Former “America’s Got Talent” finalist Jackie Evancho has revealed that she has the bones of an “80-year-old” woman after the 22-year-old singer’s years-long battle with anorexia led to osteoporosis.
In an interview with People Magazine, Evancho opened up about her struggles with her body image and eating disorders since she finished in second place as a 10-year-old on the popular show in 2010.
Evancho said she wasn’t aware of how the disease was taking a toll on her body until she broke her back in two separate places in a car accident in 2021.
“They were abnormal breaks, breaks that you see in 80-year-olds,” the AGT alum told People. “That’s how I learned that my eating problems created osteoporosis. So now I’m a 22-year-old with osteoporosis.”
Even after she received the diagnosis for the bone disease, she said she didn’t immediately begin eating normally as she was instructed by doctors “because I was gaining weight to heal.” She finally sought treatment at an inpatient facility last October.
Evancho developed anorexia at the age of 15, when, while going through puberty she noticed herself getting bigger. Despite her mother’s insistence that it was “just baby fat,” she said she “decided that I was going to start to mildly diet and start working out regularly.”
Her disease worsened, however, and she began working out more and eating even less even though she knew it was getting out of hand.
“I felt exhausted, moody, tearful, but after a bit of time, I started to feel nothing,” she told the magazine.
By the age of 17, she first sought outpatient treatment for the disorder. When the country shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, her anorexia worsened.
“There weren’t any distractions during COVID,” she said.
Now as she prepares to release her new ninth LP, “Carousel of Life,” in September she is still recovering. As part of her treatment, she regularly sees a nutritionist and therapist. She additionally undergoes psychotherapy known as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) to help her address past trauma.
“I’m still struggling, but I’m fighting, which is good because a year ago I was giving in to it completely, and that’s so dark and painful,” Evancho says. “I’m not healthy yet, but I have been able to implement healthy coping skills and better eating habits.”
“Carousel of Life” is a cover album of Joni Mitchell songs. The first single, “A Case of You,” is scheduled to be released on July 13.