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Andrew is a staff writer at the “The Hudsucker”. He is a 30 year old lawyer living in Ottawa. Besides legal jargon, his brain capacity is taken up by reality show trivia, video game walk-throughs and room escape strategies. Andrew is also happily in a long-term, long-distance relationship. Follow him on Twitter as @sublymonal.

3 Memorable Moments From the ‘American Idol’ Finale

For American Idol fans, it may have felt like they’ve been holding their breath since the moment the show’s first season on ABC kicked off back in March. A million questions about the show’s return were begging for an answer, and as the competition played itself out over the course of the next two months, we got some of those answers.

Would the judges be good at their jobs? Their critiques were few and far between, but their chemistry was entertaining at times. Would the contestants bring the talent? Some certainly did, while others needed “more time to cook,” as judge Lionel Richie would say. And would the winner be a worthy one?

When the finale began on Monday night, that question still needed to be answered as Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Gabby Barrett, and Maddie Poppe waited to find out their fate, so let’s delve into what went down during the finale, including who took home the crown.

Memorable Performances

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Judge Lionel Richie performs his hit “All Night Long” with the Top 10 to open the show (Credit: ABC/Eric McCandless)

Idol fans were treated to plenty of all-star performances during the two-hour broadcast. Judge Lionel Richie opened the show with his hit “All Night Long” featuring the Top 10, while judge Luke Bryan sang his songs “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset” and “Most People Are Good” with Top 3 Finalist Gabby Barrett. Nick Jonas also performed his new single “Anywhere” with rapper Mustard before singing his hit song “Jealous” with Top 10 contestant Jurnee.

Top 3 Finalist Caleb Lee Hutchinson was joined by Darius Rucker on a duet of his hit “Wagon Wheel,” while rockers Cade Foehner and Dennis Lorenzo sang “Bright Lights” with Gary Clark, Jr. himself. Top 3 Finalist Maddie Poppie was even joined by Kermit the Frog to reprise her audition of “The Rainbow Connection,” before all three finalists sang Bebe Rexha‘s hit “Meant to Be” with the singer herself.

The three best performances of the night came from finalists Ada Vox, Catie Turner, and Michael J. Woodard. Ada teamed up with Patti Labelle for a fun take on “Lady Marmalade”, while Michael’s voice soared when he sang “What The World Needs Now” with Yolanda Adams. Catie Turner joined judge Katy Perry for a slowed down version of her hit “Part of Me” that highlighted all the best parts of Catie’s unique voice.

The Season in Review

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After announcing they were dating, Caleb and Maddie sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” as this season’s Top 2 (Credit: ABC/Eric McCandless)

With such a short season, it may feel like we didn’t have time to forget anything or anyone, but there were certainly some contestants worth remembering. Noah Davis, whose audition was seen by over 2.6 million people on YouTube after he made Katy Perry’s wig fly, returned to the Idol stage, only to be gifted an alpaca by host Ryan Seacrest.

After his audition was seen by over 4.2 million people on YouTube, Katy Perry’s crush Trevor Holmes also made a return to the Idol stage. He’s still got a girlfriend, much to Katy’s chagrin, but he’s also got a new single out entitled “Walls,” that is available for download and streaming now.

The show also brought back Top 24 contestant Layla Spring and her little sister Dyxie to sing with LeAnn Rimes on her song “Blue,” which was re-imagined and rerecorded by the singer herself and is also available for downloading and streaming.

Late night host Jimmy Kimmel even made an appearance when he brought out a time capsule containing Season 6 contestant Sanjaya, who crawled out of it and onto the stage to really amp up the nostalgia factor for the night.

The Winner Takes It All

MICHAEL J. WOODARD, MICHELLE SUSSETT, DENNIS LORENZO, MADDIE POPPE, CATIE TURNER, ADA VOX, JURNEE, GABBY BARRETT, CALEB LEE HUTCHINSON

Winner Maddie Poppe is swarmed by the Top 10 as she sings her single “Going, Going, Gone” to close out the show (Credit: ABC/Eric McCandless)

Midway through Monday night’s broadcast, Ryan brought the Top 3 out on stage and announced that Caleb and Maddie had made the Top 2, while Gabby had placed third. Caleb and Maddie then had an announcement of their own. The pair announced that they are dating before singing the Judy Garland classic “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” together. Ryan also announced that the two of them would be heading on an all-expenses paid vacation to Hawaii together courtesy of Disney.

At the end of the night, the pair returned to the stage and Ryan received the card with the final results.

In the end, it was Maddie Poppe who took home the crown, becoming the first woman since Season 12 back in 2013 to win. Maddie’s emotions quickly overtook her performance of her single “Going, Going, Gone” so she had her friends from the Top 10 join her in singing out the season. It turned out to be a very cute moment and after the quality of performances Maddie has delivered, it’s hard to argue that she wasn’t worthy of the crown. Maddie’s win comes with a recording contract with Hollywood Records, so fans can look forward to her album soon.

Ryan also announced that Idol will return for a second season next year.

What did you think of the finale? Did the right person win? What do you hope Idol does differently next season? Let us know in the comments below!

Header Image: ABC/Eric McCandless
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