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Former Miss America Says She Is ‘Nothing’ Without God After Successful ‘American Idol’ Audition

betty maxwell
Screenshot from Instagram / @realbettymaxwell

Former Miss America Betty Maxwell, née Cantrell, made it to Hollywood after her audition on the 20th season of “American Idol” was met with unanimous approval from all three judges. Maxwell says that she is thankful to God and does not feel she deserves all of the blessings that she has received in life.

“For the past 5 or 6 years I’ve dealt with imposter syndrome,” said Maxwell, who was crowned Miss America 2016, in a post on Instagram. “I feel that I don’t deserve the blessings and success in my life. I feel like I’m unworthy of the praise and the talents God gave me. I don’t know why…maybe part of it is just the pressure to always have something bigger and better on the horizon. Part of it is that I know deep down I’m just a normal girl from a farm in Ga and I just feel like I’m not worthy of it all….that’s why I’m always so thankful because I don’t feel like I deserve it.” 

Betty Maxwell Gives ‘All the Glory to God’

Betty Maxwell, 27, is from Warner Robins, Ga., and counts being an author, motivational speaker, singer, actress and model among her many accomplishments. The episode of her audition on “American Idol” aired Sunday, March 6. 

Maxwell did not expect to win the title of Miss America 2016 and had “a lot of mishaps” during the competition. One was that she had a sinus infection, a serious detriment since her talent was singing classical opera. Maxwell says she has been singing since she was about three years old and called singing one of her “deepest passions.” 

For her “American Idol” audition, Maxwell sang “A Moment Like This” by Kelly Clarkson. Judge Katy Perry then asked Maxwell to sing part of a country song. The former Miss America chose Carrie Underwood‘s “Jesus, Take the Wheel.” 

Judge Luke Bryan told Maxwell, “You don’t sing like a pageant girl. You sing like a real singer.” 

“There is a lot to work with,” Perry agreed. Judge Lionel Ritchie encouraged Maxwell to find her own style, which Perry said could be country music. The judges then voted unanimously to send Maxwell to Hollywood for the next step of the competition.

“I was honestly so nervous about my audition airing,” said Maxwell in her post, which continued:

You just never know how they’re going to edit it all together or how they’ll portray your story. I just knew if the focus [was] all about me being Miss America, people would think I wanted it that way or I’m egotistical and they’d judge and stereotype me immediately.