‘American Idol’: Why Caleb Lee Hutchinson Should Win After Final 3 Revealed

‘American Idol’ is down to its Top 3 and America’s votes have come up with some pretty unpredictable results! With such an eclectic set of talented hopefuls competing to win, it’s hard to choose a favorite. Here’s why I think Caleb Lee Hutchinson is worthy of the first ‘AI’ revival crown.

American Idol‘s May 13 episode was full of high emotions as the show brought out some incredibly touching moments, including tearful interactions with the contestants and their mothers to celebrate Mother’s Day, the powerful return of AI season 4 winner-turned-country superstar Carrie Underwood, and the elimination of two favorites as America chose its surprising Top 3. Once the tears were dried and deep breaths were taken, the end of the show left us with three very shocked and grateful performers: Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Gabby Barrett and Maddie Poppie. The quick and sudden removal of Cade Foehner and Michael J. Woodard, two incredibly talented individuals who were the favorites of many (including myself), was a bit confusing, but hey, this is a live competition based on America’s votes and like anything where votes determine the outcome, you never know what could happen. Although each remaining hopeful has definitely brought something special to the show, I think Caleb is most deserving to be the last one standing on the night of the finale.

19-year-old Caleb from Dallas, GA first stepped into the spotlight 70 lbs heavier during his audition for the show last Aug. He went into the room as a nervous country boy full of charming humor and a strong determination to stick to his roots. He’s always been able to represent the best version of himself, not anyone else. His non-typical song choice from the moderately known bluegrass band, The Steeldrivers, proved Caleb was in the competition to win by representing not music that everyone would recognize but music that truly spoke to his heart.

Since then, his smooth twang and acoustic guitar playing skills have reflected Caleb’s natural talent throughout the competition. His tremendous weight loss has allowed him to step into an unfamiliar role each time he takes the stage yet his constant reminders of what he used to look like, even through laughable jokes, prove he’s not willing to forget where he’s come from. It’s true that there were some performances he was clearly more comfortable in than others but Caleb’s ability to stay true to himself in a way that also brings out comparisons to similar-sounding legendary country singers such as George Strait is remarkable. His classic country-style brings a whole different dynamic to the young female fan base that we are used to seeing with young swoonworthy male pop singers and bands such as One Direction, who competed in the reality music competition, The X Factor. Don’t get me wrong, Caleb is just as swoonworthy as the others but his good ol’ country boy personality is paving the way for a whole new set of country music fans in the form of young starry-eyed women and let’s be honest, the enthusiasm of young women is a true recipe for success! Hutchpuppies, I do mean you!

Caleb’s great qualities are amazing, but let’s face it, he’s up against some tough competition. Gabby, an 18-year-old self-proclaimed “Daddy’s girl” from Pittsburgh, PA has been a major powerhouse with an impressive vocal range from day one. Her eagerness to win helps her demand the presence of everyone around her whenever she’s on stage and her struggling family background makes her a relatable contestant. Maddie, the 20-year-old crooner from Clarksville, IA, has always brought a dreamy-like presence to the stage with her acoustic guitar playing and unique voice. She seems to put a smile on all three judges’ faces every time she sings by showcasing a feel-good attitude and catchy song choices so it’s easy to see why she’s so likable.

With three amazing performers left after such a memorable season, it’s so difficult to choose just one but if Caleb ends up being America’s choice, it would truly be something to see. Although both Gabby and Maddie clearly hold impressive talent, I think it would be wonderful to see a refreshing young male country music artist break through in the industry and represent a genre in which the top artists don’t usually include someone like him. His journey on the series has been nothing but endearing and I have tremendous respect for his decision to be who he really is despite the hugeness that is American Idol. He’s proud of his roots. He’s worked really hard to transform into a better, healthier version of himself and he seems to genuinely appreciate all that he’s earned. Besides, who doesn’t love a sweet country gentleman with a constant dose of humor?! He definitely has my vote.

American Idol‘s 2-night season finale begins May 20 on ABC at 8/7c.

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