NRL News

American Idol contestant performs original song she wrote while pregnant at 16

by | Apr 9, 2024

By Victoria Bergin

Teen mom Cate Gartner made it through the first round of auditions for American Idol Season 22 with an original song. “The Place That I Call Home” was written for her son Cooper while she was pregnant with him.

In the video of her audition, which aired on Sunday, March 24, Gartner, now 18, shared her experience of finding out she was pregnant at just 16. She said, “When I found out I was pregnant at 16 as a junior in high school it was really scary. I was very upset with myself and it was a hard thing to go through, but I just knew immediately I had this connection. I really do love being a mom… If I could go back I wouldn’t change it at all.”

The chorus of “The Place That I Call Home” is below:

They say I’m too young that I don’t know what I’m supposed to do

 But I know one thing for sure, that I love you more than anything I had before

 And I didn’t know I needed you

After everything my heart had been through

 Every moment that I walk with you

I’ll learn things I never knew

With all of my love, I’ll hold onto you

and sure that every dream comes true

The American Idol judges were clearly captivated by her vulnerable song and praised Gartner for both her talent for singing and for storytelling as well. Gartner received three confident votes to move her on to the next stage of competition in Hollywood.

Cooper, Gartner’s boyfriend, and her father accompanied her to the audition. At the end of her audition, she said to her son: “I love you so, so much and this is for you buddy.”

Gartner was already pursuing a career in music when she found out she was pregnant. Drew Hill, who was helping her write music and teaching her guitar, suggested she write a song for her baby. “The Place That I Call Home” was finished just three weeks before she gave birth.

In a TikTok video before the song was released, she explained more of the story behind the song.

“This is the most vulnerable I’ve ever been probably ever, but this is the most meaningful song I’ve ever written. And if it can help at least one girl in my situation, I’ll be happy,” she explained.

But young moms haven’t always been treated favorably on American Idol. Last year, judge Katy Perry came under fire for “mom shaming” a 25-year-old contestant with three young children, and by insinuating that she had to choose between being a mom and being a performer.

Hopefully, Gartner’s story will help change the narratives that women can’t have a career and children and that teen moms will fail.

Categories: Pro-Lifers