Catie Turner, an 18-year-old vegan musician, high schooler, and contestant in the long-running singing competition “American Idol,” has just been voted into the top ten finalists of the current season. The young talent initially impressed judges when she auditioned with an original song called “21st Century Machine,” a quiet, acoustic guitar-driven ballad about “how media affected me when I was an impressionable child …kind of like, my bitterness to it.”

Turner, a native of Middletown, Penn., won over judges and fans with her genuine, quirky personality and upbeat disposition, avoiding elimination week after week. According to her Twitter profile, “my names [C]atie and im here to be [A]mericas next best friend or potentially idol or both whatever its up to you [sic].”

In a recent interview with Visit Bucks County, the contestant spoke about music as an outlet, where she draws inspiration from, her favorite song (“September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire), and vegan food. Turner says that Green Parrot Restaurant Pub is her favorite spot for local vegan eats, but that “anything that has decent vegan will do, too.”

In a recent Tweet, she shouted into the proverbial social media void, “who puts cheese in hash browns LET A VEGAN EAT POTATOES IN PEACE.”

Fans commented their support, expressing enthusiasm over the fact that Turner is vegan, save one malcontent, who dryly questioned, “who likes hash browns. “

“It is just potato in a weird shape,” Turner explained.

“Why can’t we just have fries,” the fan asked, punctuated with a photo of a crying chihuahua.

“SOME PEOPLE LIKE THEIR POTATO SHAPES TO BE DIFFERENT,” the American Idol finalist fired back during the exchange, bringing the threat of Internet fisticuffs into the mix with a photo of an unnamed man sporting raised boxing gloves.

“AND ONE OF THOSE SHAPES SHOULDNT BE HASH BROWNS,” the fan shouted.

One of America’s favorite foods, potatoes are also well-loved by many cultures. The starchy tubers are versatile, able to be mashed, smashed, baked, fried, pureed into creamy, dairy-free sauces, stuffed, turned into hash browns (with or without vegan cheese), and more. Potatoes are comfort food with good reason.

Potatoes are also fairly good for you; World’s Healthiest Foods ranks potatoes as “a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of potassium, copper, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, dietary fiber, and pantothenic acid.” Like other starchy vegetables, potatoes are good sources of energy-giving carbohydrates.

Turner and the other nine remaining “American Idol” contestants are set to take the stage in the season finale on Sunday, May 21.


Image Credit: Catie Turner