The season finales of American Idol are always chock full of incredible performances and collaborations with some of music’s biggest acts and the fan favorite contestants from across the season. And while this season has been filmed at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ABC show still plans to do things up big.
Set for Sunday, May 17 at 8 p.m. EST, the two-hour finale will feature a slew of performances across the live-streamed stage. In a press release from ABC, the network announced that judge Lionel Richie would perform “We Are the World” with his fellow Idol judges, Luke Bryan and Katy Perry, as well as other members of the show’s family, including Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, Gabby Barrett, Kellie Pickler, Laine Hardy, Alejandro Aranda aka Scarypoolparty, Jordin Sparks, Katharine McPhee, Phillip Phillips and Ruben Studdard. The performance marks the first time in 35 years that the song has been performed on television and will take place towards the end of the evening.
Additional performances during the star-studded finale include Rascal Flatts and former contestant Doug Kiker performing “Bless the Broken Road,” Luke Bryan singing “One Margarita” and Cynthia Erivo and the Top 11 singing an Aretha Franklin medley. Lauren Daigle would also appear to perform “You Say” with the Top 5 finalists.
Judge Katy Perry will also make the TV debut of her new single, “Daisies.”
The remaining Idol hopefuls include Arthur Gunn, Dillon James, Francisco Martin, Jonny West, Julia Gargano, Just Sam and Louis Knight. The finale will kick off with the nationwide vote, narrowing the top seven down to just five. The top five will celebrate by performing two sings: the first being a previously performed song and the second being their official American Idol single.
One of the seven finalists will be crowned the winner of American Idol when the season finale airs Sunday, May 17 on ABC.