American Idol 2018 Finale Recap: Maddie And Caleb Are Dating!

This is going to be a pretty informal recap of the American Idol 2018 finale. I’m not going to be giving any grades or critiquing any performances. I’m just going to discuss the show, the surprises and the results, that I think are the best in years.

We started the night with the Top 10 returning to the Idol stage for a song, then we got to see some gags here and there, including an appearance by Season 7 legend Sanjaya. It was good to see the show not take itself so seriously for a bit since ABC has been pretty straight-laced with the show compared to the mockery FOX often made of its one-time flagship show.

And even though the finale was an absurd two hours, it didn’t feel like it. There were some great moments that really made it stand out, including the fact that Maddie Poppe and Caleb Hutchinson are dating, so let me rank the top 5 moments now.

The Top 5 Movements From The American Idol Finale

5. Ada Vox and Patti LaBelle. I loved that performance. It was just a good feeling to see where we are in 2018 that ABC, the family network, embraced a drag queen as a contestant on American Idol. And Patti LaBelle has still got it!

4. Maddie and Kermit the Frog. I loved Maddie the moment she auditioned with “Rainbow Connection” and it was so smart for ABC to pull out Kermit for this duet. They do own him after all. Thanks, ABC/Disney!

3. Layla and Dixie Spring featuring LeAnn Rimes. I was so happy to see Layla back on the show for a performance. Even though I am not a country fan (as I’ve pointed out all season long and every season before this) I really had a soft spot for Layla. She was sweet and I loved that her country gave me old-school country queen vibes, which is the kind of country I can actually get into. So I’m happy they gave her a chance to return after the judges kind of cut her dreams short after the Top 24.

2. Caleb announces Maddie is his girlfriend. Now I did not see this coming. I already knew Gabby Barrett and Cade Foehner were an item, but this one really surprised me! To think that our American Idol Top 2 were a couple! I know people think Justin and Kelly were a couple during season 1, but Kelly recently said on Ellen that that wasn’t the case. They dated for a minute after the show, but not during. So Caleb and Maddie are the first Idol couple to make it to the final 2.

1. Maddie Poppe wins American Idol. I’m thrilled. I can’t believe this actually happened. I thought Gabby had the win for most of this season. And then when she started to burn out, I thought Cade would win. But when Cade was sent home I thought Caleb would win. But I never stopped hoping Maddie would win. During the past two weeks I started noticing Maddie picking up steam and people tweeting about her and she started winning polls and I thought, maybe it can happen. I did officially predict her to win, but I still had my doubts. I know Idol’s history. Which brings me to my next point. Maddie is the first woman to beat a man since Jordin Sparks beat Blake Lewis in Season 6. That was 11 years ago! So Maddie winning Idol is huge.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the finale and the season. I started as a Marcio Donaldson and Maddie fan, so when Marcio was cut, I enjoyed Maddie even more. So I feel like this season of American Idol was a win for me as well. I’m ready for Season 2 on ABC (which I’m still going to call Season 17!)