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‘American Idol’ finale: And the winner is …

SPOILER ALERT: The following post contains the results from Monday night’s season finale of “American Idol” on ABC.

OK, so maybe ABC did know what it was doing.
A lot of people — including me — questioned the wisdom of the network when it yanked “American Idol” out of moth balls so soon after the iconic singing competition signed off in 2016 after a “farewell” season on Fox. We didn’t even really have a chance to miss it!
But ABC”s streamlined and modified version of the show, much to our surprise, performed well in the ratings, introduced us to a charismatic (and funny) new judge in Katy Perrry, and produced three pretty legitimate finalists.
Still, we wonder: Can the show get back to producing a true superstar after so many years of lackluster results?
We’ll see. But first, let’s find out who America’s voters crowned. So dim the lights, here we go: The winner of “American Idol” Season 16 is …
Maddie Poppe!
The indie-style singer beat out country crooner — and her boyfriend — Caleb Hutchinson.
Poppe, a 20-year-old student from Clarksville, Iowa, is the first female to win “Idol” since Candice Glover in 2013, and only the third since Jordin Sparks topped the field in 2007.
Poppe burst into tears when host Ryan Seacrest announced her name. She finished off the finale by performing her “coronation” song “Going Going Gone.”
Gabby Barrett finished third.
Poppe may have sealed her victory with a strong performance Sunday night, when the finalists were required to deliver three songs — a hometown dedication, an encore of their favorite song of the season, and their winner’s single. Poppe brought down the house with her rendition of Stevie Nicks’ “Landslide,” and by the end of Sunday’s show, judge Perry proclaimed, “I’m voting for you.”
Judge Luke Bryan added that, Poppe is “authentic as heck.”
Poppe established herself as a contender from the moment she auditioned with a heartfelt rendition of “Rainbow Connection.” Among her other memorable performances was her take on Simon and Garfunkel’s “Homeward Bound” and the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows.”
 

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