Iowa’s Maddie Poppe Wins ‘American Idol’
The second night of American Idol's two-part finale Monday night (May 21) turned out to be an unexpectedly romantic affair, as finalist Gabby Barrett was eliminated halfway through the show, leaving Caleb Lee Hutchinson and Maddie Poppe. In a surprise twist, the remaining two singers revealed that they are now boyfriend and girlfriend, which made for some cute tension in terms of waiting for the final winner to be announced.
The winner? Maddie Poppe is the lucky one of the twosome who pulled forward and won America's collective heart. The two were both winners regardless, as host Ryan Seacrest presented the couple with tickets for a vacation to Hawaii.
"Our parents can come supervise," joked Hutchinson.
The series' first season on ABC culminated with nine high-stakes performances on Sunday night. Hutchinson performed a Keith Whitley and Johnny Cash cover before singing an original called "Johnny Cash Heart" that earned poor reviews from the three judges. Still, he remained a favorite to win and become the second-straight country American Idol, following Trent Harmon in Season 15 of the show on Fox in 2016.
Perry-favorite Maddie Poppe did well with her original — a rolling pop-rocker called "Going, Going, Gone." She also earned rave reviews for her cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide," as well as a Kermit the Frog-accompanied version of "Rainbow Connection" on the finale.
Poppe and Hutchinson charmed on the finale with a rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" which they performed right after telling the audience they were a couple.
Pittsburgh's Gabby Barrett chose Miranda Lambert's "Little Red Wagon" as one of her three performances on Sunday night, and added a cover of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'." Her original was called "Rivers Deep." She charmed the audience with a duet with Luke Bryan on the finale. Unfortunately, she was eliminated halfway through the show.
Bryan, Perry, Lionel Richie and host Ryan Seacrest are all confirmed to return for a second season of American Idol on ABC. It's not clear when Season 2 will begin.
See Forgotten American Idol Auditions
How Many of These American Idol Finalists Do You Remember?