Julia Gagnon on “American Idol” Sunday, her last night in the competition. Disney/Eric McCandless

America has not heard the last of Julia Gagnon.

The 22-year-old from Cumberland may have been voted off “American Idol” Sunday night, but on Monday morning, she made it clear she’ll keep on singing and thanked her many fans for their love and support. She’s also likely to perform on the ABC show one more time, during the finals on May 19.

“Yall thank you so much for blowing up my phone with love and support!!!!,” Gagnon posted on her Instagram and Facebook accounts. “Get ready for new music, new covers, and of course more content here!!! Love yall and what an awesome journey.”

Gagnon had appeared on “American Idol” weekly since March and advanced to become one of the final seven contestants, out of thousands of people who auditioned for the show. On Sunday night, she sang two songs: “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele and “Roam” by the B-52s. She got rave reviews from the celebrity judges after both performances but not enough votes from viewers to advance to the top five.

Julia Gagnon performing on “American Idol” Sunday. Disney/Eric McCandless

Gagnon’s parents, Jim and Meg Gagnon, were in Los Angeles Sunday night to watch their daughter in person. In a text Monday morning – sent minutes before boarding a plane to Maine – Meg Gagnon said her daughter would be remaining in Los Angeles for a couple more weeks and is scheduled to perform during the “American Idol” finale on May 19. Last year, singers who had made it into the top 12 came back to perform on the “American Idol” finale, along with celebrity guests.

Meg Gagnon said in her text that her daughter making the top seven was “fantastic” and that the “American Idol” exposure will likely “open lots of doors” for her. She also said the family appreciates all the love and support that Maine, and the rest of the world, has given Julia.


“This is not the end of her journey, it’s just the beginning,” Meg Gagnon wrote.


In her social media posts Monday morning, Gagnon said she was “in high spirits and could not be more at peace with last nights results, as I had no idea I would even be privileged enough to BE in top 7!!!!!!” Gagnon was not available for interviews Monday.

On Saturday, Sen. Angus King had called Gagnon to “wish her all the best on behalf of a proud state,” said Matthew Felling, a King spokesman. King watched the show and voted for Gagnon, too, Felling said.

When Gagnon finally does get back to Maine, more well-wishers and congratulations will likely await her. The Cumberland Town Council will likely invite her to a televised council meeting at some point to congratulate her, said William R. Shane, the town manager. He said the town also will probably try to plan a summer event of some kind to honor Gagnon.

Town officials and others had already been working to arrange an event for Gagnon on May 14 at the Cumberland Fairgrounds. Producers of “American Idol” had called the town office and asked for help arranging an event that could be filmed for a special homecoming segment if Gagnon made it to the finals. The event would have featured a couple songs performed by Gagnon and possible appearances by King and Gov. Janet Mills. But since Gagnon did not make the finals and will be in Los Angeles for two more weeks, that event will not happen.


Gagnon’s first song on Sunday’s episode was “Roam” by the B-52s. Judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan piled on the praise.

“It was fantastic, I loved it,” said Richie.

“The energy’s there, the look’s there, the vocals are there, you’re there,” said Perry.

Bryan said it was refreshing to see Gagnon’s confidence. “You keep coming out here and acing the course, and that’s what this show is all about.”

After Gagnon’s rendition of “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele – performed on Adele’s 36th birthday – Perry said “This was your lane. It was all you, it was exactly what Adele wants on her birthday.”

“American Idol” contestants advance by garnering votes from viewers all over the country. So the fact that a singer from one of the smallest states did so well is a source of pride for Mainers and a testament to Gagnon’s broad appeal nationwide. No Mainer has ever come close to winning “American Idol,” which has been on since 2002.



Since Gagnon first appeared on “American Idol” in March, she’s united Mainers in a way few other people have. Fans are drawn to her soulful, passionate vocals and her warmth in interviews and on social media. On Instagram, she’s asked fans to be kind in their posts about her and her fellow contestants.

People all over the state have been rooting for her. Local media report on her every move. Students at her alma mater, North Yarmouth Academy, stood on Main Street in Yarmouth last week with signs that said, “Honk if you love Julia.”

Second grader William Cashman, center, reacts as a passing vehicle complies with his North Yarmouth Academy classmates’ chants of “Honk if you love Julia” on May 1. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Many Mainers are heartened by her personal story, which includes being adopted from Guatemala, facing bullying and harassment for her looks while growing up in Maine, and finding her birth mother when she was 18. She told the Press Herald in March that she wanted to go on “American Idol” at least partly to do something big that her birth mother could share in.

Gagnon has said that, while in grade school, she had been so worried standing out that she wouldn’t sing out loud in chorus and just mouthed the words instead. When her chorus teacher, Nora Krainis, finally heard Gagnon sing, she began to encourage her and give her more opportunities to share her gift in public.

Gagnon is a senior at the University of Southern Maine and had been planning to go to law school and some day practice family law. But she told the Press Herald in March that her experience with “American Idol” had made her think about the possibility of doing something more with music.

“It has crossed my mind, to take this opportunity and possibly do something more for myself with my music,” said Gagnon. “Yeah, I definitely have some newfound dreams.”

Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti contributed to this report. 

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