Three contestants remain on Season 11 of American Idol: Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet, and Phillip Phillips. For the Top 3 episode, the judges will choose songs for Jessica, Joshua, and Phillip, and they will return to their home towns as heroes. Then maybe they’ll sing songs about their home towns? I don’t know. Jimmy Iovine told us, possibly in a lie, that he has no idea who will win this season (and he knew Scotty would take it last season long before he was crowned). I have an inkling, but it’s definitely a close race. Here’s my estimation on why your Top 3 favorite will or won’t win it all:

Phillip Phillips

Why he could win: Despite going up against two powerhouse vocalists, Phillip could be the favorite to win the whole thing this year. He’s a growly WGWG (white guy with guitar) and he is genuinely likeable. Phillip has had a couple off-weeks, but he’s been honest about them, and he’s definitely playing the best personality game of the remaining three. He’s funny and he seems like a guy we know. You watch him and you sincerely ask yourself, “do I know that guy?” Also, he is great when he’s in the zone. His performance of “Volcano” by Damien Rice was one of his best moments of the season. Jimmy Iovine has pegged Phillip as a favorite since the beginning, and every mentor has been stunned by his appeal and musicianship. It’s not hard to fall under the spell of Phillip Phillips, and the fact that he’s never been in the bottom three proves that America loves him.

Why he might not win: Technically speaking, Phillip’s vocals aren’t as impressive as his other two competitors’. He has garnered sympathy with his health struggles, but sometimes they affect his performance. Also, maybe in some sort of backwards day fluke, the voters will want a change of pace in their newest American Idol, fighting against the WGWG standard set by the last five winners.

Jessica Sanchez

Why she could win: A female winner! That would be something different, and if there’s anyone to do it, it’s Jessica Sanchez. She has powerhouse vocals, impressing week after week with big songs. She sounds so good, better than Jennifer Hudson did on her season, and has had numerous performances that just brought the house down. Can you believe she’s only 16? Jessica received the Save from the judges at the Top 7, and hasn’t landed in the bottom since. She’s getting better at choosing songs for herself, and Jimmy has said a couple times that he would sign her today.

Why she might not win: Jessica’s personality is falling a little flat lately. We don’t really know much about her aside from the fact that she’s young, sweet, and loves fashion (and yet they keep putting her in the most off-putting clothing!). She almost went home once, would the voters cast her off again after a bad week? If Jessica doesn’t sing the right songs, she could be in trouble.

Joshua Ledet

Why he could win: The judges love Joshua, and this guy knows how to choose songs for himself. He has had very few missteps in this competition, and that’s thanks mostly to song choice. He has been able to show his personality in both fast, and more serious songs, connecting with each and every one. He has received more standing ovations than any other contestant this season, and possibly ever. He has a charming personality, amazing talent, and the judges are rooting for him.

Why he might not win: The judges are possibly over-pimping him a bit. The constant praise and leaping up from the chairs could get a bit wearing and either lead to a revolt or the assumption that Joshua is safe. Also, a common complaint with Joshua is that he takes it a little too far in the gospel direction (the choir constantly walking around behind him doesn’t help) and isn’t as modern or relevant an artist as the other two might be. Personally, I don’t think he has gotten too shouty or out of control, but there are others out there who disagree. What type of modern artist could Joshua be? The competition suits him well, with a variety of genres and covers, but what about when he goes out on his own? Will he be confined to the “inspirational music” category?

Who do you think will win?

Carla Patton

Writer, BuddyTV

Originally from Seattle, Carla recently took a husband and moved to Austin, Texas, where she is finally using her television “problem” to her advantage. It’s sort of like Dexter, but boring and less murdering. Carla’s favorite shows include 30 RockThe Amazing RaceProject RunwayModern Family, anything with murder, and pretty much anything gross and weird (CSIThe BachelorToddlers & Tiaras, etc.). Favorite canceled shows include: Arrested DevelopmentVeronica Mars and Average Joe. In her spare time, Carla leads tours of downtown Austin on a Segway (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!), blogs about Netflix Instant, and visits elementary schools telling children they don’t need math to succeed (just kidding, stay in school, kids).