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American Idol Finale: Who Will Win Season 16? And Who Should Win?

American Idol Finale

Democracy isn’t exactly foolproof — just ask those sad saps in Riverdale — but here’s hoping America gets it right this time around.

Sunday’s American Idol (ABC, 8/7c) kicks off the two-night season finale, giving the final three contestants — country crooner Caleb Hutchinson, soulful songbird Maddie Poppe and belting bombshell Gabby Barrett (sorry, my alliteration skills gave out at the end there) — one last chance to earn the viewers’ favor.

As far as I’m concerned, there’s no sure thing here. Though I may have favored other contestants along the way — a moment of silence for Michelle Sussett, if you please — these three have been the clear frontrunners all season, breezing through each elimination without breaking a sweat.

But we’ve got some time to kill, so why not start theorizing about which singer might become ABC’s first-ever Idol winner? They’re all clearly talented enough to take home the title — I previously theorized that Hutchinson’s vocal chords have been “kissed by sweet baby angels,” while Barrett is basically the second coming of Carrie Underwood — but I’m casting my proverbial vote for Poppe, who feels like a more complete artist.

Let’s take a minute to look back on some of her most memorable performances, beginning with “Brand New Key,” which displays the incredible control Poppe has over her ethereal voice:

Her performance of “Homeward Bound” was also stunning, giving me all kinds of Joni Mitchell vibes:

As for versatility, she served us a totally different flavor with her on-fire performance of “If It Makes You Happy”:

But as I said earlier, this is still anyone’s game — and I’m not just saying that because I’m terrible with math and can’t even fathom calculating the actual odds. (Frankly, if I know America, we might as well just hand the title to Hutchinson now.)

Heading into the finale, who are you rooting for? And who are you expecting to win, regardless of whether it’s the right choice or not? Cast your votes below, then drop a comment with your rationale.