The Top 10 of American Idol 2024 were selected on Monday, and two of the 10 are from Alabama – Mia Matthews and Triston Harper.

Mia Matthews is from Centre in the northeast part of the state. Almost in Georgia, almost in Tennessee. On the shores of Weiss Lake.

Mia sang “Over You” by Miranda Lambert. 

Lionel Richie, also from Alabama (Tuskegee), reacted to Mia’s performance, saying, “Way to go, way to go Alabama. I don’t know what Gene is telling everybody, but everybody is coming out shining like a new penny. I am telling you, that was fantastic.”

Mia survived the Monday night competition that eliminated two other contestants.

A 15-year-old student from LeRoy High School in southwest Alabama also continued to advance Monday.

Triston Harper of McIntosh made the Top 10, surviving another double-elimination round. He sang the Luke Combs song "Beautiful Crazy." In an added touch, he sang it to his girlfriend, who was there and on camera.

Richie said of Harper’s performance, “Now we know you’re actually human. I actually saw you blush and gush when your girlfriend came on. That was great. Now what you need to do is not lose your power. Don’t lose your angst when you sing.”

Eight other contestants also advanced to the Top 10 and will compete with Mia Triston Harper and with each other as the elimination rounds continue:

Abi Carter
Emmy Russell
Jack Blocker
Julia Gagnon
Mckenna Faith Brienholt
Will Moseley

Here is Harper's Monday performance that landed him in the Top 10: 

 Can you believe that this voice is the voice of a 15-year-old? Such a deep and mature-sounding voice.

Triston, raised in the small town of McIntosh, is a Choctaw Indian. There is an extended village of Choctaws in and around McIntosh, the MOWA Tribe.

“We’re so proud of Triston being honored to appear on 'American Idol,' and we hope that you’ll be the winner of this competition,” tribal chief Dr. Lebarron Byrd said of told Triston.

Triston is the youngest Idol contestant this season.

Early in the competition, Triston revealed that his stepdad had been abusive towards his mom. When he was 11, they felt they had to leave McIntosh.

“The lowest part of my life was when me and my mom had got homeless, and we were sleeping on the side of the road," Harper said. "I had just turned 12."

From homeless to Hollywood. We have the makings of a movie.

The other Alabama contestant, Mia Matthews, is an experienced veteran compared to young Triston. She is 19 and has competed in American Idol before. In fact, in Idol 2019, she was a part of a trio, including her mom and her sister. 

They sang “Those Memories of You.” It had been featured on the “Trios” album by Dolly Parton, Emmy Lou Harris and Lina Ronstadt.  They advanced to the Top 17.

Here is the Monday “Over You” performance by Mia Matthews: 

Luke Bryan said of Matthews' performance, “It’s funny because we watch you and Meghan interact and then the song comes on and Katy and I look at each other. Part of this thing is to look like a star and what you’re doing is star power stuff. You went from this shy girl we met in auditions to delivering that song perfectly.”

Mia Matthews and Triston Harper, the eyes of Alabama are upon you.

Jim ‘Zig’ Zeigler writes about Alabama’s people, places, events, groups and prominent deaths.  He is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at

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