Maren Morris Recalls Being Rejected After 'American Idol' Audition as a Teenager

When Maren Morris was still a young, aspiring singer, she was willing to do whatever it took to get her music heard, including auditioning for American Idol. The Texas native went to an audition as a hopeful teenager, when Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson were judges, and left with a broken heart.

"You don't see Paula and Simon and Randy in the first-go audition," Morris shared on Late Night With Seth Meyers. "It's like a stadium cattle call, and you audition for a 20-year-old producer, who probably has no music cred. You just sing for like eight seconds, sing your heart out, and then my entire group got cut.

"They're like, 'Sorry. You have to take the walk of shame,'" she continued. "I remember being like 17, and I had to walk through the walk of shame out to the parking lot, and find my mom's car, and cry on my way home with her. But it all worked out."

Morris could have never imagined back then that shows like American Idol and The Voice (where she was also turned away), would turn into pretty lucrative business opportunities for her anyway.

"The poetic justice of that whole thing is that now people audition with my songs on those shows, so I just get the check in the mail," Morris added.

Morris previously opened up about her reality TV talent show auditions, and how nice it is to have other hopeful singers perform her songs.

"I was [also] rejected from America's Got Talent. There were a ton that I didn't make it to. Thank God!" Morris said on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. "Now people cover my songs for their auditions on those shows, so it's like, not only is it really nice to have my song on a national television show, I get to collect the check and have some sweet revenge."

Morris certainly doesn't need a TV show to propel her to fame, at least not anymore. Morris is the most-nominated artist heading into the 2019 CMA Awards, with six nods, including for Album of the Year for GIRL, and Female Vocalist of the Year.


The 2019 CMA Awards will air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Matt Winkelmeyer