PEOPLE analyzes the season 14 finalists
Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP; Frederick Taylor/Broadimage (2)

They had to beat out 10 other finalists, but Clark Beckham and Nick Fradiani are now just one vote away from being declared the 14th – and second-to last – winner of American Idol.

But who will take home the title and prestige of becoming the next American Idol?

PEOPLE analyzes the final two contestants:



Audition City:

Audition Song:“It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World”, originally performed by James Brown
Standout Performances:“The Trouble With Love Is”, originally performed by Kelly Clarkson and “Yesterday”, originally performed by The Beatles

Why He Might Win: Thanks to his bluesy vocals, Beckham was an instant standout among his competitors this season. His soulful renditions of both contemporary songs and old standards have even garnered him comparisons to current chart-topper Sam Smith. And out of all the season 14 contestants – aside from maybe Joey Cook – Beckham has made the most noticeable physical transformation, transitioning from the boy next door into an album cover-worthy heartthrob.

Why He Might Not: Beckham has not always received the best feedback from the judges. Harry Connick Jr. has been particularly tough on the musician for not staying “in the pocket” when playing his own instruments during performances. And the usually gracious contestant turned off some viewers when he seemingly told mentor Scott Borchetta that his opinion didn’t matter.



Audition City:

Audition Song:“In Your Eyes”, originally performed by Peter Gabriel
Standout Performance:“Teenage Dream”, originally performed by Katy Perry

Why He Might Win: American Idol is as much about the journey as it is about talent, and – as judge Jennifer Lopez has put it – Fradiani hit his “stride” at a pivotal point in the competition, going from a middle-of-the-pack performer to a true contender for the title by the time he was voted into the Top 5. His rocker swagger and years as an experienced performer have definitely helped the former America’s Got Talent contestant score votes as well. Plus, with Jax – this season’s resident female rocker – being the most recent contestant sent home, Fradiani seems more likely to absorb her voting fan base.

Why He Might Not: Idol voters often skew younger. As the elder contestant – by a number of years – Fradiani may be at a disadvantage when it comes to the “aw shucks” vote that his younger competition is more likely to evoke. Ultimately, he may have just not had enough “moments” on the show to stand out to occasional viewers that tuned in to vote for the finale.

The winner of American Idol season 14 will be announced Wednesday, May 13, at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.