'American Idol' Judges Predict the Top 3 for 2024

Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Ryan Seacrest, Luke Bryan

America did an outstanding job of picking the Top 5 for Season 7 of American Idol on ABC with Abi Carter, Emmy Russell, Jack Blocker, Triston Harper and Will Moseley making the cut. But narrowing it down to the Top 3 for the finale is going to be much more difficult as all of the above are worthy.

So, Parade turned to judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie and host Ryan Seacrest to get their take on who they think we might see in the finale.

“When you look at the growth of all the kids, I don’t know if we’ve ever had a group grow more,” Luke told an intimate group of reporters after the Top 7 episode. “Everybody in their performances, they do little magical things to win that moment of the night.”

Of course, being a country artist, Luke is leaning in on either Will or Triston to make Top 3, but he also feels strongly that Abi’s last performance really solidified her chances. And looking at a few online polls, he may be right about that. Abi does make the top of the list on several of them. Luke also throws out Jack’s name, saying, “Jack’s got a little thing going on.”

Jack Blocker<p>Disney/Eric McCandless</p>
Jack Blocker

Disney/Eric McCandless

Related: Jack Blocker Is the American Idol Who Made Katy Perry Apologize

And surprisingly, Luke shares that the judges don’t know the votes. “We don’t know who’s winning week after week. I don’t want to ask that because it may trend [a different] way every week. But we do know it’s close. The votes are always moving back and forth, and people are in and out. I think America really votes the right way. They vote like people that consume music.”

Lionel agrees that the Top 5 is really strong. “When we had the Top 7, we could make some changes,” he says. “But Top 5 is vicious from this point on. It could be anybody. It’s not like a guarantee before.”

Emmy Russell<p>Disney/Eric McCandless</p>
Emmy Russell

Disney/Eric McCandless

Related: Emmy Russell on How American Idol Gave Her the Confidence to Sing ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’

That said, he does say, “Emmy could do something, Will Moseley could do something, Triston could do something, and Abi could do something. Her performance tonight of ‘Hello,’ give me a break. That was called the star stopper right there.”

As evidenced from past seasons, Katy tends to lean toward singer/songwriters, but this season she doesn’t want to hazard a guess, pointing out that there is a difference between who she might select and who America would pick.

Abi Carter<p>Disney/Eric McCandless</p>
Abi Carter

Disney/Eric McCandless

Related: American Idol Abi Carter on the Pressure of Being a Platinum Ticket

“Look, it’s really tough because I think a few of them are exactly the bread and butter of American Idol,” she says. “They’re historically what American Idol has voted for in the past. And then I think there’s some anomalies this time. I think there’s some incredible talent. I said earlier that I think they’re all star worthy, but I think there’s a couple that are star ready. That was evident to me this evening.”

And Ryan, who has been at Idol since day one, which gives him a great perspective, says, “It’s going to be hard. Even tonight, I think it was hard to pick who you really, really want to see in that Top 5 after the [Top 7] performances. I think Triston’s a superstar, I think he does really, really well, a lot of fans. I think Abi does incredibly well. So, we’ll see. It’ll be an interesting finale no matter what.”

American Idol airs live coast-to-coast on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC, and streams next day on Hulu.

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