That’s all folks! Season 16 of American Idol came to an end on Monday, March 21, with celebrity performances, tears and one lucky winner! After Gary Clark Jr., Patti LaBelle, Nick Jonas, and many more performed, it was time to dim the lights and name the winner.
The finalists – Caleb Hutchinson, Gabby Barrett and Maddie Poppe – gave their final performances on Sunday, May 20, each proving they deserved to be there.
Caleb, 19, performed “Johnny Cash Heart,” “Don’t Close Your Eyes” and “Folsom Prison Blues” during part one of the finale, really impressing the judges with each song. Gabby, 19, took on “Little Red Wagon,” “Rivers Deep,” and “Don’t Stop Believin,’” the last in which Luke Bryan called “the most amazing version [he’s] ever heard.” Maddie, 20, rounded out the final three, performing “Landslide,” “Going Going Gone” and “Don’t Ever Let Your Children Grow Up.” The last brought tears to many eyes in the house – and viewers’ houses, too.
During the finale, Luke Bryan performed his hit song “Most People Are Good” with Gabby. Meanwhile, finalist Maddie got to perform with another stud: Kermit the Frog. Caleb joined Darius Rucker for a country duet of “Wagon Wheel.” The final three also all joined together with Bebe Rexha to sing “Meant To Be.”
Later, a must-see duet took place: top 10 finalist Lala Spring and her little sister, Dyxie, performed LeAnn Rimes’ hit song “Blue.” They were absolutely shocked when Rimes herself came out and joined them.
— American Idol (@AmericanIdol) May 22, 2018
That was followed by Katy Perry performing with another top 10 finalist, Catie Turner. Together, they sang a brand new version of Perry’s hit “Piece of Me.” However, the most talked about moment of the entire episode had to be the final 15 minutes.
After Gabby was named the third-place contestant, Caleb and Maddie sang a mashup of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World” … and revealed they’re actually a couple! They ended their performance holding hands and sharing a hug!
But who won? After the two-hour special, Maddie was named the winner!