Tate McRae says seeing contestants sing her songs on ‘American Idol’ is “mind-blowing”

As a former contestant on So You Think You Can Dance, Tate McRae is no stranger to reality talent competitions.  But she says she just can’t get over the fact that, in their quest to become the next American Idol, a couple of contestants on this season of the ABC show have performed her songs.

During the first audition rounds, contestant Mary Jo Young sang Tate’s hit “you broke me first,” and the judges were so impressed, they sent her through to Hollywood. 

“I saw that, that was crazy! I used to watch those auditions, like, religiously on YouTube, religiously,” Tate tells ABC Audio. “And I would always see them, so to see it with my song was mind-blowing. That was crazy.”

So far, Mary Jo has advanced to the All-Star Duets & Solos Round.  Meanwhile, during that same round, another contestant, Wyatt Pike, sang Tate’s song “rubberband,” from her new EP too young to be sad.

“It’s always strange hearing someone else cover your song, because it’s going to be totally different,” Tate says. She laughs, “I dunno, it makes me nervous when someone else is singing my song! I don’t know why.”

But while people can sing Tate’s songs, it’s harder for them to mimic her unique vocal style.  But according to Tate, she doesn’t actually have one.

“I don’t consider myself, like, a vocalist,” she tells ABC Audio, explaining, “I always just thought of [it], like, I write something and then my voice could hit the notes — that’s how I would like interpret my singing. I self-taught myself on piano. And then I’d be like, ‘This sounds good with this."”

Tune into American Idol this weekend to see if America ends up voting Tate fans Wyatt and Mary Jo through to the Top 16.

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