Warning! The following contains spoilers for American Idol Season 18's Part 1 of the Hawaii Showcase. Read at your own risk!
American Idol Season 18 is whittling down its Top 40 to a Top 20, and there have been some surprises both good and bad. Though she did get snubbed by American Idol in Season 17, Season 16 winner Maddie Poppe has been watching this season along with fans and sharing her takes on the competition so far. The singer has been candid with her thoughts on the contestants the whole way through, and has now revealed her early prediction for the winning artist of the current season.
Maddie Poppe's top artist of Season 18 is Jonny West, and while he isn't exactly an unpopular choice amongst fans, he's maybe not the most expected one. Poppe dropped the mic on her favorite performer shortly after watching him perform, and she thinks he's a for sure Top 3 contender.
The former American Idol winner has spoken, and she's hitching at least a 1/3rd of her prediction wagon to Jonny West. It's not exactly shocking, especially considering West has been a contestant all the judges have been high up on from the very start. West also got a decent amount of screen time in the last few episodes thanks to his ongoing romance with former Season 17 competitor Margie Mays. West certainly has talent, and Maddie Poppe seems to think it's enough to get him to the Top 3 in Season 18.
Apparently the judges felt the same way, with Jonny West advancing on to American Idol Season 18's Top 20. It was a hurdle he feared he wouldn't overcome, especially knowing this was the stage of the competition that his girlfriend Margie Mays was sent home during in the season prior. Confidence struggles aside, West went out and performed a stunning rendition of The Fray's "You Found Me," which definitively proved that despite a shaky performance in Hollywood Week, he deserved an advancing spot.
Jonny West has always been more of a hit than miss on American Idol, though his minor vocal struggles are presented in episodes as a lack of confidence. On his best days, he's certainly a Top 3 performer like Maddie Poppe claims, and I'd generally agree there's a case to be made he's the best male singer this year.
With that said, those confidence struggles could lead to further shaky performances in the live rounds, and no one ever wants to give the voters at home a reason to vote against them. Jonny West does have a bit of a buffer though in that he generally seems well-liked by the online audience, and he may also pull votes from Margie Mays fans who are tuning in. Of course, this all feels like a moot point for now, considering Season 18's live rounds are on hold, and there's no telling who will improve or step up their game while practicing in quarantine.
American Idol will round out its Top 20 Sunday, April 5 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend in the meantime for a look at what's happening in the world of television of movies.