‘American Idol’ Recap: Fan Favorite Contestants Return for 20th Anniversary Reunion
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American Idol Season 20 returned on Monday night with a special 20th anniversary reunion special. Several past winners and fan-favorite contestants returned to the stage to perform duets. The episode kicked off with the surprising appearance of Laine Hardy, who was recently arrested.
Laine Hardy Appears on ‘American Idol’ Reunion
Season 17 winner Laine Hardy was initially announced to be appearing in Monday’s special, but American Idol didn’t include him in recent social media posts promoting the show. On Friday, Hardy was arrested for allegedly spying on an LSU student.
However, as the show made clear on Monday, this reunion special was previously recorded, so Hardy’s performance with fellow contestant Laci Kaye Booth aired as normal, likely to keep things fair for his duet partner.
Booth and Hardy performed “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” by Stevie Nicks. Booth started out by herself on stage, before Hardy stepped out with a guitar. Judge Katy Perry looked shocked to see him, which was easy to misinterpret. However, she turned out to just be swooning over him.
Other duets from Monday night included Jordin Sparks and Ruben Studdard singing “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” by George Michael and Aretha Franklin, and real-life couple Maddie Poppe and Caleb Lee Hutchinson singing “Islands in the Stream.”
The Episode Also Featured Some Surprise Guests
Monday’s episode featured appearances from a few unexpected guests. That included William Hung, who is famous for his audition in Season 3 of the show. Hung returned to once again perform “She Bangs” by Ricky Martin.
Hung shared that he’s now a motivational speaker who wants to share the message that it’s okay to “try something new without being judged or ridiculed.”
Later, the show welcomed a group of young women who went viral for their emotional reaction to David Archuleta losing Season 7 to David Cook. Archuleta himself stepped out to surprise them. Because he’s recovering from vocal surgery, he couldn’t speak and had to share a message on his phone.
The episode also featured a surprise appearance from Season 1 runner-up Justin Guarini. He shared that he’s about to appear in his seventh Broadway show. For his introduction, host Ryan Seacrest styled his hair to look like his early days on the show.
Who had your favorite appearance during Monday night’s special? Let us know in the comments.