She was the talk of the town (all of them) here in Iowa when 'American Idol' wrapped up last Spring.

Madde Poppe, the Clarksville, Iowa native who won the singing competition's latest season, made us all proud and we couldn't get enough of her or subsequent single, "Going Going Gone". So, where has she been?

Actually, she spent the summer very busy. The American Idol tour circled the country, wrapped up September 16th in Washington, D.C., playing just about everywhere but the winner's home state. Kind of a head-scratcher to most of us to this day.

She was scheduled to perform a free concert at Market After Dark in Cedar Rapids in August. It was cancelled due to scheduling conflicts. She took flak for bailing on us as if she was "above that". Really, it meant her handlers at "American Idol" put the ixnay on her doing it. Later, she did return to Iowa for an appearance and a quick performance of the National Anthem at the Iowa State Fair, and a sold out concert at Wild Rose Casino in Clinton.

Recently, she's been nominated for a People's Choice Award, "Competition Contestant of 2018". Watch KCRG TV9 on November 11 to see if she wins. "Idol" judge Luke Bryan took her out for a few appearances on his summer farm tour, including one in Boone, Iowa on September 29.

Through it all, she's been hard at work on her first album, with a release date still pending, pursuing a budding romance with her "American Idol" runner-up Caleb Hutchinson, and oh yeah, a Christmas release sure to get you in the spirit of the holiday season:

Will she ever return for a more prominent performance here in Iowa? You can almost bet on it.

Good things are happening for our home state Idol, Maddie Poppe. Even if it's hard to keep track of.

Heck, I'm exhausted just from writing all that.

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