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American Idol 2022 updates — Maddie Poppe & Grace Kinstler stun fans with emotional comeback performance on reunion show

American Idol 2022: What time is it on and how can I watch?
Who are the American Idol judges 2022?
When was American Idol 2022 filmed?
Who is Laine Hardy?

MADDIE Poppe and Grace Kinstler returned to American Idol tonight for a special episode.

The singing competition show is celebrated 20 years with The Great Idol Reunion.

Alumni like Jordin Sparks, David Cook, and Kris Allen returned to perform jaw-dropping duets for judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie.

This comes a day after Ryan Seacrest announced that the top seven singers left are Leah Marlene, Jay, Noah Thompson, Fritz Hager HunterGirl, Nicolina, and Christian Guardino.

Sunday was Disney night, and while Katy Perry dressed the part, the top 10 remaining contestants sang their favorite Disney song.

Other performers competing in Sunday's episode included Emyrson Flora, Mike Parker, Jay Copeland, Nicolina, HunterGirl, Noah Thompson, Leah Marlene, Christian Guardino, and Fritz Hager.

Fans of Idol can watch the show every Sunday on ABC at 8pm ET.

Read our American Idol live blog for the latest news and updates...

  • Forrest McFarland

    How much does it cost to audition?

    It costs nothing to audition for American Idol, provided hopefuls meet the show’s eligibility requirements, and cover their own costs of travel and accommodation.

    You must be between 15 and 28 years old at your audition time and you must also be a legal US resident and not have competed in the Top 10 of a previous season.

  • Forrest McFarland

    Where was American Idol 2022 filmed? continued 

    The new showrunner, Megan Michaels Wolflick, told Deadline in an interview: “now we’re going to the biggest music cities in America, we’re able to go out again. We’re able to go to the places that make this show sing.” 

    However, due to the ongoing pandemic, the first round of auditions for the 2022 season took place virtually through Zoom.

    They resumed in-person from October 2021 with health and safety protocols in mind.

  • Forrest McFarland

    Where was American Idol 2022 filmed? 

    Unlike season 18, which was virtual and season 19, which was filmed in California, American Idol’s season 20 took its time to visit some of the trending capitals in America:

    • Los Angeles, California
    • Nashville, Tennessee
    • Austin, Texas
    • Disney Aulani, Hawaii
  • Forrest McFarland

    Who is Randy Jackson?

    Randy Jackson, 65, is an American bassist, television personality, record producer, and music manager.

    Born on June 23, 1956, Jackson is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

    Jackson attended the Southern University, where he studied music.

    He’s also worked as an executive producer for the competitive dance reality TV show America’s Best Dance Crew.

    Jackson was a featured judge on American Idol from 2002 to 2014.

    He will return to the show tonight during a special appearance with fellow former judge Paula Abdul.

  • Forrest McFarland

    Who is Paula Abdul?

    After her successful singing and cheerleading careers, Paula Abdul became one of the three feature judges on Fox’s American Idol in 2002.

    Abdul served as the soft and compassionate voice opposite to the grueling Simon Cowell.

    Abdul stayed on the massively popular show for 9 seasons, where it was reported she made over five million dollars a season.

    The former judge will return to the show on tonight’s episode.

  • Forrest McFarland

    Who is David Cook?

    David Cook won the seventh season of Idol, beating David Archuleta, the runner-up. 

    After winning the show, he released his debut single The Time of My Life, which went platinum.

    After initial success, Cook became an independent artist and started creating more pop-style music.

  • Forrest McFarland

    Who is Kris Allen?

    Kris Allen was pitted against Adam Lambert in American Idol’s tight 2009 final.

    Allen ultimately triumphed, but to much controversy. Some even suspected the competition of being rigged.

    Allen has put out two albums since but was in a car accident that shattered his wrist in 2013, meaning he had to relearn to play the guitar.

    He will be performing with 2008 winner David Cook.

  • Forrest McFarland

    Who is Scotty McCreery?

