Ultimately, time will tell as to whether or not Maddie was the best victor - she may be the best now, but we like to judge American Idol winners by how the represent the brand in the years following their time on the show.
For the first round, Caleb's original single was called "Johnny Cash Heart". She even earned a standing ovation from Steve Perry for blasting through Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'". She said it was an "interesting song" but wished Caleb had embodied the song more and made it his own. Her performance inspired Luke Bryan to say "that's why [he] signed on for this" and Katy Perry saying she's voting for Maddie! "They said, 'You need to pick a hometown dedication song, ' and I thought, that was the very first song that I ever sang in front of my town, like, that I ever sung for anyone".
During the finale, Luke Bryan performed his hit song "Most People Are Good" with Gabby. In entering Monday's grand finale, the finalists and previously eliminated contestants took to the stage to perform songs alongside all-stars, such as Nick Jonas and Patti LaBelle.
Judge Lionel Richie then pointed out how songs can sound a lot better in the studio than they do live onstage.
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Maddie Poppe's new song "Going Going Gone" is such a great track. She said she was actually the least comfortable, and thanked them for letting her fool them.
On the penultimate episode of "American Idol" on ABC Sunday night, a big surprise was waiting for frontrunner Gabby Barrett. Katy wants to see Maddie thrive, not just survive, in the music industry. Each of the contestants took the stage for performances as well.
Caleb's second round was his encore performance of his best song of the season, "Don't Close Your Eyes" by Keith Whitley. Lionel Richie said "welcome to the business, my friend", congratulating him on charting for the first time. After their performance, host Ryan Seacrest announced the show was giving both a trip to Hawaii for making it to the final two.
The next performer was Gabby, who opted for Miranda Lambert's "Little Red Wagon".