It’s finale night on ‘American Idol’! The final three, Laine Hardy, Alejandro Aranda and Madison VanDenburg, are narrowed down to just ONE winner during the jam-packed May 19 episode.
To kick off the American Idol finale, judge Lionel Richie takes the stage to perform an upbeat rendition of his hit “Dancing on the Ceiling.” He’s joined by the artists from this season’s top 10 to get the show started off in the BEST way. Of course, the night is all about the finalists: Laine Hardy, Madison VanDenburg and Alejandro Aranda. Laine is up first with a rendition of “Home” by Marc Broussard, and with his vocals, swagger and style all on-point, it’s the perfect performance for him.
Next, Madison takes the stage to sing one of the biggest songs of the year — “Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. The song just won an Oscar, so there’s a lot to live up to, and she totally delivers! Finally, Alejandro is up to sing an original song called “Millennial Home.” As always, the judges are beyond impressed with Alejandro’s abilities as a singer AND songwriter, and he receives rave reviews.
Laine is back to kick off the next round, and he absolutely kills his performance of “Jambalaya” by Hank Williams Jr. It’s the perfect tribute to his hometown and a great way to close out his Idol journey! For Madison’s second song, she sings Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway.” The judges have been comparing Madison to Kelly since her very first audition, so this is a great way for her to showcase that she really is on Kelly’s level! Finally, Alejandro returns with another original song, “Tonight,” and proves once again just how talented he is.
Before getting to the results, Carrie Underwood returns to the Idol stage for an amazing performance of her new song, “Southbound.” After that, though, it’s time for the person with the lowest amount of votes in the top 3 to be revealed and sent home — Madison, which means Alejandro and Laine are the top 2.
Next, Montell Jordan hits the stage to perform his hit “This Is How We Do It,” which Katy Perry did the worm to during a contestant’s audition earlier in the season. Oh, and he’s joined by season 17 contestants, Margie Mays and Austin Michael, to make it even better! Katy herself is onstage next, and performs a colorful rendition of her song, “Con Calma,” with Daddy Yankee. So fun!
Alejandro follows with another performance next — “10 Years” — and he’s joined by an incredible orchestra for the show. Of course, it’s amazing! He’s followed up with another performer, Adam Lambert, who hits the stage to sing his new single, “New Eyes,” and it’s absolutely incredible. Madison returns to the stage next, and she’s joined by Dan + Shay, who perform “All to Myself” before she collabs with them on “Speechless.” Gorgeous!
Another judge, Luke Bryan, takes the stage next to sing his latest hit, “Knockin’ Boots,” and it brings a whole new level of fun to the finale. Laine is back next, and he’s joined by Jon Pardi to sing a duet of the country singer’s hits, “Dirt On My Boots” and “Night Shift.” It’s the perfect southern pairing and so much fun! Katy returns to the stage next. This time, it’s for a performance of “Unconditionally,” for which she’s joined by season 17’s Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, and it’s SO beautiful.
Top 10 finalists, Walker Burroughs and Wade Cota, are joined by Weezer next, to sing a bunch of the band’s hits, and they all KILL it. Then, Kane Brown hits the stage to sing “Good As You,” as well as “Lost In The Middle Of Nowhere,” for which he’s joined by Alyssa Raghu, who made it to the top 8 this season. One of the season’s most viral contestants, Shayy, gets to come back to the Idol stage next to perform “Rise Up,” and it’s absolutely stunning. Andra Day even joins her to sing the beautiful song!
To close out the night, Alejandro and Laine both perform once more to get a final shot at votes from the viewers. This is their last opportunity to sing before a decision is made, and they both fully deliver!
Finally, it’s time to find out who wins season 17. AND THE WINNER IS…..LAINE!!