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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 15

'American Idol' farewell finale to feature Brian Dunkleman and William Hung

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/07/2016 

American Idol's farewell finale on will include a couple of more surprises for viewers.

In addition to former American Idol winners, finalists and judges returning, the show's Season 15 finale on Thursday night will also feature the return of Brian Dunkleman and William Hung, according to TMZ.

Dunkleman co-hosted Idol's very first season in Summer 2002 with Ryan Seacrest but then quit. However, reports circulated at the time Fox executives were largely indifferent to the prospect of Dunkleman returning for Season 2.

"The truth is I really left the show to pursue an acting career. I wanted to be a performer and not someone who introduces other performers. It was my decision," Dunkleman told Inside Edition four years later in his first television interview after leaving the show.

Dunkleman acknowledged his "decision" to leave Idol was probably a mistake.

"I'm not saying it was a good decision because, obviously with the success of the show, it's a difficult decision to think back on and think I did the right thing," added Dunkleman, who was working as a standup comedian at the time.

"To see that it's going to run for the next 30 years, obviously it's really tough not to second guess but I'm actually watching the show for the first time since Season Two."

Meanwhile, Hung had a memorable audition on the third season of American Idol back in 2003 when he sang "She Bangs" by Ricky Martin. His performance got completely panned by the show's original judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.

"You can't sing, you can't dance. So what are you going to say?" Cowell asked Hung after he sang.

"Um, I already gave my best and I have no regrets at all," Hung replied. "I have no professional training in singing or dancing."

"No? Well, there's the surprise of the century!" Cowell quipped.

However, Hung's terrible audition brought him overnight celebrity status, from talk show appearances to commercial opportunities. He ended up recording three albums and selling about 200,000 copies.

After Trent Harmon, La'Porsha Renae and Dalton Rapattoni duke it out Wednesday night, American Idol's two-hour grand finale will air on Thursday night at 8PM ET/PT on Fox.

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