'American Idol' Season 18 Finale: Fans want Arthur Gunn to be champion, say Just Sam had a better 'sob story'
The young Nepali with the raspy soulful voice has consistently been one of the reasons to tune into the show, but he eventually emerged as the runner-up to Just Sam
The long 'American Idol' journey is now over, and the talented Dibesh Pokharel aka Arthur Gunn can rest easy knowing that he has now completed a roller coaster ride all the way to the grand finale. It's been an amazing experience watching the young man from Nepal consistently knocking it out of the park each and every night with millions of Americans agreeing that he was going to be crowned the eventual winner. His raspy, soulful, sandpapery voice has consistently been one of the reasons to tune into the show, but he eventually emerged as the runner-up to Just Sam, the subway singer from New York, who has also impressed us with her stunning voice and rags-to-riches story.
The 18th season of the celebrated singing competition finished off in grand style, with the Top 7 being cut down to the Top 5 at beginning of the show. We sadly said goodbye to two talented singers in Louis Knight and Julia Gargano, while the Top 5 of Arthur Gunn, Just Sam, Francisco Martin, Jonny West, and Dillon James then performed two songs each.
The first song was billed as the song that the contestants wanted to celebrate their journey to the top while the second song would be a nostalgic track, looking back at each singer's best performance from the entire season of the singing contest. This second song was also touted as a winner's single and will be made available to the American public after the eventual champion was crowned.
Dillon James sang 'Change The World' by Eric Clapton and then 'The Times They Are A-Changin' by Bob Dylan. Francisco Martin sang 'Adore You' by Harry Styles and then 'Alaska' by Maggie Rogers. Jonny West did 'Can't Keep A Good Man Down' by James & Bobby Purify, and then followed that up with his own original song called 'Makin' Love'.
The new champion Just Sam performed 'Stronger (What Doesnt Kill You)' by former 'American Idol' winner Kelly Clarkson and then performed a quintessential version of 'Rise Up' by Andra Day. Meanwhile, Arthur rocked the house with soulful renditions of 'I Don't Wanna Be' by Gavin DeGraw and followed that up with his authentic take on 'Have You Ever Seen The Rain' by Creedence Clearwater Revival, making it his third original spin on a song that first launched him into the public eye. His glorious voice is certainly something to marvel at, gravelly and powerful, raw and open-throated, it's a genuine surprise that he ended up as the runner-up, because the modest young Arthur looked and sounded like a champion from day one.
Fans on social media were also shocked that he didn't win the competition. One fan said, "Arthur Gunn should have won. His talent far outperformed Sam. She just had a better sob story", while another declared, "Currently trying to figure out how Arthur Gunn didn’t win." There was definitely plenty of love for Arthur, as miffed fans exclaimed "Arthur Gunn got robbed, he should've won! He had the best voice from this season without question!"
More people praised the young Nepali, saying "What Arthur Gunn lacks in sob story he makes up for in talent. He’s the clear winner here," and other admirers stated, "Congrats to Sam but ARTHUR GUNN SHOULD HAVE WON AMERICAN IDOL. I’ve never been so disappointed in my life." Another fan pointed to the stats, saying - "Arthur Gunn had twice as many Google searches than Just Sam in the USA during the finale."
So was it a conspiracy? A low-blow on the down-low? We'll never know for certain, but what we do know is that Arthur Gunn will become a household name in the United States thanks to his unquestionable talent and incredible voice. He will gain a cult following just like Alejandro Aranda (aka Scarypoolparty) did after last season, so at least we can look forward to hearing his magical supercharged vocals for the next few decades.