    Scotty McCreery won American Idol in 2011 at just 17 years old.

    His debut album, Clear As Day, went platinum upon its release in October 2011.

    He has since released three more studio albums and has penned his own book, Go Big or Go Home: The Journey Toward the Dream, which detailed his rise to stardom.

    The country singer will perform in tonight’s episode with his season’s runner-up, Lauren Alaina.

  • Forrest McFarland

    Who is Maddie Poppe?

    Folk singer Maddie Poppe was the season 16 winner of American Idol in 2018.

    She beat runners up Caleb Lee Hutchinson and Gabby Barrett. In a shock twist, Hutchinson revealed that he and Poppe were dating during the results show.

    She released her first studio album, Whirlwind, with Hollywood Records in 2019.

    The singer will be performing tonight with Hutchinson.

  • Forrest McFarland

    Who is Ruben Studdard?

    Ruben Studdard won American Idol in its second season.

    Studdard shot to fame for his incredible R&B and gospel performances on American Idol 2003.

    Studdard received a Grammy Award nomination in 2003 for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for his recording of Superstar – and has since released seven studio albums.

    He has also tried his hand at acting, starring as Fats Waller in a national tour revival of Ain’t Misbehavin’.

    He will be performing in a duo tonight with Jordin Sparks.

  • Forrest McFarland

    Who is Grace Kinstler?

    Grace Kinstler is from Lakewood, Illinois. During her time on the show, Kinstler was a college student at the Berkley College of Music located in Boston, Massachusetts.

    The 20-year-old singer made judge Luke Bryan cry during her audition in February of 2021, where he compared her to former Idol contestants Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson.

    Prior to her coming on the show, Kinstler revealed that she lost her father back in 2020. She made it to the top 24 after performing Demi Lovato’s song “Father” in honor of her dad.

    Kinstler will be returning to the show tonight to sing a duet with Willie Spence.

  • Forrest McFarland

    Who is Jordin Sparks?

    Jordin Sparks made her debut on the idol stage in season 6 of the series in 2007.

    At the time she became the youngest winner in the series’ history at age 17.

    Since her time on American Idol, the Grammy-nominated singer has released over six studio albums.

    Sparks returned to American Idol already this season on March 28’s episode as a mentor.

  • Forrest McFarland

    Top 7: Noah Thompson

    Noah Thompson, 19, is a construction worker from Kentucky and was pushed to audition for American Idol by a co-worker.

    His affinity for music started at a young age when his dad bought him his first guitar and gave him lessons.

    Thompson told Hollywood Life that it was his dad who wanted him to “be in music,” but as his dad taught him to play his first chords, his love for music grew.

    It was his dad’s dream as well that Thompson would make it in the music industry, and Thompson said, “Kind of the whole point of me being here, for my dad. I wanted to do it almost for the both of us. 

    On April 25, Thompson wowed the judges with a rendition of Ben E. King’s song, Stand With Me.

  • Forrest McFarland

    Top 7: Nicolina Bozzo

    Nicolina is 18 years old and from Toronto, Canada.

    She is a university student and has said that she is used to performing with her family.

    The star has an impressive TikTok following of over 258,000 followers.

    For her original audition, she sang She Used To Be Mine by Sara Bareilles, which earned her a golden ticket, and a standing ovation from the judges.

  • Forrest McFarland

    Top 7: Leah Marlene

    Leah Marlene sticks out this season for having soulful sound, obvious songwriting talent, and a funny personality.

    The quirky musician, 20, is from Normal, Illinois.

    Leah’s dad is Derry Grehan from Canadian rock band Honeymoon Suite.

    The singer said she was channelling her father as she performed for the judges.

    Leah told American Idol: “My whole childhood, my life was just filled with guitars and amp.

    “He was a freaking rock star and last night my dad was there and it was just like a full circle moment. It was so cool.”

  • Forrest McFarland

    Top 7: Jay Copeland

    Jay Copeland is a 23-year-old musician from Salisbury, Maryland.

