After Sunday night’s (May 14) semi-final that cut the roster of American Idol hopefuls to just three — Colin Stough, Megan Danielle and Iam Tongi — season 21 of the series is gearing up for a major finale. Next Sunday’s (May 21) three-hour finale will air live coast-to-coast on ABC beginning at 8 p.m. ET and feature the return of former panelist Keith Urban, who will be back on Idol to mentor the top three (and perform), as well as performances from judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan.
In addition to this year’s top 12 returning to the stage one last time, producers announced the typical cornucopia of guest performers on tap for the finale, including season two winner/runner-up Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken, as well as Ellie Goulding, Jelly Roll, Pitbull, TLC, James Blunt, Jazmine Sullivan, REO Speedwagon’s Kevin Cronin, Kylie Minogue, Lainey Wilson and Lauren Daigle.
Sunday’s “Disney Night” presented the end of the dream for eliminated contestants We Ani and Zachariah Smith on a night when Hawaiian high-schooler and season-long top contender Tongi did it again with a flawless performance of “Lava” from the Pixar short, as well as a touching run through Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam’s “Father and Son.”
Danielle also impressed with her take on the Maleficent: Mistress of Evil track “You Can’t Stop the Girl” and “Carried Me With You” from Onward, while country singer Stough rocked “Real Gone” from Cars and “Nobody Knows” from Pete’s Dragon. Sara Bareilles also dropped by to sing “When You Wish Upon a Star” with the top five and The Little Mermaid star Halle Bailey performed the movie’s “Part of Your World.”