Timeline of ‘American Idol’s Most Adorable Couple: Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Maddie Poppe

Corey Cesare
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Maddie Poppe and Caleb HutchinsonABC/Christopher Willard

Caleb Lee Hutchinson and Maddie Poppe were among the American Idol singers that found not only fame, but love. This couple began dating privately while competing against one another in season 16 and remains together to this day.


Caleb and Maddie returned to the American Idol stage as part of “The Great Idol Reunion” on Monday night. It was only right that this couple returned to the stage together. Here’s a look at their lengthy dating timeline.

The History of Maddie Poppe, Caleb Lee Hutchinson

This couple recalls meeting on the first day of Hollywood week. Maddi remembers the first time she saw him sing, noting that she got goosebumps. Right away, she thought his voice was impressive. They ended up in the same group during the competition, where they sang “Mama’s Broken Heart” by Miranda Lambert. Since that group performance, they spent everyday of the competition together.

The singer explained that at first they were just friends, but eventually they figured out the undeniable spark. Following the series, it came out that they became a official on a trip to Disneyland. Even though that’s when they made it official, they note that they practically were dating before that.


Throughout American Idol other singers knew about their romance. It wasn’t until the day of the finale that host, Ryan Seacrest, found out about their romance. Before Seacrest’s discovery, Caleb had planned to announce their relationship on social media. Clearly, the course of action changed, which lead Caleb to reveal their relationship during the finale. This announcement surprised fans, as well as the judging panel.

Weeks after the season conclusion the couple began citing themselves as a packaged deal. That summer they toured together as part of the American Idol Live 2018 tour. While on and off tour they continued to share adorable photos together.

Maddie Admits Caleb is “The One”

In 2019, Maddie revealed that long distance was tough, but not undoable for them. At the time, the singer returned to her home in Iowa while Caleb was in Nashville. Many fans thought that the beloved couple had broken up during this time since they were seen together less on social media.


This was around then time where Maddie first acknowledged that Caleb is “the one” for her. She explained that their relationship is so strong even through the distance, since they were friends before dating.

“I think that’s what’s so awesome about it, is … we were just best friends who were hanging out,” Maddie said. “And then we were like, ‘Hey, we get along pretty good. This might work out.'”

This Couple is Ready to Get Married

Caleb and Maddie were seen as “quarantine pals” throughout the coronavirus pandemic. During their time locked up together, Maddie candidly tweeted her intent to marry the fellow American Idol alum.

While this surely isn’t the only reason Maddie has to marry her longtime boyfriend, it was a very cute one. Fans were quick to reply to the tweet calling them “couple goals.”

The Couple Returns to the Stage Where it All Started

Since Maddie and Caleb are still a package deal to date, they appeared together on “The Great Idol Reunion.” Their return was a heartwarming moment for all fans. Not only did it confirm that they’re still going strong, it showed just how much they’ve progressed since the series. Both singers continued to tirelessly work since the series and this performance really showed it.

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