At first, Ryan Seacrest introduced just Abdul and Jackson — who presented Seacrest with a gift for his Idol service.
“You’ve been the only one who has lasted the whole run of 15 years,” Abdul said. Then a giant “American Idol” sign was brought on stage.
And just as Seacrest was explaining that Cowell couldn’t be there, the snarky judge made his way onto the stage.
“I’d like to say on behalf of us, thank you America for inviting us into your homes,” Cowell said.
Watch it above.