Home Entertainment Get to Know the ‘American Idol’ Finalists Before the Winner Is Crowned

Get to Know the ‘American Idol’ Finalists Before the Winner Is Crowned

And then there were three! Alejandro Aranda, Laine Hardy and Madison VanDenburg will duke it out to become the next American Idol during the Sunday, May 19, season 2 finale.

The finalists were announced during the Sunday, May 12, episode of the ABC series. The top five each performed three songs, including an Elton John tune, a track in honor of Mother’s Day and a selection from in-house mentor Bobby Bones. Before the episode’s end, Laci Kaye Booth and Wade Cota were eliminated.

Judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie may be surprised by the outcome of the finale, but it would not be the first time there have been unexpected turns this season. “What’s interesting about tonight is that there was a curveball, I thought,” the pop star, 34, told Us Weekly after the May 5 episode, during which the trio had to save a contestant from going home. “[It] threw us through a loop. So that’s why at the end we were like, ‘What is happening?’ I’m not sure, I think, you hear these whispers like, ‘Oh, American Idol is this format, that format.’ It feels like change is in the air.”

The 69-year-old crooner added: “The two or three people at the beginning were the people we were thinking, ‘OK, they’re going to have a shot.’ It threw us off. We were in shock when they asked us for our vote. But, I’m going to say this, they’ve all won now. Don’t think of the winner.”

Perry echoed the sentiment after Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon was eliminated. “I did not love doing that. I’m really tired. I need a double margarita,” she quipped. “But also I want Jeremiah to know, number one, that we love him and we support him. It’s written in the stars for him. And historically, if you look at people that didn’t win and how far they’ve come, he’s OK.”

Scroll to learn more about each of the American Idol finalists!

The season finale of American Idol airs on ABC Sunday, May 19, at 8 p.m. ET.

Alejandro Aranda

The 24-year-old dishwasher wowed the judges from the get go. He continues to impress by performing original songs, which are largely inspired by heartbreak. The California native plays guitar and piano, but has been insecure about his singing skills. He showed off his chops at open mics before appearing on American Idol and is a fan of anime.

ABC/Eric McCandless

Laine Hardy

The 18-year-old appeared on season 1 of the American Idol reboot, but was sent home early in the competition. The Louisiana native enjoys fishing and traveled to Hawaii for the first time during filming. His friends include Cota, Aranda and Tyler Mitchell. He has played guitar since he was 7, but only began singing three years ago.

ABC/Eric McCandless

Madison VanDenburg

The 17-year-old revealed that music has been a form of therapy for her since she was a little girl. She counts original American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson as an inspiration. The New York native live-tweeted support for her fellow contestants throughout the season and frequently employs the catchphrase, “Holy moly!”

ABC/Eric McCandless