It’s officially crunch time. With just two weeks left in season 17, it’s time for the American Idol top 5 to make their closing arguments. In a season that has seen the remaining contestants sing more of their own original songs and distinguish themselves with blues grit (Wade Cota), a killer redeption story (Laine Hardy), stunning originals and guitar playing (Alejandro Aranda), country charm (Laci Kaye Booth) and preternatural skills (Madison VanDenburg), this Sunday’s Elton John-themed performance show could seal the deal.
So far they’ve let their personal stories and musical skills tell the story. But Billboard asked the top 5 to grab the mic and make a final, personal bid to get America to get those votes rolling in this week.
In a Billboard exclusive below, read the finalists’ closing arguments below.
Madison VanDenberg: “I’ve worked most of my childhood years pursuing music and it’s been my dream to be an American Idol ever since I was a little girl. To win this competition would change my life forever and give me a platform to share the power of music to those who need it. It would make all the years of effort I’ve put in worth it.”
Alejandro Aranda: “I feel I can be 100% myself as the next Idol. It would also allow me to afford equipment.”
Laine Hardy: “I love music and as the next Idol, I would be able to express my feelings to my fans which makes me very eager to put music out with funds to do so!”
Laci Kaye Booth: “I want to be the next Idol because I want to share my heart, stories and blessings with the world.”
Wade Cota: “I think I should be the next American Idol because I don’t think a good life has been handed to a lot of people. I feel as if I am a good story of what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. I love my family so much and I just want to bring them home the win. I come from nothing, so I hope that my story and achievements can affect someone that feels empty and overwhelmed. I got out and so can they.”
Watch the new episode of American Idol this Sunday, May 12, at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.