Brief thoughts about American Idol's charming finale

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The last three contestants consisted of Gabby Barrett, Caleb Lee Hutchinson and Maddie Poppe, who each paved their own paths to the finale through their unique stylings and progressive growth throughout the competition.

Speaking of bonds: The big finale surprise was that Maddie and Caleb are in a relationship, which is cute, though Ryan Seacrest took it a beat too far.

Poppe, who hails from Clarksville, Iowa, won audiences over from the start of the season and has also been a firm favorite of Idol's judge and singing sensation, Katy Perry.

The judges could not hide their shock as they stood up from their chairs, clearly elated by the news.

For two hours of filler, the most padded an episode has been all season, it was very watchable, from the duets (Ada Vox and Patti LaBelle, Nick Jonas and Jurnee) to the random bits.

American Idol's finale was full of love, surprises and awesome performances - and it all came down to Maddie, a 20-year-old college student from Clarksville, IA, winning the title of "the next American Idol". Speaking to Variety last week, Disney Music Group president Ken Bunt said that the company was committed "to continue telling the story of the victor". And even though he came in second place, he said, "I couldn't be more happy with the way things went down tonight". Don't forget about me. "I mean, it was honestly, it wasn't as challenging as you might think", he explained.

Katy said it was the kind of romance that just couldn't be made up. 'This is just divine intervention, honey'. Caleb told Michael Strahan that once he saw her during Hollywood week in January, he instantly knew he was into her.

Later, Poppe told ET that she had hoped she and Hutchinson would land in the final two, saying, "I guess we were just kind of playing it by ear, but we really wished that this could happen".

Calling her his best friend, Caleb said he and Maddie have been inseparable during the process.

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