Following a cross-country search for the next singing sensation, “American Idol” rounded out its second season on ABC with an epic grand finale event, featuring “Idol”’s Top 3 contestants: Alejandro Aranda, Laine Hardy and Madison VanDenburg.
For the first time in “Idol” history, America’s live coast-to-coast vote determined the winner of the iconic singing competition series, as all voting took place during the show. Laine Hardy was crowned the winner of season 17.
The crowning moment was preceded by special performances from music legends, including “Idol”’s very own superstar judges, the return of fan-favorite contestants from the current season and a special visit by last season’s winner, Maddie Poppe. Poppe’s debut album, “Whirlwind,” drops on Friday, May 17.
Grand finale performances included: Adam Lambert performed his new single, “New Eyes,” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” with Dimitrius Graham. Carrie Underwood made a special appearance during her Cry Pretty Tour 360 and performed her new hit single, “Southbound,” live on the “Idol” stage. Daddy Yankee and Katy Perry performed “Con Calma.”
Other performances from:
- Dan + Shay performed “All To Myself” and “Speechless” with Madison VanDenburg
- Jon Pardi performed a medley of “Night Shift” and “Dirt On My Boots” with Laine Hardy
- Kane Brown performed “Good As You” and “Lost in the Middle of Nowhere” with Alyssa Raghu
- Katy Perry performed “Unconditionally” with Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon
- Kool & The Gang performed a medley of “Hollywood Swinging,” “Ladies Night” and “Celebrate” with the Top 10
- Luke Bryan performed “Knockin’ Boots” and “Every Breath You Take” with Laci Kaye Booth
- Lionel Richie performed “Dancing on the Ceiling” with the Top 10
- Montell Jordan performed “This Is How We Do It” with Margie Mays and Austin Michael
- Viral sensation Shayy returned to perform “Rise Up”
- Weezer performed a medley of “Africa,” “Take On Me” and “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” with Wade Cota and Walker Burroughs
Helping to determine the next singing sensation were music industry legends and all-star judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie.
Emmy® Award-winning host and producer Ryan Seacrest hosted the beloved series in its second season on ABC, and famed multimedia personality Bobby Bones acted as in-house mentor.