'American Idol' Crowns Season 16 victor

Kevork Djansezian  Getty Images

The first night of ABC's "American Idol" finale aired on Monday, May 20.

The two-hour finale packed performances from the judges, a slew of stars and, of course, the three remaining contestants, Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Gabby Barrett and Maddie Poppe. Voting takes place overnight until Monday at 9 am ET.

Barrett was the first to be eliminated as voting results from overnight were read by host Ryan Seacrest, leaving Hutchinson and Poppe to sweat it out for almost an hour before the final victor was announced, but they did drop the bombshell that they are dating and performed a duet of "Over the Rainbow" together. Judge Katy Perry loved the song, though she felt like it was one of his weakest performances.

Gabby Barrett was up next, singing her gospel-and-soul inflected single "Rivers Deep". He gushed that it was the best version he'd ever heard.

"That was insane. I was like, 'Oh my gosh.' I had no idea he was coming, that was such an honor". Lionel complimented him on his voice. I'm just so happy, so on top of the world, that I can't even believe that this is my life. I was at college and kind of struggling, not knowing what to do, kind of settling for something I didn't really want to do, writing songs when I needed to be paying attention in class, you know? The second round of the night had each contestant revisit a song they performed earlier in the season and everyone got a great reminder of why these are the American Idol Top 3.

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Judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie all but surrendered their talk time to Perry, with Bryan offering just a few words of summary.

Poppe said, "I am not nervous anymore".

"I honestly wish we had a couple more weeks of the competition. We really weren't comfortable with these songs and it was rough". The singer with the highest total number of votes will be declared as American Idol Season 16 grand victor. Also to be fair I was watching it on a screen, so I saw what America was seeing, I don't know what it sounded like in the room.

Richie stressed the importance of song writing, "Well that's everything". "I mean. what do you tell somebody?"


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