.- Maddy Curtis, a sixteen-year-old from a Virginia family of twelve, is one of the contestants advancing in the American Idol singing contest. Curtis, the ninth child in the family, has an older brother and three adopted brothers with Downâs syndrome.
Speaking on a segment of American Idol, Maddy said being ninth of twelve kids was âa crazy experience, but itâs awesome.â
Describing her disabled brothers, she said âThose four boys bring out the best in every person they meet. They see the world in colors, and we need to see the world that way.â
At the American Idol try-outs in Boston in June 2009, a mildly nervous Maddy delivered a strong performance of Leonard Cohenâs âHallelujah.â
Contest judge Randy Jackson said of her performance: âI didnât think it would be that goodâ¦ but actually I really liked it!â
He especially praised the well-controlled range of her voice, a video of the try-out shows.
Guest judge Victoria Beckham, a former member of the British pop group Spice Girls, said Maddyâs performance showed a âreally, really beautiful voice.
Judge and singer-songwriter Kara DioGuardi commented: âWhen you sing, it feels really authenticâ¦ itâs coming from your heart.â
âNice voice. A bit of soul in there, Maddy,â commented Simon Cowell, the seriesâ notoriously critical judge.
âAmazingly, for sixteenâ¦ youâre not annoying!â he added. âItâs rare.â
All the judges voted to approve Maddy for the next round of the competition, held in Hollywood, California.
âIâm on top of the world,â the aspiring American Idol said after the judgesâ decision.
Curtisâ mother Barbara is a pro-life blogger and a columnist who converted with her family to Catholicism from Evangelicalism.
She discussed her daughterâs progress on her blog âMommy Life.â Because of a confidentiality agreement, her ability to comment was limited. She said that the Feb. 3 broadcast of the show is billed as âThe Road to Hollywoodâ and âmay or may not have stuff about Maddy.â
After âan emotional roller coaster of a day,â Barbara wrote in a Jan. 13 blog post, âMaddy is sleeping peacefully. There is a God who has her in His hands and that gives me great peace and joy. Tripp and I are grateful - as we are with each of our kids - that He has entrusted us to be her parents.
âIf I can offer one piece of advice to parents of young children, it's to support your children's dreams. No matter what the outcome, you will have wonderful memories and they will never forget how much you care.â