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'American Idol' to end with a three-night, star-studded finale event


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/29/2016 

American Idol's farewell season will go out with a big bang, paying tribute to 15 seasons on the air and everyone who has been affected by the long-running reality singing competition.

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Fox has announced the fifteenth season of American Idol will wrap up with a three-night event beginning next week on Tuesday, April 5. Following a special "retrospective" episode, Idol will showcase a two-night grand finale live from the Dolby Theatre on Wednesday, April 6 and Thursday, April 7.

The special April 5 broadcast, dubbed American Idol: American Dream, will air at 8PM ET/PT and feature a 90-minute look back at the franchise's memorable 14 years on the air.

Next Tuesday, host Ryan Seacrest, current and former judges of the show, Idol winners and former contestants, and the behind-the-scenes crew will share personal stories about what American Idol means to them. Original judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson will also reveal how the series came to be when it debuted back in 2002.

The following night, American Idol's Season 15 finalists will battle it out live from 8-9PM ET/PT, and home viewers will vote for the franchise's last "American Idol" ever. La'Porsha Renae, Trent Harmon, Mackenzie Bourg and Dalton Rappatoni are still in the running to win, however, there will be another round of elimination voting this week before next week's three-night event.

And then on April 7, American Idol will come to an end with a star-studded grand finale full of surprise appearances and performances from 8-10PM ET/PT on Fox.

Season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson and Season 4 champion Carrie Underwood will both return to the Idol stage and perform in addition to previous winners Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee Dewyze, Scotty McCreery, Candice Glover, Caleb Johnson, Nick Fradiani.

The only person noticeably missing from the lineup of past Idol winners is Phillip Phillips from Season 11.

Former contestants who will participate in Thursday night's grand finale include Ace Young, Allison Iraheta, Amber Holcomb, Blake Lewis, Bo Bice, Brandon Rogers, Bucky Covington, Carly Smithson, Casey James, Chris Daughtry, Clark Beckham, Clay Aiken, Colton Dixon, Constantine Maroulis, and Danny Gokey.

The finale will also feature former contestants Diana Degarmo, Elliott Yamin, George Huff, James Durbin, Jessica SanchezJosh Gracin, Joshua Ledet, Justin Guarini, Katharine McPhee, Kellie Pickler, Kimberley Locke, Kree Harrison, LaToya London, Lauren Alaina, Melinda Doolittle, Pia Toscano, Sanjaya Malakar, Skylar Laine, and Tamyra Gray.


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