18-Year-Old Vegan ‘American Idol’ Finalist Just Wants to Eat Potatoes in Peace

American Idol finalist Catie Turner

Updated June 2019 | Catie Turner, a vegan musician and high schooler, was a contestant in the long-running singing competition “American Idol” in 2018.

She has since released a six-song EP called “The Sad Vegan.”

The young talent initially impressed American Idol 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. She made the top ten, but was eventually voted out before the top five were chosen, after forgetting the lyrics to “Manic Monday.”

Eating Potatoes in Peace

In an 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 Tweet last year, 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.


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’s first single “Saviour” from “The Sad Vegan” EP is out now.