Margie Mays is among the hopefuls who auditioned for Season 18 of American Idol. She was first seen on Idol in the second season of the show’s airing on ABC, which was the 17th season overall. Her audition will air on the second episode of season 18 on February 23 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
The 26-year-old singer-songwriter is based in Los Angeles. She is originally from Wilmington, Delaware. According to her website bio, Mays loves doing hot yoga, collecting miniatures and drinking coffee.
Tune in to American Idol on Sunday night at 8 p.m. on ABC to see if Margie Mays gets a Golden Ticket to Hollywood this time around.
Here’s what you should know about Mays:
1. She Was a Contestant on Season Two
Mays originally auditioned for American Idol during season two of the show’s run on ABC, which is the 17th overall season of the show. Right off the bat, Mays became known for her enthusiasm and quirky attitude.
She made it to the top 40 before being sent home by the judges. Fans were upset with the decision, however, with 78 percent of people in a Gold Derby poll voting for her to come back and audition for the new season.
Mays was ultimately encouraged to audition again by Idol judge Lionel Richie after being sent home last season.
“Other contestants are like ‘Are you serious you want to do that again?’ Because it is exhausting,” Mays said to Ryan Seacrest during an interview on On Air with Ryan. “But to be honest with you, it happened the day I was cut in Hawaii last season: I remember Lionel put his hands on my shoulders and he looked me in the eyes and he said ‘Come back and come back with serious stuff.’ And he said that and I was like ‘OK.'”
She said that getting a second chance on Idol was like Christmas.
2. Mays Encouraged Her Boyfriend to Audition
Mays is in a relationship with Jonny West, who auditioned alongside her for season 18 of American Idol. She encouraged him to audition, even though he never thought he would do anything like that.
“When you love someone that much … you’re like you deserve this feeling [too],” she told Seacrest about auditioning alongside West. “… But it felt scary because I was like there’s that moment where one of you might go further than the other.”
West thanked Mays in an Instagram post, writing “Very very very grateful to have this opportunity and so appreciative of all the encouragement! @margiemaysmusic thank u for pushing me to try something that I never thought I would and believing I could do something like this.”
3. She Was in the ‘American Idol’ Oscars Promo
American Idol released a promotion during the 2020 Academy Awards ceremony. The ad featured many hopefuls and contestants from season 18 of the show getting on a bus and eventually arriving in Hollywood.
Mays and her boyfriend were both featured in the ad, which is set to Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer.” In the promotion, Mays can be seen sitting next to fellow contestant Francisco Martin, who made it to Hollywood after auditioning in the first episode of the show.
It’s possible this means May will get the Golden Ticket and make it through to the Hollywood round. The majority of the participants in the ad that we’ve seen audition so far have made it through to the next round.
4. Mays is a Graduate of Stanford University
Though she grew up in Delaware, Mays moved to California after high school in order to study at Stanford University. She set her sights on Stanford from the time she was eleven years old, knowing that she wanted to move to California to pursue a singing career. Mays was valedictorian of her high school class.
She only applied to one college: Stanford. She moved there at 18 years old and studied both Human Biology and Communication. She graduated from Stanford in 2015.
After graduating from Stanford, Mays moved to Los Angeles to pursue her love for performing. She attended the Los Angeles College of Music to study Vocal Music. She graduated with honors from the college in 2018.
5. Her Most Popular Song Has Been Streamed Over 200,000 Times
Though she didn’t win American Idol last season, she has released music before and since her time on the show. One of those songs, “Over Again,” which was released in 2019, has over 230,000 streams on Spotify.
The song was released after her time on Idol, though it was written two years before. Mays told Music Industry Weekly that the song spoke to her experience with the show.
“At first, it was just a classic breakup song,” she said. “I wanted it to paint that feeling of everyone’s nostalgia for their first love. However, once American Idol happened (more specifically when I was cut) I immediately thought of that song. […] It’s kind of my statement to the show: I loved every single bit of you and I would do it ten times over.”
Mays has nearly 17,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel where she uploads videos regularly including makeup and hair tutorials and her music.