Country Music Dominating American Idol’s 2022 Cycle

You can hear the first professionally-recorded singles from the finalists now on streaming and iTunes for purchase.

The 20th season of American Idol is about to crown another champion and while Leah Marlene, one of the final three artists, isn’t necessarily a country artist, she’s country adjacent with her folksy storytelling style and the genre may ultimately be the best fit for her. While she is one of the three finalists — along with country artists Hunter Girl and Noah Thompson — she may be the least-likely to win the show as throughout the program’s historic run, country artists have not only done well on the show (winning often) but they’ve also had the longest and most-successful of careers, just look at current stars Carrie Underwood, Lauren Alaina, Jimmie Allen and Scotty McCreery and past successes like Kellie Pickler and Josh Gracin (to name but a few). Laine Hardy and last year’s winner, Chayce Beckham, and of course runner-up Gabby Barrett, have found success within country music in recent years.

All of this bodes well for both Nashville-based Hunter Girl, the last remaining of three “Platinum Ticket” Holders, and Kentucky-based Noah Thompson, the least-seasoned of the artists in the Top 3 this year. He actually may be the front-runner now, with guys who play guitar and country music traditionally popular amongst the vote-getters but both Hunter Girl and Leah Marlene look primed for success and likely to be signed by a label (be it 19 Entertainment/BMG or somewhere else).

No matter who wins, American Idol continues to do well with a trio of well-meaning judges in Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie ready to crown the next chart-topping star.