Tonight, May 17, 2020, is the season 18 finale of ABC’s American Idol, and the winner will be decided through live voting as the show airs. The episode will not be live coast-to-coast, and will instead air at 8 p.m./7 p.m. central.
The two-hour season finale is presented from the homes of judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan as well as host Ryan Seacrest, mentor Bobby Bones, and the homes of the contestants and special guests.
In addition to performances from the Top 5, the episode will also feature performances from the judges and special guests. Academy Award nominee Cynthia Erivo will be joined by the Top 11 to perform a medley of Aretha Franklin songs, Lauren Daigle and the Top 5 will perform “You Say,” and Rascall Flatts will be joined by fan-favorite contestant Doug Kiker to perform “Bless the Broken Road.”
Read on to learn how to vote for the winner of American Idol.
How to Vote for the ‘American Idol’ Winner
Since the show will not air at the same time on the West Coast as it does on the East Coast, the winner will already have been announced by the time the West Coast gets to see the show. To combat this, Idol will be posting performances online as they air. This way, West Coast fans will be able to see the performers and vote for their favorites.
To cast a vote for your favorite contestant, you’ll have to visit the website at americanidol.com/vote, download the official American Idol app, or text the contestant number to 21523.
Voting opens a few minutes into the show and closes at approximately 9:15 p.m. ET, which is 6:15 p.m. PST and 8:15 p.m. central. Fans can vote up to 10 times per method per contestant.
Contestant Numbers Are The Same as in Previous Weeks
Contestant numbers have stayed the same since voting opened up, and that’s no different this week. Once the Top 5 have been announced, there will be two contestants taken off the list.
Here are the numbers for the contestants:
Louis Knight: text “5” to 21523
Francisco Martin: text “12” to 21523
Dillon James: text “15” to 21523
Arthur Gunn: text “16” to 21523
Julia Gargano: text “17” to 21523
Just Sam: text “19” to 21523
Jonny West: text “20” to 21523
During tonight’s finale, each of the Top 5 will perform two songs in their fight to win the title of this year’s American Idol. Their first song will celebrate their induction into the Top 5, and the second song will be a previously performed song and their new official American Idol single.
During the show, Luke Bryan will perform his new single “One Margarita,” and Katy Perry will perform her new single “Daisies” in its TV debut.
To close the show, Lionel Richie will perform “We Are the World” and be joined by members of the American Idol finale including 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.
Tune in to American Idol at 8 p.m./7 p.m. central on ABC to see which of the Top 7 finalists are crowned the winner of Season 18 of American Idol.