'American Idol' Finalists Dropped A Bombshell Before Their Incredible Duet

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'American Idol' Finalists Dropped A Bombshell Before Their Incredible Duet


What a finale!

If you haven't been following American Idol this year, the show's first season on ABC has delivered plenty of surprises and memorable performances.

Before we round up some of our favorite moments from this year, you have to hear the duet that ended the season, and the twist that made it so moving.

The Final Two

American Idol

After weeks of surprising eliminations, 19-year-old Caleb Lee Hutchinson and 20-year-old Maddie Poppe were the season's final two performers.

In their last performances, both singers brought their A-game for duets with celebrity guests.

Poppe was joined by Kermit the Frog, for a moving take on his classic song "Rainbow Connection."

Later, Hutchinson has the crowd on their feet with a upbeat performance alongside country star Darius Rucker.

In the show's final 15 minutes, the audience was ready to hear who would take home the show's big prize of $250,000 and a recording contract.

But it turned out both Poppe and Hutchinson had already won something even more valuable.

A Duo For A Duet

The pair were joined onstage by Ryan Seacrest, who introduced their final song, a medley of "Over The Rainbow" and "What A Wonderful World."

American Idol

But when the host asked if there was a special significance behind the song, Hutchinson dropped a bombshell on us.

"Maddie's like my best pal and I've known her since the beginning of Hollywood Week, and you know, she actually happens to be my girlfriend," he revealed.

The crowd - and the judges - went ballistic when they heard the news.

It was a first for Idol, and it made Poppe and Hutchinson's performance of the classic songs even more special.

But there were even more surprises in store, as Seacrest revealed the couple were being sent on a Hawaiian vacation to Disney's Aulani resort.

It was such a sweet moment, but we all knew only one person could take home the big prize.

Second Time's The Charm

American Idol

When Seacrest revealed the season's winner at the end of the special, it was Poppe who came out on top.

The win was especially meaningful for the folk singer, because she competed on The Voice in 2016, but was eliminated.

"I think every musician has to be told no before something really big happens for them," she told the Waverly Newspapers.

The Voice
Poppe on 'The Voice.'NBC

"I really think I needed to go through that experience because... it tested my determination [and] my perseverance."

But it took more than just determination for Poppe to win the competition.

All season long, she won over the audience with her performances of hits by Simon and Garfunkel, the Beach Boys, and Sinead O'Connor.

She also performed her own original song, "Don't Ever Let Your Children Grow Up," which quickly became a crowd-favorite.

Thankfully, Hutchinson took his loss in stride, jumping on social media to congratulate his sweetheart:


"No one deserved it more than you babe. I am honored to know you and even more honored to call you mine."

A Season Full Of Hits

American Idol

Compared to past seasons, this year's Top 10 was chock-full of incredible talent.

Jurnee and Nick Jonas teamed up for a steamy performance of "Jealous," while Gary Clark Jr., Cade Foehner and Dennis Lorenzo rocked the house with "Bright Lights."

Catie Turner, the quirky singer who was knocked out of the competition in sixth place, made a big impression on Idol fans.

Katy Perry promised to perform a duet with her, and kept her word, inviting her back for the finale. Their duet of Perry's hit "Part Of Me" proves Turner deserved to make it to the top five - at least.

This year's youngest breakout star was Layla Spring, a 16-year-old who impressed the judges by singing a LeAnn Rimes song at her audition.

American Idol

Spring - and her little sister Dyxie - were invited for a repeat performance in the finale, and were joined halfway through by Rimes herself!

The stunned pair struggled to finish the performance with Rimes, and capped it off with a big hug.

Jury's Out On The Judges

American Idol

While fans have enjoyed the great performances this season brought, the votes are still out on this season's lineup of judges.

Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan all fired up the crowd when they took to the stage with contestants.

But behind the judging table, the three musicians never really meshed with one another.

Add in Katy Perry's embarrassing interactions with contestants during the auditions, and you can see why some fans are hoping for casting changes next season.

Steven Tyler, who judged seasons 10 and 11, was quick to critique his replacements:

American Idol

"I thought that what [me, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson] had was very special.

I thought sitting next to J.Lo, some of the things I would say to the girls that walked in with these push-up bras and lips, and I would say things that were totally inappropriate. And this side of me where she sat, black and blue. Because I was right, and it was funny..."

While Tyler admits he loves the new judges "in their own way," he also says he would be willing to come back next season - if the price is right.

What did you think of Idol's latest season? Were you rooting for Poppe?

If you're feeling nostalgic, catch up with the show's 15 most memorable contestants.

And find out why the original Idol winner, Kelly Clarkson, didn't want to get first place.

[H/T: ET Online, Vulture]

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