Tuesday, May 29, 2018

American Idol Grand Finale

Six days later, let's wrap up this abbreviated season. At least it will be back next year on ABC, unlike Roseanne.

Who should have won American Idol: Maddie Poppe
Who I predicted would win American Idol: Gabby Barrett
Who won American Idol: Maddie Poppe

There you have it. As I said in my last write up, I thought Maddie outsang Gabby on points, but Gabby had the more ambitious performances. So, it was not like I had a real rooting interest, but still this is a surprising result for a few reasons, although I also said the dynamics of a three-way vote meant anything was possible.

There was a third place finisher, and it was Gabby. I think Caleb Lee Hutchinson, who finished in second place, must have really dominated the "Red States" and the country music vote to the detriment of Gabby, and the non-country vote was enough to go through the split and "elect" Maddie. If her last name was pronounced "pope" instead of "poppy", some white smoke might have been in order.

What else did we learn?

For one thing, Caleb is really good at impressions. We know he was pretty good at doing Luke Bryan, but his Lionel Richie impersonation was stellar! That was his most impressive moment of the season.

Also, he is dating Maddie Poppe. Who saw that coming? We knew all about Gabby and Cade Foehenr, but Caddie or Maleb or whatever the kids might be calling them slipped right in under the radar. For weeks, I thought Caleb would wind up in the top three as the "third wheel" to Gabby and Cade, but lo and behold, Gabby was the one who wound up as the third wheel. For the conservative pro-family viewing audience, it's a good thing that Caleb said that he and Maddie would invite their parents to accompany them to Hawai'i. I guess no cars for the Final Two this year. How coincidental for them to be the last two standing, after surprising everyone with their relationship. Was there a "special duet" scheduled for the other two possibilities?

By the way, while I wish them the best, I do not exactly see Caleb and Maddie lasting all that long. If they are lucky, they will surpass Season One's Justin and Kelly though. I don't know, she just didn't seem that into him after he  made the announcement of their involvement. and she is going to be the "bigger star" of course. If Caleb gets his heart broken, maybe he can write some songs about it. Did Kermit the Frog know about them?

What else can I say about the season and the Finale? Maddie peaked at the right time, with her strongest performances towards the end of the short season. Early on, I did not expect her to last long in the competition at all, although it seems like she did indeed have fan buzz early on. In her earliest interviews, she went out of her way to talk about how little confidence she had. Was that all an act? That is similar to how I viewed Nick Fradiani's run on the show a few years back. Some other winners, are easier to detect towards the start.

So, technically speaking, a White Guy With a Guitar, from the South nonetheless, lost to a female not from the South. That is somewhat remarkable in recent years. Of course the female that did win, also is white and also plays the guitar, and maybe the competent Caleb was not exactly an amazing singer. If this were a traditional Final Two situation with a majority win needed between Caleb and Maddie, she might not have won and Caleb would be the one who gets to quietly dump her shortly after the Idols Live tour wraps up.

Maddie has a lot of talent and potential, but I still think the best voices of the season were not among the Final Two, in the Finale, or perhaps even in the Finals at all.

See you in Season Seventeen/Season Two!


At 3:24 PM, Blogger Steve Boudreaux said...

Corey: I predicted that Maddie was going to win it all from the get-go. It was awesome to see the Girls FINALLY taking back the "American Idol" Crown.

She also made history as the first "American Idol" Champion from the Hawkeye State.

At 5:57 PM, Blogger Steve Boudreaux said...

Corey: You're right about Maddie likely dumping Caleb down the road since she's going to be more super famous!


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