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American Idol 2016: Finale

It's the American Idol Season 16 Finale! Doesn't it always feel like the season just flies by? Especially this season when we only had a couple of week since the live show started and the week's started to melt away. Oh well, we’re here now and we are blessed with a very.. decent Top 3. Haha. Will this be a season where we will add another female winner to the American Idol history books? Or are we eternally stuck with the same old shenanigans?

On with the show!

ORIGINAL SONG

03. Caleb Lee Hutchinson
Johnny Cash Heart
This song should've been easy for Caleb given that the song practically fit him like a glove. Sadly, he faltered. He missed the cue at the beginning, which clearly rattled him for the rest of the performance and he just seemed way too nervous and flat. His biggest weakness has always been his ability to connect and emote, and this some further showed us how weak his interpretation have become.

02. Gabby Barrett
Rivers Deep
Eh. She sold Rivers Deep better than Caleb with Johnny Cash Heart, but there was nothing particularly interesting about the performance. In fact, the whole arrangement sounded all over the place - or was it the actual song? - that I was unable to tell if she's already messing up or if it was intentional. Haha. Sure, this was a bit more catchy than normal offerings, but the execution was just terrible.

01. Maddie Poppe
Going Going Gone
Maddie was probably the luckiest contestant of the evening in that she picked a song that likely has a chance to see some, at the very least, mild success on the radio. The lyrics were solid, the folk quality comforting, and it sat in the sweetest part of her voice. It actually reminded me of when Phillip Phillips was given Home. It just felt good. Does it feel like it has that "confetti moment"? No, but that didn't seem to hurt Phillip Phillips.


REPRISE

03. Caleb Lee Hutchinson
Don't Close Your Eyes
Solid, but nothing special. Look, this song displayed precisely how successful he could be on Country radio. He's got a voice that people will recognize and if someone writes him a hit song, game over. If only the performance was a little natural and less tight, this would've fared better.

02. Gabby Barrett
Little Red Wagon
What happened? This exact performance made me enjoy Gabby way back Top 14. The energy was contagious, her vocals were strong, and there's some urgency to the delivery that was quite riveting to watch. Sadly, there was simply not enough energy for Gabby. She looked confused and almost unsure of what to do on stage, which was strange. She did managed to churn out a couple of nice little moments, but those were not enough.

01. Maddie Poppe
Don't Let Your Children Grow Up
Brilliant. Song. Choice. The reprise is always a hard choice because it's so easy to ruin the memory of one of your best performances on the show. This song was done before Maddie even made it onto the live show, so this song felt and sounded new. The vocals were arresting, the phrasing was just gorgeous, and she sure can tell a modern story in a direct and honest way. Everything came together in a perfect storm and this actually allowed Maddie to showcase herself as an artist that can really do some good work in the industry.


CONTESTANT'S CHOICE

03. Gabby Barrett
Don't Stop Believin'
Flat. Lazy. Uninspired. This song was just way too overplayed that there's practically nothing Gabby could have done to the song that any previous cover hadn't already achieved. Plus, she sounded terrible. Next!

02. Caleb Lee Hutchinson
Folsom Prison Blues
This was a redemption moment for Caleb as this allowed him to latch onto something slightly urgent with sweeping melody and really showcase his vocals. This was Caleb's best performance of the night, and he was lucky that it came at the very last round. We'll see if it can erase some of the night's earlier missteps from America's minds.

01. Maddie Poppe
Landslide
No, the vocals weren't perfect, but she really latched on to the beauty of the verses and took her time. The way her vocals navigated each crescendo of the melody was pretty impressive and there was a palpable emotional connection to her deliver. She just nailed it. Passion; check. Vocals; done and done.


WHO SHOULD WIN?
Maddie Poppe

WHO WILL WIN?
Maddie Poppe
American Idol 2016: Finale Reviewed by DAM on 1:53 AM Rating: 5

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