Can we get an “Amen”? The son of a Westlake, Louisiana pastor, Joshua Ledet came to American Idol as a quiet college student with the chops of a solid gospel balladeer, no doubt honed while singing in his father’s church back home. But throughout the competition, he’s shown that he can truly transcend genres, kicking butt at songs from the likes of Queen, Mariah Carey, and James Brown. As arguably the most consistent performer of the Top 4 contestants left on the show, here’s why we think Joshua may have what it takes to win the whole competition.

He has a classic vocal style
Randy Jackson often comments that Joshua’s voice harkens to soulful greats of the past like Sam Cooke or Wilson Pickett. His mature sound and passionate vocalization has produced powerhouse performances of classic tunes like “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “If You Don’t Know Me By Now.” If he wins, Joshua could bring back a style of R&B we haven’t heard from in a long time.

He’s received the most standing ovations out of all the contestants
Sure, some people roll their eyes at the judges when they praise or “overhype” a contestant. But it says a lot when a singer like Joshua can elicit standing Os from veteran industry folk like Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler, and Jennifer Lopez, who sheepishly admitted last week, “Is it bad for me to say that the Joshua part of the show is my favorite part of the show?” They don’t just dish that encouragement out to anyone, people!

He connects with his songs
When it comes to showmanship, Joshua’s earning those standing Os for a reason. His taciturn demeanor is a stark contrast to the megawatt performances he’s been unleashing lately. Even for tunes that are not immediately recognizable to many Idol viewers (India.Arie’s “Ready for Love” is an excellent example), his ability to infuse it with so much feeling makes the song truly his own.

He’s (unexpectedly) versatile
This boy has got the gospel market cornered, but who really anticipated him to be a standout during Queen week? Even his most ardent supporters must have been a little skeptical about how he’d fare during this theme, but his rendition of “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” blew everyone’s expectations out of the water. Even singing contemporary songs like Bruno Mars’ “Runaway Baby” hints at the type of record he could make in the future: A mix of modern and vintage sounds.

Idol is ready for a non-rock or country winner
The past four seasons of Idol have produced three rockers (Season 9’s Lee DeWyze, Season 8’s Kris Allen, and Season 7’s David Cook) and one country singer (Season 10’s Scotty McCreery). While we’d love to see a woman take the title this year, it would be fantastic to see someone like Joshua bring back a soulful style of music not seen since Season 3 winner Fantasia Barrino. We’re not exactly doing those “Mantasia” snarks any favors with this comparison, but we have a feeling Joshua won’t have any qualms about being likened to his favorite Idol winner.


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