Highlights: ‘American Idol’ ends with star-studded finale

Highlights: ‘American Idol’ ends with star-studded finale
The original judges, Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and Paula Abdul – along with former contestants Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Clay Aiken, and more – make appearances at the season finale

MANILA, Philippines – The 15th and final season of American Idol ended on April 7 (April 8 in the Philippines) and the two-hour finale saw many former Idol contestants, winners, and judges taking the stage one last time. The finale was shot at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, USA.

Before Trent Harmon was announced the winner and performed his single “Falling,” there were a number of acts and appearances that came together to bid the long-running singing competition farewell.

The show started with the Top 10 finalists and past contestants singing “One Voice” by Barry Manilow.

Comedian Brian Dunkleman, who co-hosted season one with Ryan Seacrest and never returned to the show, made an appearance. On April 7, he introduced the current judges: Harry Connick Jr, Keith Urban, and Jennifer Lopez.

From there, former judge Kara DioGuardi (seasons 8 and 9) kicked off with a medley of songs. She was joined by some of the show’s past contestants, including Colton Dixon, Justin Guarini and Jordin Sparks, Kimberly Locke, Allison Iraheta, Larry Platt, and Pia Toscano.


Following her emotional performance of “Piece by Piece” on Idol in February, Kelly Clarkson took the stage again to sing her greatest hits – “Miss Independent,” “Breakaway,” “Since You’ve Been Gone,” “Because of You,” “Walk Away,” “My Life Would Suck Without You,” and more.

Idol’s resident rockers and country singers – Bo Bice, Caleb Johnson, Constantine Maroulis, and Chris Daughtry – performed their own electrifying medley of songs.

Then, judge Keith Urban performed with Carrie Underwood, before more Idol country singers took to the stage.

In between high-energy songs, there was a quiet, touching moment as judge Harry Connick Jr and Ellis Marsalis Center for Music student Marley Fletcher sang a duet of “What a Wonderful World.”

Harry and Marley both hail from New Orleans, which was one of the areas hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Harry has been active in the area’s post-disaster relief.

American Idol‘s charity campaign, Idol Gives Back, also helped the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Idol Gives Back ran from 2007 to 2008, and 2010.

Harry and Marley’s duet was followed by a performance by Katherine McPhee, Clay Aiken, Ruben Studdard, Amber Holcom, and more, ending with Filipino-American Jessica Sanchez singing Celine Dion’s “The Prayer.”

Judge Jennifer Lopez raised the energy at the Dolby Theater as she sang her newest song, “Ain’t Your Momma,” which was written by Meghan Trainor. She followed it up with a showstopping performance of “Let’s Get Loud” that got the crowd screaming.


Latoya London, Jennifer Hudson, and Fantasia went on the American Idol stage once again, starting with the song “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Each of them performed solos too, and then Brandon Rogers, Clark Beckham, George Huff, Danny Gokey, Elliott Yamin, Taylor Hicks, Joshua Ledet, Melinda Doolittle, and Candice Glover joined them onstage.

Before the night ended, there was a tribute to David Bowie by 5 American Idol winners – Phillip Phillips, Lee DeWyze, David Cook, Nick Fradiani, and Kris Allen.

Then, the 3 original judges, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, and Simon Cowell went up on the Idol stage one last time.

“I just thought this would be a good opportunity, on behalf of myself, Ryan, and Paula to apologize, over the years, for being so mean to the contestants when we were trying to be nurturing, helpful, we were really horrible, and I think now is the time to apologize to America,” said Simon.


Simon also thanked everyone involved in Idol, including the fans, for the past years.

William Hung, who rose to fame after his off-kilter audition in season 3, did a quick rendition of his original audition song, “She Bangs.” Watch his original audition below:

Right before the winner’s announcement, Carrie Underwood went up onstage again to perform a solo of her song “Something in the Water.”

On social media, many celebrities, former contestants, and judges also said goodbye to American Idol too.

David Archuleta didn’t perform, but he was there during the finale.



 – Rappler.com

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