American Idol Winner Abi Carter Is Costar Julia Gagnon’s Bridesmaid

The American Idol bond runs deep for season 22 contestants Abi Carter and Julia Gagnon.

Carter, 21, exclusively revealed to Us Weekly after being crowned this season’s winner that she’ll be a bridesmaid in Gagnon’s wedding, noting that she remains “super, super close” with multiple cast members. (Gagnon, 22, made it into the top seven before her Idol elimination and is engaged to longtime boyfriend Nate Haven, who she met online while attending college in New York.)

While gushing about her time on the show, which concluded on May 19, Carter also showed love 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.”

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The singer, who first wowed judges with her soulful rendition of Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?” in her audition, added that she was filled with “disbelief” over her win. “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.”

American Idol Winner Abi Carter Is Going to be Bridesmaid in Julia Gagnon s Wedding 431

Abi Carter, Julia Gagnon.
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In the meantime, Carter has garnered plenty of 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 got love from Eilish, 22, who recorded a video message 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. It’s so amazing to see you in the finale after you sang my song ‘What Was I Made For?’ in your audition.”

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Looking back on that message, Carter told Us that 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.”

With reporting by Mandie DeCamp