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Claremont’s Evelyn Cormier prepares for Top 14 performance on ‘American Idol’

  • Evelyn Cormier, of Claremont, N.H., performs on the "American Idol" TV show in Oct. 2018. (ABC - Nicole Rivelli)

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 4/12/2019 10:14:17 PM
Modified: 4/13/2019 10:39:58 PM

Even with several victories behind her, Evelyn Cormier was still battling the jitters as she prepared for her upcoming performances on American Idol on Sunday and Monday night.

At least now she knows she’s not alone, even among those who frequent the stage. Preparing to perform with her last week, Cormier’s duet partner, Chris Isaak, confessed that he was feeling the pressure, too.

“He told me that he was nervous for our performance, and I thought ‘OK, I guess everyone gets nervous,’” Cormier, 20, of Claremont said on Tuesday in a telephone interview from L.A., shortly after being named one of 14 finalists who will compete for the American Idol title in the final weeks of the show.

Cormier performed Isaak’s Wicked Game for her first audition in front of judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie and named him as one of three singers she’d like to work with if she made it to the duet portion of the show.

“When I found out that they got Chris Isaak for me, it was insane,” said Cormier, who grew up in Claremont and teaches at Claremont Christian Academy. “Chris Isaak was like my dream duet.”

Isaak, a platinum-selling artist whose hits include Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing and Wicked Game, was a gracious and laid-back guest on the show, Cormier said.

“He spent the whole day hanging out with me there. I met his manager and his manager’s dog,” she said. “He was just so down-to-earth.”

Richie sat on the edge of his seat, and Cormier’s dad, Micaiah, whistled through his fingers from his seat in the audience, as Cormier and Isaak performed the melancholy tune wearing matching shades of deep lilac on the show that aired on Monday night.

The duet clinched Cormier a spot on this week’s shows, among the Top 14 contestants whose fate will be decided in part by the public.

“It was just crazy. In that moment, I just knew, I’m moving on to the live shows,” Cormier said.

Performances by the final 14 will air on Sunday night, and the public will then vote on their favorite singers. Based on that vote, the top seven contestants will move ahead. They’ll perform a “victory song” live on Monday, while the remaining seven will perform live for the judges. The judges will choose which three of those seven will round out the top 10. After that, two contestants will be eliminated by public vote each week, until the winner is crowned on May 19.

Despite the pressure, Cormier said she and the other contestants have grown close behind the scenes. She misses her friends and family in Claremont, though, and tries to stay connected. Since she’s made the big time, she’s been posting regularly on the “What’s Up, Claremont” Facebook page.

Cormier also is listening to feedback from fans and said her song choice for the next performance will reflect their suggestions.

“One thing people are saying is that they’re ready for me to do an upbeat song, so I’m ready to do that,” she said.

Sarah Earle can be reached at and 603-727-3268.

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