Tonight was the season finale of American Idol, which featured the top five contestants battling it out for America’s vote so they could earn the title of champion.
The two-hour season finale was presented from the homes of each of the Idol judges, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Brian as well as long-time host Ryan Seacrest, mentor Bobby Bones, and the homes of the contestants and special guests.
SPOILER WARNING: The remainder of this post contains spoilers for the Season 18 Finale of American Idol. Do not continue reading if you do not want to know who won this season.
Who Won ‘American Idol’ 2020?
The title of this year’s American Idol went to Just Sam after she performed twice during the finale and earned the majority of votes from the viewers, meaning Arthur Gunn was the runner-up for the season.
The top two were announced to be Arthur Gunn and Just Sam. Both had received high praise from the judge all season but especially tonight.
Gunn performed “I Don’t Want to Be” by Gavin DeGraw and “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” by Creedance Clearwater Revival for his finale performances. Just Sam sang “Rise Up” by Andra Day and “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson; she was also able to join Lauren Daigle in a performance of “You Say,” which she originally sang for her audition.
After the announcement, Sam had her grandma on FaceTime and asked if she could thank America.
“My dreams have come true, my grandmother is good, thank you so much America,” she said.
Then, Sam was able to lead the contestants and Lionel Richie in a performance of “We Are the World.”
Who Were the Top Five Contestants?
At the top of the show, the top five contestants for this season were announced, meaning that two people were eliminated from the show before the finale could truly start.
The top five contestants were Arthur Gunn, Dillon James, Francisco Martin, Jonny West and Just Sam. That means the contestants who were eliminated and did not perform in the finale for votes from America were Julia Gargano and Louis Knight.
Voting opened up shortly after the finalists were announced, with East and West-coast voting being opened at the same time. Because American Idol did not air a live coast-to-coast finale, the voting took place during the East-coast broadcast when the winner would be announced.
Throughout the episode, ABC and American Idol posted videos of performances from each of the top contestants in order to allow West Coast viewers to still see the performances from each of the finalists and be able to vote for the artists they liked the most.
Who Performed During the Finale?
The show featured performances from a number of stars. Here’s who performed during the finale:
- Academy Award nominee Cynthia Erivo was joined by the top 11 of the season to perform a medley of iconic Aretha Franklin songs.
- Grammy Winner Lauren Daigle was joined by the top five to perform her 3-times platinum hit “You Say.”
- Rascall Flats and fan-favorite contestant Doug Kiker performed “Bless the Broken Road.”
- American Idol judge Luke Bryan performed his newest single “One Margarita.”
- Idol judge Katy Perry performed her new single “Daisies” in its TV debut.
American Idol will return in the fall for season 19 overall and season 4 on ABC.