Claire Jolie Goodman is one of the dozens of singers who are getting tickets to Hollywood this season on American Idol. Goodman’s audition episode airs Sunday, February 23 on ABC, so here’s what you need to know about this teenage songbird.
1. Claire Has Been Performing for 12 Years
This quirky 17-year-old is from Mount Prospect, Illinois, a northwest suburb of Chicago, the oldest of four children of Steve and Loren Metivier Goodman. She has two younger brothers and a younger sister. Claire’s Facebook page says that she has been performing for 12 years and that she is a classically trained soprano.
Her audition takes place at the Milwaukee Art Museum and she writes of her time on the show, “I’m so excited to announce that I’ll be appearing on American Idol this month! … I can’t reveal what happened, but I highly recommend you tune in. Thank you, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie, Bobby Bones Show, and Ryan Seacrest for such an amazing opportunity!”
Her mom went with her to the cattle call auditions (the ones before the contestants sing for judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie) and she writes of their experience, “I was really struck by how kind and supportive all of the contestants and their families were. We met so many amazing people, and every single one was full of good wishes for the other contestants. People are good!”
For her audition tape to get invited to the cattle call, Claire submitted “The Girl in 14G,” which is below.
2. Claire Previously Competed on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
This is not Goodman’s first foray into reality TV. In 2017, she appeared on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’s Whiz Kids Week, introduced as a “geography bee winner” by host Chris Harrison.
True to the “whiz kids” title, Goodman whizzed through her first five questions without using a lifeline. She then used three lifelines in quick succession, including an assist from her father, Steve, and got to $20,000, then she used her final lifeline on the $30,000 and got it right. On the $50,000 question, she decided to walk away. Goodman couldn’t make a strong enough educated guess, so she chose to keep her $30,000 rather than lose $25,000 and only get to take home $5000.
“Located at about 42 degrees north, the southernmost point in Canada is at approximately the same latitude as what state’s northern border?” And the answer choices were Oregon, Iowa, California, and Missouri. After declaring she was going to walk away, she said her answer would have been Oregon, but the correct answer was actually California, so she made the right decision.
3. She Has a Music and Script Library Named After Her
Goodman attends the Metropolis School of the Performing Arts in Arlington Heights, where she has taken classes for drama, musical theater, voice, improve, sketch comedy, on-camera acting, and the cello. After winning $30,000 on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, she donated some of that money to the theater program at the school.
The school used the money to create a Music and Script Library, which they named the Claire Jolie Goodman Music and Script Library. It opened in October 2019 with a dedication ceremony where Goodman got to cut the ribbon over the door.
“Thank you again to Claire for her wonderful, amazing, generous donation and continued support of Metropolis,” the school posted to Facebook. “It’s hard to believe you have been a student here for over 11 years! You and your family are a wonderful part of the Metropolis family and we will cherish your gift for years to come.
We had a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Claire and her family last night, complete with an inaugural karaoke song from Claire and her brother Colin. It was such a fun time, some of our office staff even joined in on the karaoke fun!”
4. Claire Also Acts and Has Appeared in Some Big Productions
In addition to singing like a bird, Claire has appeared on stage in many plays and musicals. She is currently appearing in the Buffalo Grove Park District production of The Wedding Singer and has previously appeared on stage in Brighton Beach Memoirs, Once Upon a Mattress, Beauty and the Beast, Steel Magnolias, Over the Tavern, and Cinderella. She has also performed for the Metropolis School of the Performing Arts donor appreciation night and You Can’t Stop the Beat — Broadway Showstoppers cabaret night.
In a review of Over the Tavern, the Daily Herald wrote of Goodman, “What’s amazing is that four of the seven characters are actors under the age of 17 and quite frankly, they’re amazing. Claire Jolie Goodman is a wonderful teenage Annie. She’s full of insecurity, mixed yearnings and is a comedic Twinkie sneaker and hair specialist.”
The “hair specialist” comment is certainly apropos. In an Instagram post, Claire does a ’60s beehive in no time flat. Now where is the Instagram post of her sneaking a Twinkie?
5. She is Headed to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts After High School
Goodman recently posted to Instagram that she has been accepted at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, which is where it looks like she will start her post-high school education — provided she doesn’t become a huge superstar on American Idol.
And if that isn’t quite a busy enough schedule, Goodman also found time to co-found HAP, the Homeschool Arts Project, with her friend Megan Sulak. This Chicago-based organization is “dedicated to providing homeschool students with high-quality arts opportunities in a safe, progressive, and supportive environment.”
They are currently staging a teenage production of Chicago that is directed by Goodman and Sulak. Then they will also be offering a student-written short play festival, a murder mystery party for Halloween, and Tom Stoppard’s 15-Minute Hamlet next holiday season for their annual arts showcase.
This young performer is undoubtedly going places. As she writes in her Facebook bio, “From children’s theatre to reality TV, Claire has left her mark on nearly every form of media and is excited for what the future holds.”
American Idol airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.