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Abi Carter: Bridesmaid at Julia Gagnon’s Wedding

Abi Carter, Julia Gagnon. Getty Images

The bond between American Idol season 22 contestants Abi Carter and Julia Gagnon runs deep. Abi Carter, 21, recently crowned this season’s winner, exclusively revealed to Us Weekly that she’ll be a bridesmaid in Julia Gagnon’s wedding. Carter shared that she remains “super, super close” with multiple cast members. Julia Gagnon, 22, who made it to the top seven before her elimination, is engaged to longtime boyfriend Nate Haven, whom she met online while attending college in New York.

Close Ties Among Contestants

While gushing about her time on the show, which concluded on May 19, Carter also expressed admiration for second runner-up Jack Blocker. “When it got to the top three and people were being cut, I just thought he was going through, and I had so much love for him and wanted that to happen,” she said. “I think in this whole experience, you want these people to succeed, and it doesn’t really matter how far you go; you love them so much that you want them to go on.”

Journey to Victory

Carter first wowed judges with her soulful rendition of Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?” during her audition. Reflecting on her win, she expressed disbelief. “I hope from here I can just build on it,” she told Us. “I know that’s really hard. It’s a lot of work that you have to put into it, but I hope from here I can just release music and make an album, hopefully tour someday.”

Recognition and Future Plans

Since her win, Carter has garnered many adoring fans, including several A-list artists. “Bishop Briggs followed me yesterday, which was really fun,” she said. “Jordin Sparks followed me, Evanescence shouted me out. It was really crazy.” Carter also received a video message from Billie Eilish, 22, that aired during the season finale. “Hi Abi, it’s Billie,” the Grammy winner said. “I wanted to say congratulations on making the top three on American Idol. This is such a big deal, and I’m so happy for you.”

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Reflecting on the message, Carter told Us she can’t think about the moment without crying. “When her music video [for] ‘Bellyache’ came out, me and my friends would sit in our computer room and watch her music videos and fall in love with her,” she recounted. “She was an inspiration to me, 100 percent. She has inadvertently developed me as a singer, as a songwriter, as an artist. I think that she has been a very big marker for me.”

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