American Idol Season 18 came to a close on Sunday night, with the first-ever virtual finale. The Top 5 was announced, and finalists performed one last time for America’s vote to decide who would be the 2020 winner.
The episode also featured performances from judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie, as well as several past contestants. Check out the night’s performances below, and find out who was crowned the Season 18 winner.
‘American Idol’ Finale: The Top 5 Results
At the start of the show, Ryan Seacrest revealed the results of last week’s vote. In no particular order, he shared which of the remaining seven singers were in the Top 5.
That means that Louis Knight and Julia Gargano were eliminated. The Top 5 performed two songs each, live throughout the show for America’s vote.
The first song of the night was the one each artist would “celebrate with” after the pandemic. The second was an encore of songs they’ve performed in previous episodes, which will be released if they win.
This “spiritual cowboy,” who struggled in the past with substance abuse, performed “Change the World” by Eric Clapton. Luke praised Dillon’s song choice and delivery, while Lionel called it “absolutely stellar.”
For his second song, Dillon performed Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’.” Lionel called it “your song,” while Katy said this performance was more confident than his last rendition of the song.
Francisco has worked through his anxiety during the competition. Tonight, he performed “Adore You” by Harry Styles. Lionel complimented Francisco’s “stage presence,” while Katy said he deserves to be in the finale.
For his second performance, he once again sang his audition song, “Alaska” by Maggie Rogers. Katy said this was an “elevated version,” and sounded like it was professionally recorded in a studio. Lionel called him a “model student.”
This subway busker has had her dreams come true on the show. Tonight, she sang “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson. Lionel said she gave them “attitude,” and Luke called her a “wonderful, blessed singer.”
For her second performance, Sam sang “Rise Up” by Andra Day. Luke praised Sam’s growth throughout the competition. Lionel called her an “inspiration” to other young people.
This singer, who is originally from Nepal, has been a frontrunner since his audition. For the finale, he chose to sing “I Don’t Want to Be” Gavin DeGraw. Katy said he’s “grown so much” and looks “so comfortable” now. Luke praised his “moves like Jagger.”
For his second song, Arthur performed “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Lionel called him an “absolute star.” Katy said he took “the winning pill” before his performance.
Margie Mays’ boyfriend proved to be a talent in his own right. Tonight, he chose to sing “You Can’t Keep a good Man Down” by James & Bobby Purify. Lionel said he can make any song his own. Luke compared him to a “seasoned, 40-year performer.”
For his second performance, Jonny once again performed his original song “Makin’ Love,” including a rap. Katy said he’s already thinking about the future. Luke called it “radio ready.”
Luke Bryan Performs ‘One Margarita’
The judge and country star delivered a virtual performance of his new song, playing guitar in front of fun beach footage and backed up by a band. Katy Perry seemed to enjoy it, as she could be seen dancing in her house.
Garbage Man Douglas Kiker Returns
This inspiring dad made an impact in his audition. Even though he didn’t make it all the way, the show invited him back to sing “Bless the Broken Road” with Rascal Flatts. He appeared from his home, while the band joined him virtually.
Lauren Daigle Performs ‘You Say’ With Just Sam
Just Sam didn’t get a chance to finish her performance of “You Say” in her audition. Lauren called Sam to surprise her with the opportunity to perform the song with her for the finale.
Katy Perry Performs ‘Daisies’
The pregnant judge delivered a performance of her new song “Daisies,” alone on the American Idol stage while wearing a bright pink dress. The cool performance also featured virtual backgrounds.
Cynthia Erivo Pays Tribute To Aretha Franklin
Singer and actress Cynthia Erivo was joined by the American Idol Top 11 to perform “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Loved You),” “Rock Steady,” and “Chain of Fools,” by music legend Aretha Franklin.
Who Is The Winner Of ‘American Idol’ 2020?
At the end of Sunday’s American Idol finale, Ryan Seacrest announced the 2020 winner. When the night’s votes were tallied, the final two were revealed to be Arthur Gunn and Just Sam.
At the end of the night, the winner was revealed to be … Just Sam!
After the announcement, she joined Lionel Richie and several past American Idol contestants in a new rendition of “We Are the World.” Do you agree with America’s choice? Who was your favorite this season? Let us know in the comments!