Willie Spence headed into Disney Night as the clear frontrunner in our “American Idol” winner predictions for season 19. He had overtaken early favorite Grace Kinstler in our poll and was widely expected to become the second Black man to win this talent competition (Ruben Studdard took the season 2 title over Clay Aiken way back in 2003). But while Willie (and Grace) made it into the Top 7, they face a new challenger for the season 19 championship: Arthur Gunn.
This talented singer/songwriter fell short in season 18 of “American Idol,” losing a close vote in the final to Just Sam. But Gunn was thrown a lifeline by the producers who invited him and nine other also-rans from season 18 back to compete for one slot in the season 19 Top 10. They all got to sing one song on a special episode that aired on April 19.
We had to wait till the start of the show on May 2 to find out that Gunn had won the comeback with his cover of “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls. His choice of song on Disney Night was particularly apt: “Remember Me” from “Coco.” He won over the judge with his decision to give this Oscar-winning ballad the rockabilly treatment. Luke Bryan loved his vocal tone. Katy Perry compared him to Dave Matthews. And Lionel Richie congratulated him for owning his voice.
Gunn’s biggest rivals each earned equal praise from the three judges. After Willie sang “Circle of Life” from “The Lion King,” Luke declared he was magic, Katy loved his musical arrangement, and Lionel said he can sing anything and make it his own. Likewise for Grace, who closed out Disney Night with “Into the Unknown” from “Frozen 2.” Her performance of this epic power ballad prompted Katy to say she controlled the whole room with her voice while Luke said he knew she would slay this when he saw the look in her eyes.
These three are now battling it out for first place in our “American Idol” winner predictions. Do you think one of them will win season 19 or are you a fan of one of the other four contestants in the Top 7 (Caleb Kennedy, Casey Bishop,Chayce Beckham, and Hunter Metts)? Scroll through the photo gallery below to find out more about them and then cast your vote in our poll below. And be sure to sound off in the comments section as to your choice for champ.