PEOPLE breaks down the Top 12 contestants

By Patrick Gomez
Updated March 11, 2015 09:00 PM
From left: Tyanna Jones, Quentin Alexander, Sarina-Joi Crowe, Clark Beckham, Daniel Seavy, Nick Fradiani, Maddie Walker, Jax, Qassim Middleton, Adanna Duru, Joey Cook and Rayvon Owen.
Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

Here they are America, your Top 12!

After weeks of auditions and hard cuts by the judges, American Idol has revealed final 12 contestants.

But who has what it takes to actually become the fourteenth winner of the Fox reality series?

PEOPLE breaks down the contestants:


New Orleans, Louisiana
Audition City: New Orleans
Audition Song:“Royals”, originally performed by Lorde
Why He Might Win: The Big Easy’s own Harry Connick, Jr. has said that Alexander encapsulates the music scene of his hometown and his unique fashion and song choices certainly make him stand out from the crowd.
Why He Might Not: After an impressive first audition, Alexander has had a slow burn on the show with solid but quiet performances. And some viewers may not connect with his fearless fashions.



White House, Tennessee
Audition City: Nashville
Audition Song:“It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World”, originally performed by James Brown
Why He Might Win: Beckham is an experienced street performer who has already released his own EP. Having taught himself the guitar at the age of 12 and the piano at age 15, he’s got a lot of ways to entertain the crowd aside from his bluesy vocals. Plus, there’s that smile.
Why He Might Not: Beckham has not always gotten the best critiques from the judges, especially Connick, Jr., who didn’t even think Beckham was ready to get a golden ticket to Hollywood.



Woodbridge, Virginia
Audition City: Kansas City
Audition Song:“King of Spain”, originally performed by The Tallest Man on Earth
Why She Might Win: Cook definitely stands out in the crowd with her hair-of-a-different-color and quirky personality. Both her style and singing voice are reminiscent of another Fox talent, New Girl‘s Zooey Deschanel.
Why She Might Not: Cook’s adorkableness and her mission to make sure accordions become known for “more than just polka music” will immediately endear her to some but not others.



Columbia, Tennessee
Audition City: Kansas City
Audition Song:“Love Runs Out”, originally by OneRepublic
Why She Might Win: Crowe has the pipes of a Motown diva and the bubbly personality of someone you want to be your best friend. In other words, she’s everything a classic Idol fan is looking for in a frontrunner.
Why She Might Not: Honestly, she’s yet to stumble. But this would not be the first time Crowe was eliminated from the competition. This was Crowe’s fourth time auditioning for Idol. Last season, she was eliminated at the Green Mile.



Diamond Bar, California
Audition City: San Francisco
Audition Song:“You and I”, originally performed by Lady Gaga
Why She Might Win: The experienced singer has already weathered the stresses of a reality competition as a contestant on NBC’s The Voice and has proven she is willing to take risks and change up songs to create interesting performances. Plus, Duru was personally selected by the judges to be put in the Top 12 as a wildcard.
Why She Might Not: As a wildcard, Duru was not voted into the Top 12 by America and therefore might not have the fan base necessary to make it to the finale. Then again, season 2 finalist Clay Aiken was a wildcard.



Guilford, Connecticut
Audition City: Brooklyn
Audition Song:“In Your Eyes”, originally performed by Peter Gabriel
Why He Might Win: Fradiani previously competed with his band Beach Avenue on NBC’s America’s Got Talent and now he has gone solo with his Adam Levine-esque good looks and cool, rocker swagger that is sure to get the audience swooning.
Why He Might Not: Fradiani is the most experienced of the Top 12 contestants, but that is because he is the oldest – by many years. Younger Idol voters may not easily identify with the 29-year-old.



East Brunswick, New Jersey
Audition City: Brooklyn
Audition Song:“I Want to Hold Your Hand”, originally performed by The Beatles
Why She Might Win: The teenager already has a rabid fan base complete with a name (“The Jax Pax“) and a symbol (crossing their forearms into an X). And she has the musicality to back-up the adoration.
Why She Might Not: Cole’s face bling and alternative image is part of why some viewers love her, but it could also cost her some potential votes.



Jacksonville, Florida
Audition City: San Francisco
Audition Song:“Wings”, originally performed by Little Mix
Why She Might Win: Jones has a voice with a richness far beyond her 16 years. And her youthful energy is infectious.
Why She Might Not: Her energy (and nerves) often results in performances that can come off a little wild. She’ll need to learn to rein in and harness her power if she wants to take the title.



Brooklyn, New York
Audition City: Brooklyn
Audition Song:“Sir Duke”, originally performed by Stevie Wonder
Why He Might Win: Middleton is the showman of the group. Audiences have come to expect a high-energy, crowd-pleasing performance from him – and he has yet to disappoint.
Why He Might Not: The judges have already asked Middleton to show a different side of his talents and to choose songs that actually show off his vocal abilities rather than just his showmanship.



Richmond, Virginia
Audition City: San Francisco
Audition Song:“Wide Awake”, originally performed by Katy Perry
Why He Might Win: With his silky smooth voice and range for days, Owen might have the most commercially viable sound among his fellow male contestants. Also, it’s already evident he can write a catchy tune!
Why He Might Not: Though Owen is clearly gifted, his quietness may get lost among the more boisterous performers.



Vancouver, Washington
Audition City: San Francisco
Audition Song:“Hallelujah”, originally performed by Jeff Buckley and “Straight Up”, originally performed by Paula Abdul
Why He Might Win: The young girls in the audience go CRAZY for this talented – and adorable – teen. And though he is only 15, Seavey has already mastered multiple instruments and has been diligently working on his vocals as his voice changes.
Why He Might Not: Throughout the audition process, the judges frequently debated whether Seavey is old enough to handle the competition. Connick, Jr. is always quick to point out that Seavey does not have the same polish as his older competitors.



Ankeny, Iowa
Audition City: Brooklyn
Audition Song:“Suitcase”, originally performed by Gwen Sebastian
Why She Might Win: Walker has the unusual distinction of being the only country artist in the Top 12. This gives her a built-in fan base but she has the vocal chops to earn their votes and isn’t afraid to tackle other genres, which will serve her well as the competition goes forward.
Why She Might Not: The judges had Walker do a sing-off against another contestant and she barely won out. And the judges eliminated her last season because of inexperience. Has she grown enough over the past year to win the whole thing?

American Idol airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.

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