For the first time ever, the Top 7 contestants on “American Idol” performed from the comfort of their own homes amid the current COVID-19 pandemic. Now they each hope to become one of the five finalists competing for the Season 18 title on Sunday, May 17. Judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan will critique the performances from their own homes while Ryan Seacrest hosts. But who has the best shot at making the cut? And who will win? Check out our official Power Rankings of the Top 7 below.
Following America’s last nationwide vote, the road will come to an end for two contestants when the Top 5 are revealed. Then, America will vote in real-time to determine the winner. Hoping to perform for the title are Arthur Gunn, Dillon James, Francisco Martin, Jonny West, Julia Gargano, Just Sam and Louis Knight. Do you agree with our rankings?
1. Arthur Gunn
(Top 20 Performance: “Lovin’ Machine”; Top 11 Performance: “Take Me Home, Country Roads”; Top 7 Performances: “Kiss the Girl” and “Hey, Ma”)
Arthur’s incredible journey has been one of the highlights to watch this season. The story of a young kid who was born in Nepal, journeyed to America and found himself in the middle of Kansas. It was in this Midwestern state he became influenced by country and folk music, making way for his unique sound that has sent each of his performances viral on social media. Arthur has been the front-runner since day one and still has the likeliest chance of winning.
2. Jonny West
(Top 20 Performance: “What a Wonderful World”; Top 11 Performance: “Faithfully”; Top 7 Performances: “Almost There” and “Amazing Grace”)
Jonny seems to fly up the rankings with each passing week because he has an impressive ability to rewrite the classics. Who just adds a verse to “Amazing Grace” and makes it look seamless? His artistry and songwriting skills are unmatched and he’s got Katy’s endorsement to win.
3. Just Sam
(Top 20 Performance: “I Believe”; Top 11 Performance: “Grandma’s Hands”; Top 7 Performances: “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” and “I Turn to You”)
Sam has been the most inspirational to watch this season and it feels like a rags to riches story happening before our eyes. From busking in the New York subway, to her heartbreaking story about being raised by her grandmother after her mother was sent to prison. Sam makes the judges beam like proud parents when she sings and I think most of America feels the same way about her.
4. Francisco Martin
(Top 20 Performance: “Teenage Dream”; Top 11 Performance: “Falling Like the Stars”; Top 7 Performances: “You’ll Be in My Heart” and “River”)
Francisco has definitely grown the most as a performer throughout this season and he’s gone from being a nervous wreck to a teen heartthrob. The way he makes each song his own while incorporating a radio-friendly twist is what pop stars are made of.
5. Dillon James
(Top 20 Performance: “Let it Be Me”; Top 11 Performance: “Yesterday”; Top 7 Performances: “Our Town” and “Hang On, Hang On”)
Dillon seems to shock the judges each week when he nails every performance with star quality. They seemed surprised he made the Top 7, but Dillon has been one of the most consistent performers in the live shows. He oozes star quality and will likely pull in most of the country fan base watching.
6. Louis Knight
(Top 20 Performances: “If the World Was Ending”; Top 11 Performance: “In My Place”; Top 7 Performances: “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and “You’ve Got a Friend”)
Louis has been deemed the heartthrob of Season 18 since his audition, but his audition has really been the highlight of his season. I don’t think he’s managed to capture the magic of that original song that made viewers fall in love with him. He’s been hit or miss in the live shows and could have trouble reaching the finale.
7. Julia Gargano
(Top 20 Performance: “Human”; Top 11 Performance: “New York State of Mind”; Top 7 Performances: “Beauty and the Beast” and “Sweetest Devotion”)
Julia is a solid singer/songwriter, but she’s been vocally inconsistent and didn’t have her greatest performances in the Top 7. I don’t have a good feeling that she will be announced as one of the final five.