‘American Idol’ 2020 Live Stream: How to Watch the Finale Online

American Idol Finale Watch

ABC The season 18 finale of "American Idol" airs on Sunday, May 17 at 8/7c on ABC.

The season 18 finale of American Idol airs on Sunday, May 17 at 8/7c on ABC.

If you don’t have cable, you can watch a live stream of ABC on your computer, phone, Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV or other streaming device via one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming subscription services:

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Hulu With Live TV

ABC (live in select markets) is included in Hulu With Live TV, which comes with 60-plus live TV channels and Hulu’s extensive on-demand library of TV shows and movies.

Get Hulu With Live TV

Once signed up for Hulu With Live TV, you can watch a live stream of the show on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Echo Show, or other streaming device via the Hulu app.

If you can’t watch live, “Hulu with Live TV” comes with both its extensive on-demand library (which has most new episodes, events, and specials available after they air) and 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of DVR space and the ability to fast forward through commercials).

AT&T TV Now

AT&T TV Now (formerly DirecTV Now) offers six different channel bundles. They range from 45 to 125 live TV channels, and they all include ABC (live in select markets). The “Plus” and “Max” bundles both include a free seven-day trial:

Start Your AT&T TV Now Free Trial

Once signed up for AT&T TV Now, you can watch a live stream of the show on your computer via the AT&T TV Now website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, or other compatible streaming device via the AT&T TV app.

If you can’t watch live, AT&T TV Now — no matter what channel package you choose — comes with included cloud DVR.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV comes with 70-plus live TV channels, including ABC (live in select markets).

Get YouTube TV

Once signed up for YouTube TV, you can then watch a live stream of the show on your computer via the YouTube website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, or other compatible streaming device via the YouTube app.

If you can’t watch live, YouTube TV comes with included DVR.


‘American Idol’ Season 18 Finale Preview

The official synopsis for the American Idol finale episode teases “The top 5 perform a song that celebrates their induction into the top 5, and a previously performed song; America’s real-time vote determines the winner; special performances from music legends, including a performance of ‘We Are the World.'”

For longtime fans of the hit reality singing competition, this finale (and season, for that matter) feels different than any other due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In compliance with stay-at-home orders to prevent the spread of the virus, it was not possible for American Idol to execute its usual live shows. Instead, once all the pre-taped episodes had aired, the show had its remaining contestants perform each week from the safety of their homes, and the performances and judges’ reactions aired live for the viewers at home to vote in real time.

The top 7 finalists hoping to compete in the finale are Arthur Gunn, Francisco Martin, Jonny West, Julia Gargano, Just Sam, Dillon James, and Louis Knight. The top 5 will be announced at the top of the show, eliminating two contestants from the finale right away.

Although the winner will not be crowned on the American Idol stage, production has still planned plenty of excitement and surprises for the big celebratory final. Per ABC’s press release, this is what fans can expect:

Kicking off the finale event following America’s last nationwide vote, the road comes to an end for two contestants in the Top 5 reveal. The Top 5 will then each perform two songs as they fight to win the coveted “American Idol” title. The first song will celebrate their induction into the Top 5, and the second will be a previously performed song and their new official “American Idol” single. Before America’s real-time vote determines the winner live on the East Coast broadcast, don’t miss special performances from music legends including “Idol”’s very own superstar judges, the return of the Top 11 and a fan favorite from this season! In the first TV performance of “We are the World” in 35 years, former Idols and judges Katy Perry and Luke Bryan join Lionel Richie to close the show with an Idol family performance dedicated to all the families at home around the world.

Celebrity guests expected to appear include Cynthia Erivo, Lauren Daigle, Rascall Flatts, Doug Kiker, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Alejandro Aranda aka Scarypoolparty, Fantasia Taylor, Gabby Barrett, Jordin Sparks, Katharine McPhee, Kellie Pickler, Laine Hardy, Lauren Alaina, Phillip Phillips, Ruben Studdard, and Scotty McCreery.


The season 18 finale of American Idol airs on May 17 at 8/7c on ABC.

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