For much of season 17 of American Idol, the show has broadcasted live across the country, on Sunday nights, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. When it comes to tonight’s big 2019 finale, Idol will air from 8 – 11 p.m. ET/5 – 8 p.m. PT/7 – 10 p.m. CT. As always, the show will air on the ABC network.
When it comes to what’s in store with the finale performers, Good Housekeeping has reported that Queen frontman Adam Lambert will perform. He recently appeared on the show as a mentor and is a former Idol star himself. Some other performers include all three of the show’s judges, Weezer, Carrie Underwood, Jon Pardi, and others. All of the top 10 finalists will take the stage as well.
Last year’s winner, Maddie Poppe, who hass also appeared on the show this season, was said to appear, but there is supposedly some drama behind the scenes, according to Variety. She has not been listed as a performer by ABC.
A spokesperson for American Idol spoke with Variety and said that, “It was not always a hard and fast rule to have the previous year’s winner at the finale.” Whatever the case, whether she is singing or not, Poppe is said to be making an appearance on the live episode. In a press release from ABC, the network briefly revealed that Poppe would definitely be a part of the show.
ABC reported, “Following a cross-country search for the next singing sensation, American Idol rounds out its second season on ABC with an epic grand finale event, featuring Idol‘s Top 3 contestants: Alejandro Aranda, Laine Hardy, and Madison VanDenburg. For the first time in Idol history, America’s live coast-to-coast vote will determine the winner of the iconic singing competition series, with all voting taking place during the show. The crowning moment will be preceded by special performances from music legends, including Idol‘s very own superstar judges, the return of fan-favorite contestants from the current season and a special visit by last season’s winner, Maddie Poppe.”
Madison Vandenburg, Alejandro Aranda, and Laine Hardy are the top 3 contestants in the finale, vying for America’s votes. Last week, two singers were eliminated, leaving these three as the finalists. According to Us Weekly, judge Katy Perry was very surprised by the contestants who were eliminated, or at least one of them. Perry admitted, “There was a curveball, I thought. [It] threw us through a loop. So that’s why at the end we were like, ‘What is happening?’ I’m not sure, I think, you hear these whispers like, ‘Oh, American Idol is this format, that format.’ It feels like change is in the air.”
And, prior to last week, contestant Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon was eliminated, which Perry also was surprised by. Perry and the other judges had the opportunity to save Harmon but ended up using their single “save” on contestant Laci Kaye Booth. Perry revealed to Us Weekly that Harmon’s elimination was also unexpected and that when it came to not using the “save” on him, “I did not love doing that. I’m really tired. I need a double margarita. But also I want Jeremiah to know, number one, that we love him and we support him. It’s written in the stars for him. And historically, if you look at people that didn’t win and how far they’ve come, he’s OK.”