Maddie Poppe in American Idol Top 5

Thunderous applause and wholehearted hometown enthusiasm was the response at a viewing party in Clarksville Sunday evening when it was announced Maddie Poppe made it to the Top Five on American Idol.

The gathering of about 70 locals at Poppe’s alma mater, the Clarksville school, was mostly a quiet one. Little kids ran between lawn chairs. There were high school kids, middle-aged people and even some grandparents.

But it was clear they weren’t very interested in the other performers, only in supporting their very own Maddie Poppe.

“We want to show her our support, so we thought we’d get together and do it, and at the same time, if anybody here needs help, we’re counting on our younger people who know everything about technology to help them send the votes with the app, or online, or whatever they need,” said Mayor Val Swinton.

Poppe opted to showcase a different set of skills in Sunday night’s performance. Instead of playing her acoustic guitar, locally made by Flammang Guitars in Greene, Poppe surprised the audience by sitting down at a beautiful grand piano.

She sang and played “Nothing Compares 2 U.” The judges gave her a standing ovation, and judge Luke Bryan described the performance as mesmerizing.

For the second round, she was back on stage with an electric guitar to play “If It Makes You Happy.”

The judges couldn’t help but remark at her versatility.

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