American Idol 2022 Finale Results Live Blog – Winner Revealed!
The American Idol Top 3 finalists perform a Bruce Springsteen song and their original single hoping to earn America’s vote and the WIN on this American Idol season 20 finale.
The episode, one last time this season, is LIVE COAST-TO-COAST. That means the show will air simultaneously across ET/CT/MT/PT time zones. VOTING begins at 8 pm ET and ends after the last comercial break. At the end of the show, host Ryan Seacrest will announce the American Idol season 20 WINNER. Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan serve as judges.
Noah Thompson, HunterGirl and Leah Marlene hope to become the next American Idol. Go to ABC.com or the American Idol app to vote. Fans can also text their votes. Voting rules and text numbers at the link below:
Tonight’s 3 hour finale will be filled with special Top 10 duets, group numbers and more:
Who will win American Idol season 20?
The show opens with a performance taped on the roof of the Roosevelt Hotel with Flo Rida and the Top 10. There might be some lip syncing going on here. The drone flying around Flo is vertigo-inducing. Ryan ends the performance, joining the crew on the roof to utter the classic catch phrase, THIS is American Idol!
The judges enter the studio. Katy looks like a Christmas tree! OH. There was a COVID exposure in Carrie Underwood’s group. She won’t be able to perform tonight. SADS.
The Top 3 take the stage. VOTING IS OPEN RIGHT NOW. The person in third place will be eliminated half way through the show.
The first round is a Bruce Springsteen theme
A Springsteen theme unprecedented! Because he always said no. But now, since he sold his catalog to Sony, he doesn’t make that decision anymore.
Cover Me – She’s playing electric guitar tonight. I don’t love this song choice. At this point in the competition, every performance has to be exciting. It’s a great way to open the show. But it’s more like a Top 14 type performance? Not a song pick for when EVERYTHING is on the line.
The judges are on their feet. Which they probably will be all night. “What big boots you had to step into,” says Lionel, “You turned that into your song.” Katy calls it “Such a groove…you are the whole package.” She notes Leah’s growth. Luke mentions that Leah was backstage laying on the floor before the show. “That personality is why we love you.”
Dancing in the Dark – I don’t love this song choice either! Her stage presence is good though, she’s working the stage and hand touching audience members. Toward the end she adds some nice phrasing and ends on a lovely quiet note.
“This is your stage” says Katy. “I don’t think you’re a star, I think you are a super-nova.” Luke was in HunterGirl’s hometown, Winchester Tennessee over the weekend. Everyone is rooting for her, he says. Lionel adds, “You now own the stage…you now have a career.” Ryan mentions that she earned a platinum ticket.
I’m on Fire – Eh. Still not loving these Springsteen choices. I expected Noah to choose an emotional song. After all, this theme is made for him. This arrangement is a little too…jaunty. The song in Bruce’s hands is passionate. The longing and SENSUALITY is palpable. Not so much here. The vocal is solid, though.
Luke says he’s come a long way from the first audition. “You are the king of aw shucks” he jokes. “You look, you act and sound like yourself,” says Lionel. Katy call it her favorite Springsteen song. “I think you just swooped in and grabbed every heart in America…you are so humble.” she says.
Luke loved HunterGirl’s choice. Katy thinks everyone did fantastic. Lionel says song choice is everything. He also loved HunterGirl because “Dancing in the Dark” is his favorite Springsteen song.
On Tuesday, the Top 3 flew back to their hometowns for the traditional hometown visits. The next round will feature the contestant’s original song alongside an emotional clip of the visit.
Flowers by Leah Marlene – Leah’s hometown is Normal, Illinois. Leah confesses that she was shocked to make the Top 3. She did her first radio interview with dad at 8 years old. The kiddos made signs for her. Afterward, she stopped at Normal West High School. She hugs her music teacher, who has been like a second mom. “The whole town knows my name,” says Leah, who can barely comprehend it. Leah goes home and is very excited to see her dogs. Her dad and mom are SO PROUD. Thousands of people came out to see Leah downtown. It’s Leah Marlene day! There are THOUSANDS of people gathered to watch Leah perform.
Leah wrote this song about her struggles with mental health. Mid-tempo songs aren’t great choices, especially for a finale. But her rendition is very emotional. She has to check her tears at the end. Lionel compliments her songwriting ability. Katy is feeling it. She’s close to crying too. “I’m so blessed to be able to be here.” Katy feels like the show is making a difference. “You are a brilliant messenger.” Luke calls the song “tremendous,” he adds, “You have every right to those emotions.” Leah says to Ryan that she would not have believed it if you told her two years ago where she is now.
One Day Tonight – Noah headed home to Louisa, Kentucky. He vows to always be a small town kid. He stops by his old workplace to visit the guys before he heads home and finally sees his little boy Walker. It’s hard for him to be away. He’s walking now, which Noah missed. But he feels in the long run, the sacrifice will be worth it. His grandmother is so proud of Noah. Along the parade route, the town turned out. At the concert, Kamerone Marlow surprised him and the two performed together. The next morning, Noah is presented with a road sign. “Lawrence County home of Noah Thompson.” It’s very emotional. He has an emotional reunion with Arthur, the friend who signed him up.
Noah’s song is ready for radio. It’s super catchy, especially the sing-along-chorus. Noah sounds good on it. Whoever chose the single did good. So far, Noah hasn’t had an emotional vocal moment, though. Katy has pulled out a tissue. “God has a real sense of humor…you came from working the Ark…you are just about to do something big. There is a plan for you in your life.” Luke thinks the entire top 3 have grown. Luke calls him a good person. Lionel says his career will last forever when “people fall in love with you…you’re on to something fabulous.”
Redbird – HunterGirl headed back to Winchester, Tennessee. She’s overwhelmed when she sees fans waiting for her. The Mayor declares “HunterGirl Day.” The road to her house inspired her song “Redbird.” In her family, a red bird signifies that a departed relative is watching over her. She stops by to see the veteran group she works with. “You started asking the right questions,” one of her group says. It’s a very emotional moment. “Your voice matters,” says HunterGirl. “Hunter you changed us,” one of the group members says. It’s a tractor parade! Hunter performs at a beautiful marina. “I dreamed of days like this my entire life,” she says.
Hunter wrote the song with a couple of her songwriter friends, right around Hollywood Week. Like Noah’s song, this is a country song that would fit on the radio. I haven’t always been crazy about her song choices, but Hunter is a talented songwriter and that tone. Her tone is so beautiful. Luke named his farm “Red Bird Farm” for the same reason. The song got to him. “Those are the ones that stick,” he says. Lionel is impressed with her work with veterans. “Your heart is in the right place,” he says. Katy says, “This is not a karaoke competition.” she adds that music is therapy. “Stay open and vulnerable,” she advises.
Next, Top 7 contestant Jay Copeland performs a medley of hits with Earth Wind and Fire.. Jay joins them on “Boogie Down.” Jay was probably born in the wrong era. Ohh. “September.” Such a great song. Plus, it’s even more awesome because it’s live. Good stuff.
Next, it’s a look back at the season. RECAP TIME. Look at all these…