My thoughts about last season was that Cassadee Pope won because the rest simply were not contenders. Nicolas David could only sing songs from his genre and will only appeal to a niche audience. Terry McDermott has a good voice but does not emote well when he sings so he fails to connect with the audience.
As for the judges, the only one I did not like was Christina. This is a show for seasoned singers and yet Christina constantly sabotages herself by picking the younger, less experienced singers who then quickly get voted out because they pale in comparison to the more experienced singers.