Who won ‘American Idol’ season 22?

Abi Carter, Will Moseley and Jack Blocker entered the "American Idol" season 22 finale May 19, 2024 vying for the crown.  (Disney/Christopher Willard)

Credit: Disney

Credit: Disney

Abi Carter, Will Moseley and Jack Blocker entered the "American Idol" season 22 finale May 19, 2024 vying for the crown. (Disney/Christopher Willard)

Georgia, for the sixth time in 22 seasons, has the runner-up on “American Idol.”

Will Moseley, a 23-year-old country singer from Hazlehurst, came in second behind pop/rock singer Abi Carter of Indio, California, on Sunday night’s season finale on ABC.

This is the second year in a row that Georgia had the “Idol” runner-up. Last year, country singer Megan Danielle of Douglasville came in second as well.

Moseley also joined the Georgia runners-up club with Diana DeGarmo (season three), Lauren Alaina (season 11), Caleb Lee Hutcheson (season 16) and the late Willie Spence (season 19). The only Georgia winner was Phillip Phillips from season 11.

For Moseley, getting this far was a surprise. He only started pursuing music seriously while in college after his football career ended.

A year ago, he graduated from Georgia Southern University with a biology degree and gave himself 12 months to pursue a music career.

If it didn’t work out, he’d get what he called “a real job.”

Host Ryan Seacrest dubbed it a “tight” race but didn’t provide anything more specific.

Moseley’s final performances were Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life,” Montgomery Gentry’s “My Town” and his original song “Good Book Bad.”

“Tonight I heard you sing the best I’ve ever heard you sing,” said judge Katy Perry. “You’ll be a star no matter what.”

Fellow judge Luke Bryan added: “The ball is in your court.”

From his first audition, he brought a natural low-key charm, an aw-shucks humility and an emotive country rasp. He never seemed to be in trouble, cruising through Hollywood, the semifinals and the live shows. Despite his relative lack of stage experience, he made it all look effortless.

Over the weeks, he covered Chris Stapleton songs three times, which was clearly intentional. He also covered songs by Travis Tritt, Johnny Cash, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bob Seger.

Winner Carter was beloved by the judges from her bracing audition of “What Are You Made For” by Billie Eilish. She was bestowed one of three Platinum Tickets that enabled her to skip the first round of the Hollywood competition.

She possesses a strong, pliable voice that enabled her to carry ballads by Taylor Swift and Adele and harder rock songs by My Chemical Romance and Evanescence.

On finale night, she sang Bon Jovi’s “Bed of Roses,” “Somewhere” from “West Side Story” and her own original “This Isn’t Over.”

After being named the winner, she reprised her audition song by Eilish. As the credits rolled, the other finalists ran on stage and hugged her as she wept.

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