The Season 18 finale of “American Idol” will take place on Sunday, May 17 and if viewers are as divided as Gold Derby senior editors Marcus James Dixon, Susan Wloszczyna and contributor Denton Davidson, it could be a nail biter! Each of them is predicting a different winner in this historic season that was nearly upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch our finale predictions video above and let us know who YOU want to win the title.
“I think the Season 18 winner will be Arthur Gunn,” proclaims Davidson. “I’m picking him based on the season as a whole. He was the first artist that went viral and exploded in a big way. His voice is easily identifiable and Arthur’s views on social media triples everyone else. He’s had such a great run this season and I think that the format of performing from home makes it harder for contestants to have that ‘wow’ moment that sends them surging like they might need to later in the season. I think he’ll maintain his position as the front-runner and take the title.”
But Wloszczyna has her eye on an up-and-coming teen heartthrob. “If you look at who won last year, Laine Hardy,” she interjects, “I think the closest to him is Francisco Martin. He’s just got that look and he doesn’t even know how good he is. That’s part of his charm. He was very nervous when he started out but he’s settled in now. The Disney songs really tested these contestants and Francisco did one of the better ones with ‘You’ll Be in My Heart.'”
Dixon minced no words while shutting down his fellow prognosticators. “I think you’re both off track,” he insists. “I think the winner is Jonny West. This is clearly who the judges want to win, but then again they wanted Alejandro Aranda last year and that didn’t work. But Jonny is the singer/songwriter type. He’s just so comfortable behind that keyboard. He’s a pro already, I don’t even know why he needed a show like this to become famous. Plus, Margie Mays would become the First Lady of ‘American Idol’!”
Despite their differing views, everyone seems to agree that we might be underestimating one particular singer — Dillon James. “He takes all of these songs and makes them his own,” says Dixon. “He’s just so dang good!” Davidson concurs, adding, “When I watch them perform, to me he’s the one that looks like the established artist.”
The three continue their banter over who is most likely to go home, including Julia Gargano and Louis Knight, as well as what could be the fate of another fan favorite, Just Sam. They also discuss some their personal highlights of the season including favorite performances, Katy Perry‘s wild antics and how the live vote could impact this season’s outcome.
Be sure to make your predictions to influence our reality TV racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs on ABC. You’ll compete to win a spot on our Season 18 leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.