Gabby Barrett and Cade Foehner have emerged as early front-runners to capture the Season 16 title on “American Idol.” The country beauty and the southern rocker may seem like breaths of fresh air now, but haven’t we seen this showdown before? Loyal fans of the reality TV series could be experiencing déjà vu if they remember a young hopeful from Oklahoma defeating the long-haired guitar player from Alabama way back in Season 4.
It was nearly 13 years ago that host Ryan Seacrest announced Carrie Underwood had defeated Bo Bice in one of the most-watched finales in “Idol” history. At just 22, Underwood was launched into superstardom and quickly became one of the most dominant forces in country music. Her coronation song “Inside Your Heaven” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and her debut album, “Some Hearts,” sold a staggering eight million copies. To top things off, Underwood became the only “American Idol” contestant (to date) to take home the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. Since then she’s added another six of music’s most prestigious statues to her mantle along with 12 American Music Awards and 10 Billboard Awards.
Bice may not have enjoyed the same level of success as his rival, but his debut album “The Real Thing” peaked at number four on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and achieved Gold certification for sales of over 500k. Since then the 42-year old rocker has released two more studio albums, chopped off his signature locks and continues to tour and record music. Bice also created the charity MusiCares, for which he won $50,000 on the syndicated game show “Don’t Forget the Lyrics!”
Barrett and Foehner could be on track to repeat the showdown of Underwood vs. Bice. To bring things full circle, Barrett auditioned for Season 16 with one of Underwood’s hits, “Church Bells.” After her Top 14 performance of Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb,” judge Katy Perry said it appeared as though the singer had gone through the “star wash” as she emerged as an early favorite to win. Barrett cemented her status with an electrifying performance of the Miranda Lambert hit “Little Red Wagon” during the following night’s results episode.
Foehner began his journey by auditioning with “No Good,” a song from the Icelandic rock band Kaleo. He fully emerged as an artist who was “in it to win it” with his Top 14 performance of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower.” The recognizable rock grit in his voice is accompanied by Foehner’s impressive musicianship. When he emerged to the front of the stage for a guitar solo during his performance of the INXS hit “Never Tear Us Apart,” he drew thunderous applause from the live audience.
With 10 artists still vying for the championship this season, it may seem bold to predict the finale at this stage. But Gabby vs. Cade certainly seems like a recipe that has been proven to work in the past. Who do you think has the best chance to take the Season 16 crown? Vote in our poll below and sound off in the comments!
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