibrant performer comes across in front of millions of Idol fans as extremely bubbly, honest, and down-to-earth, and the three judges agree that she has the potential “to win this thing.”

Tune in to see Catie  Turner on American Idol on Sundays at 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET.

As the contest has evolved since its March 11 debut on ABC, the senior at Neshaminy High School in Bensalem has become more confident on and off the stage, gained a more mature style, and truly come into her own.

With her mother by her side, Turner has taught her fans – from coast to coast – that if you put your heart and soul into your passion, and refuse to change yourself for anyone else, you will be on the right path to achieve your biggest dreams.

Initially, when Turner was introduced to millions of viewers on American Idol, she admits that she was inexperienced and doe-eyed. But, she acknowledged early on that she wasn’t going to change who she was and what she believed in for anything or anyone, and everyone.

This is all working in her favor. The three Idol judges — Katy Perry, Lionel Ritchie and Luke Bryan – continue to fall more in love with this talented and unique Suburban Philly girl-next-door.So you have made it to the Top 10, are you pinching yourself at this moment?

Catie Turner:  How could I not pinch myself?

What is the biggest thrill so far?

CT: There are three things I’m pinching myself about now are making it to the Top 10, going to Disneyland and then singing a Disney song for American Idol.  What is there not to die about?

Who is with you in Los Angeles helping you through this emotional roller coaster?

CT: My mother, my mom is out here with me to support me right now.  Then later this weekend all my other family’s flying out; it is going to be a good time.

Very nice.  Your mom has been your side throughout this journey. What does that mean to you?

CT: It is so important. She definitely keeps me grounded, and this is major because as you can tell I am very hyper on American Idol. So, she helps keep me calm and keeps this in perspective. She supports me, and when I am scared of the next step, her words of encouragement ‘I know you can do this’ mean the world to me. Just having someone there who has believed in me that much when I didn’t always believe in myself makes all the difference to me.What is it like knowing that the judges said you have what it takes to go all the way, and America voted for you, too?

CT:  I am so relieved that America voted for me.  You do not understand.  When they said, ‘Catie, America thinks you’re worthy to be in the Top Ten,’ I was like,’Oh, my God, I was one of the top six voted people in America.’  That made my world. Suddenly, there was a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders.  Then it was added back to my shoulders again when I realized that Ada who has been nothing but sweet to me and has influenced me a lot during this competition wasn’t safe.  But, then Ada was added back in again.  So, it was so amazing that America voted for me in the first place.

Tell me about your new look.  You look very different, and I like it very much.  Is there something specific you were going for, perhaps a little more grown up look?

CT:  No, I think we just follow what the wardrobe people tell me.  They are like, ‘Wear this,’ and I’m like ‘okay.’

Tell me a little bit about your recent American Idol Disney trip. 

CT: Gosh. Going to Disney was like the best two days of my life.  I am a Disney fanatic.  I was raised on Disney everything.  I’ve been to the Disney parks more than 50 times; so it’s like my second home.  This time it was different because I was there as a Top 10 contestant on American Idol.  I went to the dream suite and I had the opportunity to meet Idina Menzel.  It was just all my dreams coming true in just one short Disney trip, and it was the best time ever.

While you are rehearsing, auditioning and performing on American Idol, are you still dealing with schoolwork?

CT: Yes, I actually still have to finish my work for health class and I haven’t been doing that so I need to actually do it today on my day off, which is going to stink but it needs to be done.  I need to find a way to enjoy schoolwork on my day off.

With your high school graduation is around the corner, your friends are gearing up for college. Is college and your future? And is your future dependent on the outcome of American Idol?

CT: My mom still wants me to go to college because she’s my mom and she just wants the best for me.  But, whatever happens with Idol it definitely can be a matter of delaying college.  I don’t know what my future holds anymore and that’s the weird thing. However, it is also extremely exciting…

Did you have things planned out before this?

CT: Yes. Before American Idol, I could easily pinpoint what was going to happen.  I could tell you I was going to go get a college degree, probably go to Temple University, and live in the city and after that get a job.  But, now it’s like I don’t know where I will be in a year.  I don’t know where I’ll be in two years.  Will I be on tour?  Will I be back home?  I don’t know the answers to any of this.What do you want to study in college?

CT: Music and performing.

Now I have to ask you a question I asked you when we talked in the beginning of this wild ride.  Do you have any new advice to someone who wants to pursue not just American Idol, but something that feels like an impossible dream – like a music career, Broadway career, or film career?  What would you tell them to do or not do?

CT: Be yourself, and don’t change yourself for the industry so you can be more marketable.  I am staying true to myself, and apparently, it’s working for me, so that’s what I would recommend for everybody out there.

How do you keep calm, if you can keep calm during all of this?

CT: What helps is that I actually talk to the other contestants and they keep me calm.

How do they do that for you?

CT: They help me get out of my head.  Especially, when it comes to Michael J. Woodard.  He is always such a blast of positivity whenever I’m around him, because I see how much that he doesn’t care about what he does on stage and he doesn’t care what other people say about him.  He just wants to go out there and give a good performance.  His being so calm and collected actually makes me feel calm and collected.  So, yeah, the other contestants are such a big help for me.

I asked you about being calm, but in terms of being levelheaded, your entire life has changed since you went on American Idol.  Now millions of people — around the country and around the world – are watching.  How do you stay grounded? Do your parents help you that regard.

CT: Yes. My mom’s out here and she tells me to always have an attitude of gratitude.  She always teaches me how to say thank you for all of the things I have gained and that American Idol doesn’t owe me anything. She reminds me that this is all an amazing experience, and that I have to work for everything that I get.  They’re not just going to just give it to me.  So, yes, my mom keeps me down to earth, and makes sure I never have a Diva moment.  She always makes sure I have an attitude of gratitude.

So, would you say that your family keeps you grounded?

CT: Definitely. My parents still yell at me at home. They still make me do chores, and I still have to worry about school.

So, it is safe to say that we don’t have to worry about you becoming a diva anytime soon.

CT; No way. My mom reminds me to get off my phone and do my schoolwork. Nobody in my family thinks that I’m a star. To them, I have to remember that the world is watching and that I can’t be lazy.How do you chill out these days?

CT: I like to watch movies a lot.  I like to walk around and get fresh air.  I also just like to sleep and shop.  I really love retail therapy.  [She laughed].

If I told you six months or a year ago that you’d be in the Top 10, all of this was going to happen and the world’s going to fall in love with you, what would you have said?

CT: I probably wouldn’t have believed you.  I would probably be like, ‘Yeah, all right,’ and just kept playing computer games and drinking lemonade.  I would not really think about it.  But, now that it’s happening it’s just surreal, and I’m so thankful for all of it.

Good Luck. I hope to meet you and your mom at your favorite local restaurant when you return home.CT: That will be awesome.  It was a pleasure talking to you. Thank you, Debra, so much.

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Click here for a video of a recent performance from Catie Turner:

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