Let’s hear it for the ladies! For the first time in its 12-season history, American Idol has an all-female Top 5. While they all have the talent to win the competition, only one can be crowned American Idol. Here’s why each singer could take the title – and why you should be watching.
1. KREE HARRISON
WHY SHE’LL WIN: One of the most consistent singers, Harrison delivers an old-soul country sound that had judge Keith Urban predicting she’ll be in the Grand Ole Opry. Though her talent seems effortless, this struggling musician has lived through tough times, including the death of both her parents by the time she was 16.
WHY SHE MAY NOT: Her sound is more reminiscent of her favorite singer Patsy Cline than current country artists like Carrie Underwood. With tough competition, Harrison may need to make songs like her haunting version of “Crying” and “Don’t Play that Song” sound more contemporary.
2. CANDICE GLOVER
HOMETOWN: St. Helena Island, S.C.
WHY SHE’LL WIN: She has one of the most powerful and skillful voices this season. Her headline-grabbing performance of The Cure’s “Lovesong” was nothing short of amazing. The crowd loves her, and she spends a lot of time in the Top 3.
WHY SHE MAY NOT: The strongest singers are often eliminated early because voters assume they’re safe (hello, Chris Daughtry and Pia Toscano!). Glover’s strong vocals often make up for her uninspired song choices: “I Heard it Through The Grapevine” isn’t exactly an Idol original.
3. AMBER HOLCOMB
WHY SHE’LL WIN: She’s energetic, talented and cute. Nicki Minaj said she has “legs that go on for days” and “pretty little dimples.” But beneath her adorable exterior comes a fierce competitor: After being cut last season, she got a makeover and “stepped into [my] confidence.” And if her performance of “What About Love” is any indication, she has the chops to back it up.
WHY SHE MAY NOT: Holcomb may not have the fan base to propel her to the top. She has been near the bottom twice. Her vocals are strong, but she hasn’t yet had a show-stopping performance that people talk about the next day.
4. JANELLE ARTHUR
HOMETOWN: Oliver Springs, Tenn.
WHY SHE’LL WIN: Arthur has been singing all her life: When she was 8, she performed as a young Dolly Parton at Dollywood and became a regular performer there. She’s got a cute country-girl personality – her version of “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again” was as sweet as the singer herself.
WHY SHE MAY NOT: Of all the Top 5 finalists, Arthur is the shakiest in unfamiliar genres: Her version of Billy Joel’s “You May Be Right” landed her in the bottom two. In another season, she might win handily, but against the likes of Harrison and Glover, her chances are diminished.
5. ANGIE MILLER
HOMETOWN: Beverly, Mass.
WHY SHE’LL WIN: She is a versatile performer who has taken on songs by Queen, Evanescence and Celine Dion – and repeatedly placed in the Top 3. After performing Kari Jobe’s “Love Came Down” at the piano she received a standing ovation that brought her to tears. “That piano and you … never lose,” Mariah Carey said of her performance.
WHY SHE MAY NOT: Versatility is a double-edged sword. Of the Top 5, her sound is the least identifiable. A decisive singer like Glover may end up being more memorable. Miller’s also been advised to immerse herself in song lyrics and to show more passion.