Maddy Curtis Brings
Pro-Life Message to American Idol and to NRL Convention
By Liz Townsend
Curtis has a big voice and a big heart. Viewers of American Idol’s
Boston audition episode met Maddy and her family, which includes
four brothers with Down syndrome, and were able to see how her
brothers’ love has enriched her life.
Curtis and her brother Jonny.
Although Maddy did not get
chosen to sing in the live shows, her exposure on American Idol has
opened up many possibilities for a future career and for her to
bring her pro-life witness to the world. The members of National
Teens for Life are thrilled that she will be joining them when they
meet during the National Right to Life Convention in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, June 24–26.
“It’s important that people
know how amazing Down syndrome kids are,” Maddy told NRL News. “They
have the capability to see the world in all perfect emotions. They
taught me to be a better person, be a better Christian.”
Bringing this message to the
millions-strong Idol audience was an incredible opportunity for the
Bluemont, Virginia, teenager. She came home from school one day and
suddenly had the idea to audition for Season 9 of the show.
“It must have been the Holy
Spirit,” Maddy explained. “I looked up on the web site and auditions
were being held in Boston the next day.”
Accompanied by her mother,
Barbara Curtis, a pro-life writer and blogger, Maddy made it through
first rounds and auditioned in front of the television cameras and
the show’s judges. Singing a beautiful version of “Hallelujah,” she
received positive comments from the judges and was advanced to
Hollywood. Simon Cowell even told her, “Nice voice. A bit of soul in
there, Maddy. Amazingly, for sixteen.” (You can watch Maddy sing
Maddy honed her singing
skills in musical theater, as a cantor in church, and as part of a
bluegrass band. The pop world of American Idol was a big adjustment,
and Maddy is not too upset that her time on the show ended early.
“I feel like I am totally at
peace with it,” she said. “I put it all in God’s hands.”
When her audition episode
aired January 12, Maddy was featured in a video that showed her home
and her family.
One of 12 children, Maddy
has an older brother Jonny who has Down syndrome. The family adopted
three more boys with the syndrome as well, and Maddy treasures her
childhood growing up with her brothers.
“I think some people are a
little skeptical of Down syndrome,” Maddy said in the video. “Those
boys bring out the best in each and every person they meet. They see
the world in colors and we need to see the world that way.”
Maddy’s touching words and
her lovely singing were watched by over 25 million people that
night. The exposure has opened up a world of possibilities for the
high school junior. She held a two-night charity concert after the
Haiti earthquake that raised $8,000, and is starting to consider
college plans at a musical conservatory and even giving a bit of
thought to trying out for American Idol again.
“I’m still thinking about
what I want to do,” she said. “I know something like American Idol
is a long shot. But it was a good experience.”
Maddy’s mother wrote on her
blog, Mommy Life, that she was happy with how the producers
portrayed her daughter and for the opportunities it has opened up.
“Having been given a chance in the spotlight, the true purpose of
Maddy’s life and her gifts has been revealed,” Barbara Curtis wrote.
“It shouldn’t be surprising that God can use the things of the world
to accomplish His purposes. And even if nothing else happened, what
happened is enough. . . .”