“American Idol” finales of seasons past have always been…extra. And last night’s was really no different. Past contestants took the stage with the likes of Nick Jonas and Patti LaBelle and there were tons of surprises in between. Like two of the contestants are actually dating - in real life - but we’ll get to that later. Unfortunately, the show had to come to an end and out of Caleb Lee Hutchison, Gabby Barrett, and Maddie Poppe, an American Idol has been crowned. Here’s what went down.
- Lionel Ritchie opened the show with “All Night Long.” Sporting a bedazzled jacket embossed with the words “All Night Long” on the back, Ritchie performed with all of the contestants for an entertaining first number of the night.
- Next “Idol” blessed us with Nick Jonas and a duo of his songs “Anywhere” and “Jealous.” The latter saw contestant Jurnee return to the stage in a very high Ariana Grande pony for a fun collab.
- Luke Bryan teamed up with Gabby Barrett for “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset” and “Most People Are Good.” Gabby held her own next to the country giant and her harmonies blended beautifully. It was honestly hard to tell who’s song it was.
- Gary Clark Jr. took the stage with two past contestants Dennis Lorenzo and Cade Foehner for “Bright Lights.” The rockin’ performance was refreshing in a night full of country and pop songs, but added to the celebration of music.
- Maddie Poppe performed and iconic duet with none other than Kermit The Frog. They sang “Rainbow Connection” and lit up the theater in rainbow colors all around. It had all the makings of a cutesy performance, but still highlighted how beautiful Maddie’s voice is.
- Noah Davis returned, but not to perform. Instead the show gifted him an alpaca. Yep, they got him a certificate and everything, but he can only name is Yanny or Laurel.
- Also around this time Jimmy Kimmel came on stage with a "time capsule" from Idol's past. It was filled with a toddler version of Simon Cowell's famous t-shirt, tons of Steven Tyler's scarves and the real Sanjaya. P.S.- he cut all his hair off. All of it.
- Darius Rucker graced the stage with final three contestant Caleb Lee Hutchinson for “Wagon Wheel.” The performance was pretty on par for Caleb and he looked like all the makings of an American Idol up there with the legendary performer.
- The final three contestants joined together for a symbolic performance of Bebe Rexha’s “Meant To Be” with none other than Bebe Rexha joining them on stage. They all sing the chorus “if it’s meant to be, it’ll be” as a nod to their time here on Idol. With the end of the performance came results time.
- First Caleb was sent into safety locking his seat in the final two. The first elimination and third place runner up went to Gabby Barrett, which served as a bit of a shock for some of the audience, but cheers were all around for Maddie. They all hugged it out and congratulated each other on how far they’ve come.
- The collaborations continued after that with LeAnn Rimes performing “Blue” with Layla Springs and Dixie, who didn’t seem to care at all LeAnn was up there. She adorably was more interested in her own star moment.
- It wouldn’t be a finale if we didn’t hear from judge Katy Perry. She teamed up with equally quirky Catie Turner for a slowed down rendition of “Part of Me.” It was truly too hard to tell which Katy was which, as their voices were similarly stellar. It was one of the more show stopping performances of the night and not just because Katy Perry traded in her boy-cut for a blonde bobbed wig.
- Yolanda Adams and Michael J. Woodward collaborated on “What The World Needs Now” and it was so stunning and definitely what the world needed now.
- “Idol” had not one, but two big announcements tonight. Not only would they be crowning the next American Idol, but they’d be unveiling the show’s latest couple. That’s right Caleb and Maddie announced - well, really Caleb announced - that the two are in fact dating and performed their final song on the show together, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” There wasn’t a dry eye in the awestruck audience. Not only did we have to cope with the adorable news, but we had to listen to their heartfelt duet. And later, we found out that the show is sending them to Hawaii.
- Things livened up when Patti LaBelle took the stage with Ada Fox for “Lady Marmalade.”
- Finally there was a winner. America voted and decided that Maddie is the next American Idol. She sang her single “Going, Going, Gone” with help of her fellow “Idol” contestants and new boo Caleb. Congratulations Maddie.
Source: Dr. Dave’s Ultimate Prep