Our ‘American Idol’ contest winner reveals why he ditched Clark Beckham for Nick Fradiani

“When I saw the crowd’s reaction to Nick Fradiani at the semi-finals, I knew I had to switch up my prediction even if it meant risking all the points I was trying to bank on Clark Beckham,” reveals our “American Idol” contest champ Denton Davidson, who wins our prize of a $100 Amazon gift certificate and eternal bragging rights for topping our Season 14 leaderboard. “A winning percentage means more than points at the end of the day and that’s how I ended up coming from behind to win. I think everyone ahead of me on the leaderboard had Clark winning.”

See our users’ exclusive predictions of the ‘American Idol’ finale

He tells us, “The thing about Nick is that he kept getting more and more comfortable and entertaining each week. Clark was by far the favorite from Week 1 and I think it is tough to hold the momentum from beginning to end. Clark’s performances seemed to trend downward while Nick was skyrocketing and his popularity just kept growing and growing.

“Clark was without question the best singer on the show, however I just kept thinking how rarely the best singer actually wins. It takes more than that. Clark felt OLD — from his song choices to his demeanor. Even at the finale he performed with Michael McDonald, while Nick sang a modern song with Andy Grammer. People are OVER listening to young people on ‘American Idol’ sing songs from the 50s and 60s.

“If I had to pick a shocking elimination, it would probably go all the way back to Week 1 of the Top 12 when Sarina-Joi Crowe was eliminated. I guess I predicted she would go, but I hated that I had to choose her. I think she was a better singer than most of the others, including Adanna Duru and Tyanna Jones. The problem was that she was the first to perform which is always dangerous when the audience doesn’t know you yet. She also didn’t give one of her better performances so I saw it coming, but it was disappointing. She should have been in the Top 5.

“Overall I don’t think this season was among the best or the worst. It was right down the middle. I really liked some of the interesting performers they had this year, most notably Joey Cook and Quentin Alexander. It’s a shame that with all of the interesting personalities this year that they have about the most bland Top 5 possible to go on tour. In fact, if I had to choose I would rather see the contestants who finished sixth through tenth live than the Top 5.

“As far as the show coming to an end, I think it is the right decision. I’ve had this debate with people before who said it should have ended years ago. People actually seem ANGRY it is still on and use the argument that they haven’t created a star in years. I would disagree. Phillip Phillips is very successful and was only on a few years ago, and he’s more popular than any winner of ‘The Voice’ ever has been.

“On top of that, at the end of the day this is a TV show. What matters are the RATINGS, not the success of the winner. Why would you cancel a successful show? Now the ratings are finally dropping significantly enough to where it just isn’t as profitable as it once was, so I see the reason to end it. I’m glad they are giving a notice that next season is the last because I think it gives them an opportunity to really make it a special season and hopefully one of the best. They should go out with a bang. I expect all former winners, Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson to show their faces or I would consider it a letdown.”

Nick Fradiani vs. Clark Beckham: Who won ‘American Idol’ Season 14?

Despite the fact that Nick ranked a distant third to win according to Gold Derby’s combined predictions, he wound up as this season’s recipient of the confetti shower during Wednesday night’s finale. At 4/1 odds, only 20% of our users predicted Nick would prevail, making him one of the more surprising winners in the show’s 14-year history.

“American Idol” may be over, but we are forecasting everything from the results on TV shows like “The Voice,” “Survivor,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “The Amazing Race” and “Game of Thrones” to the winners of the Emmys and Tonys.

Average Gold Derby users just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. You can change them later as often as you like.

Get started by making your prediction as to which castaway will win “Survivor” using our easy drag-and-drop menu below. And be sure to sound off on the current season of “American Idol” in Gold Derby’s reality TV forum.


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