The 18th season finale of “American Idol” — and its third on ABC — will be done as a live remote for the first time ever starting at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday, May 17. Despite having to deal with piecing together a show with performers from countless locales because of the coronavirus epidemic, the show will feature past “Idol” winners and fan favorites as well as actress-singer Cynthia Erivo, the country band Rascal Flatts and more.
However, important business will come first as the Top 7 contenders — Arthur Gunn, Dillon James, Francisco Martin, Jonny West, Julia Gargano, Just Sam and Louis Knight — shrink to the Top 5. Once that is announced, the quintet of hopefuls will each perform two songs, one to celebrate being in the Top 5 and another tune that they sang previously.
Before the real-time vote commences, Lionel Richie will perform “We Are the World,” a 1985 charity single he co-wrote with Michael Jackson and sung by super stars like Billy Joel, Ray Charles, Bruce Springsteen and Tina Turner to raise money for famine relief for Africa. The 2020 version will feature Lionel and fellow judges Katy Perry and Luke Bryan and such former “Idol” contestants such as Alejandro Aranda aka Scarypoolparty, Gabby Barrett, Jordin Sparks, Katharine McPhee, Kellie Pickler, Laine Hardy, Lauren Alaina, Phillip Phillips, Ruben Studdard and Scotty McCreery trading verses.
SEE exclusive predictions: Who will win ‘American Idol’?
Other musical treats will include:
*Erivo, a two-time Oscar nominee for last year’s biopic “Harriet” who will play Aretha Franklin on the upcoming third season of the TV show “Genius,” will perform a medley of the Queen of Soul’s hits with the season’s Top 11 contestants.
*Lauren Daigle will join the Top 5 on her hit song, “You Say.”
*Rascal Flatts will join Season 18 fan favorite, trucker Doug Kiker, on the band’s song, “Bless the Broken Road.”
*Katy will perform her new single “Daisies” in its TV debut while Luke will sing his new single, “One Margarita.”
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