    He graduated from college two years ago, majoring in music.

    During his audition, he revealed he was on a fellowship to go to graduate school for acting but dropped out after he was told he had to choose between acting and music.

    After singing a Stevie Wonder song in his audition, Jay received a platinum ticket.

  • Forrest McFarland

    Top 7: HunterGirl

    HunterGirl is the first platinum ticket winner of American Idol.

    The 23-year-old country singer is from Winchester, Tennessee, and her real name is Hunter Wolkonowski.

    When she’s not focusing on her own music, HunterGirl works with veterans in music therapy.

    She graduated from Middle Tennesse State University.

  • Forrest McFarland

    Top 7: Fritz Hager

    Fritz Hager III, 17, is from Tyler, Texas.

    Last week, the judges gave Fritz three song options with each judge selecting a song for him to perform.

    Katy Perry selected God Only Knows by the Beach Boys, and Lionel Richie gave him the option of Perfect by Ed Sheeran.

    Hager ultimately chose Luke Bryan’s option of Wonderwall by Oasis and said he was thrilled when he heard he could perform it.

    After his performance, Bryan said he chose the song as a curveball, and his inspiration to provide it as an option came from hearing Hager prepare with his band during a soundcheck in Las Vegas.

  • Forrest McFarland

    Top 7: Christian Guardino

    Christian Guardino, 21, joined American Idol for its 20th season and has made an impact on the judges for his resounding voice and his ability to overcome the setbacks and struggles he has encountered throughout his life.

    Originally from Long Island, New York, Christian was born legally blind.

    He was diagnosed with a rare genetic eye disorder, Leber Congenital Amaurosis, which affects the retina, impairing the individual’s vision.

    His remaining vision continued to deteriorate as he got older, but when he reached his teenage years, Guardino participated in a gene therapy trial.

    The trial was successful and restored his eyesight to about 80 percent.

  • Forrest McFarland

    What happened to Kenedi Anderson?

    At the beginning of the season, Kenedi Anderson made history by earning the show’s first platinum ticket, which allows contestants to bypass the first round of Hollywood Week.

    Despite being one of the season’s frontrunners, she shocked fans when it was announced on April 11’s episode that she withdrew from the competition for “personal reasons.”

    The rising star then took to social media, where she confirmed the news.

    She wrote in an Instagram post: “For personal reasons, I’m unable to continue on American Idol.

    “This has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, but I know it’s necessary.”

  • Forrest McFarland

    Celebrating 20 years

    The famed singing competition returned for its 20th season this year, with a few changes.

    American Idol first premiered in 2002, and host Ryan Seacrest was celebrated during this season’s premiere for being involved with the show for its 20 years.

  • Forrest McFarland

    Was American Idol canceled?

    The singing competition series ran for 15 seasons on FOX before it was canceled in 2016, TV Series Finale said.

    However, ABC revived the show in 2018 and brought back host Ryan Seacrest.

    This season, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan all returned to judge the show with Bobby Bones not returning due to conflicting commitments.

  • Forrest McFarland

    Who are the judges? 

    Judges Lionel RichieKaty Perry, and Luke Bryan have returned as American Idol judges this season, and executive producer and showrunner Megan Wolflick said they are thrilled to welcome them back.

    “The chemistry and passion Katy, Luke, Lionel, and Ryan bring is second to none. We couldn’t be more ecstatic that they are returning for this iconic 20th season in search of the freshest new talent that this nation has to offer.”

  • Forrest McFarland

    When did American Idol begin?

    Created by Simon Fuller, the reality competition series American Idol first premiered on Fox back on June 11, 2002.

  • Forrest McFarland

    When do contestants rehearse?

    Unfortunately, contestants on American Idol do not get to relax on the weekends.

    Saturdays and Sundays tend to be even busier than the weekdays, as contestants are required to do intense rehearsals.

    In addition to the weekend rehearsals and sessions with vocal coaches, contestants still do three rehearsals on the day they are slated to perform.