“We all think someone else is going to win!” exclaims Gold Derby senior editor Marcus James Dixon when he is joined by fellow senior editor Susan Wloszczyna and Gold Derby contributor Denton Davidson to discuss the upcoming Season 17 finale of “American Idol.” The race for the title is tighter than ever as Alejandro Aranda, Laine Hardy and Madison VanDenburg prepare for the Sunday, May 19 extravaganza. Watch our video recap above as we hedge our bets on the eventual winner, discuss the upcoming finale performances and ask if Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie should return for Season 18.
“I think Madison [will win],” says Wloszczyna. “I think she is at the point where potential is turning into real chops. She made ‘Your Song’ a new song with the soul she put into it. For those reasons I am picking her.” For Davidson’s prediction, he is banking on the Southern charmer to claim victory. “I have Laine winning,” he says. “I think he’s just the type of person that wins ‘American Idol.’ He’s from the south and we know people from the south win a lot. And I liked that he slowed things down on Sunday.” Wloszczyna then chimes in, “And he’s cute!”
Dixon is holding firm that Alejandro is the contestant with the momentum in his favor. “Just look at the comments that pour in on our website,” he says. “Look at the audience reaction when Alejandro made it through to the Top 3. There is serious love for this guy and he’s an artist! He’s not just a singer.” Davidson agrees that Alejandro is the most talented of the bunch, but isn’t convinced he has a winning formula. “I just don’t know if the people that vote are fans of that kind of music,” he responds. “I know he has a passionate fan base, but I’m not sure how far his net reaches across genres and age demographics. Laine is the typical type [who wins].”
Dixon then asks, “Could the two guys split the vote and give Madison the win?” Davidson responds, “She’s the only pure singer left. So that’s on her side as well. Laine and Alejandro aren’t shredding the vocals every night and she really lays it out there. For ‘American Idol’ purists, she would be the top choice.” See the “American Idol” winners list.
Another subject discussed is the upcoming finale performances and unique collaborations like Perry and Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon. “That will be interesting!” exclaims Wloszczyna but is more curious about Adam Lambert and Dimitrius Graham collaborating on “Bohemian Rhapsody.” “That one is not my instinct,” she says “but whatever.” Davidson reminds the others that Dimitrius was a trained opera singer and may try to work that into the performance.
As for the finalists, Alejandro is the only one slated for a “special” solo performance. Davidson hopes it’s a do-over of “Blesser,” stating, “The background singers ruined [his last performance]. The band was terrible and I hope he does that one by himself. That’s what the fans wanted to hear and I don’t think we got the performance of that we deserved.” As for the other finalists, Laine will sing with Jon Pardi while Madison teams up with Dan + Shay. For the panel’s full thoughts on the final three, the Top 10 returning to perform and who we think will win, watch our lively discussion above.
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