American Idol 2020 Finale Recap: Who Won American Idol 2020? The Winner is Revealed!

American Idol 2020 Finale Recap: Who Won American Idol 2020? The Winner is Revealed!

American Idol may be broadcasting remotely from locations all over the country, but that won't dull the shine of this star-studded finale. With guest performances by Rascal Flatts, Lauren Daigle, Cynthia Erivo, all three judges (Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie), and Idol alums including Ruben Studdard, Phillip Phillips, Lauren Alaina, Laine Hardy, Kellie Pickler, Katharine McPhee, Jordin Sparks, Gaby Barrett, Fantasia, Scotty McCreery, and 2019 runner-up Alejandro Aranda (aka Scarypoolparty), it's fair to say they pulled out all the stops. Who won American Idol 2020? Let's find out! 

To kick the episode off, we learn who made the Top 5 — in no particular order. Host Ryan Seacrest reveals that Dillon James, Jonny West, Arthur Gunn, Francisco Martin, and Just Sam have all made the cut. This means Louis Knight and Julia Gargano have been eliminated. And with that, voting has officially kicked off. The first song they've been asked to prepare is what they'd chose to sing once the pandemic is over.

Contestant: Dillon James
Song: "Change The World" by Eric Clapton
Judges' Comments: Katy says it was one of his best performances. Luke said it felt like the right song, the right key, and the right delivery. Lionel says his vocal performance was stellar.

Contestant: Francisco Martin
Song: "Adore You" by Harry Styles
Judges' Comments: Luke is proud he made Top 5 and enjoyed watching his confidence grow throughout his journey. Lionel says his stage presence is great. Katy says he deserves to be here and if Francisco can smile into a phone like that, imagine what he could do in front of a crowd.

Contestant: Just Sam
Song: "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" by Kelly Clarkson
Judges' Comments: Lionel said she gave them attitude and killed it. Katy says Sam will never have to sing on the subway again unless she wants to. Luke says she's a blessed singer and her performance showed why she's here.

Contestant: Arthur Gunn
Song: "I Don't Want To Be" by Gavin DeGraw
Judges' Comments: Katy says she can tell it's the finale based on that performance — he left it all on the living room floor. Luke loves that Arthur connected with the camera and then went into his own world. Lionel said it was a "drop the mic" moment.

Contestant: Jonny West
Song: "You Can't Keep A Good Man Down" by James & Bobby Purify
Judges' Comments: Lionel says Jonny can take any song, any style and make it his song. Luke says he navigates these songs like a seasoned performer. Katy says she was getting lost in his performance thinking about his future and what it'd be like to run into him backstage somewhere.

Next, the contestants will sing the songs that will become their first single should they win. They should be familiar as they're ones that have been key to them through their Idol journey. For this round, Ryan checks in with mentor Bobby Bones. He talks about how impressed he is with the final five and how far they've come and, before each singer performs, he gives a personal assessment on how they could become this year's winner.

Contestant: Dillon James
Song: "The Times They Are A-Changin'" by Bob Dylan
Judges' Comments: Lionel congratulates him for turning this Dylan classic into a signature song. Katy feels it's a more confident performance than when he did it in Hawaii. Luke agrees he had more confidence and showed more vocal skill than the last time.

Contestant: Franciso Martin
Song: "Alaska" by Maggie Rogers
Judges' Comments: Katy says it was an elevated performance and it sounded like it was professionally recorded in a studio. Luke says the sky is the limit for his career. Lionel commends how Francisco has applied all their notes and as he's delivered the goods on graduation day.

Contestant: Just Sam
Song: "Rise Up" by Andra Day
Judges' Comments: Luke is proud and calls out how much she's grown on every level. Lionel says, as far as he's concerned, she's won in life. Katy said she rose and that the world is what she wants to make it.

Contestant: Arthur Gunn
Song: "Have You Ever Seen The Rain" by Credence Clearwater Revival
Judges' Comments: Lionel says he's an absolute star. Katy says his performance was like a winning hand. Luke says he's nailed every aspect of American Idol.

Contestant: Jonny West
Song: "Makin' Love" (Original Song)
Judges' Comments: Katy says he's already thinking about the future and commends him on picking his original song. Luke called it "radio ready". Lionel says his songwriting talent is at a level that very few people possess.

jonnyNext we get the customary summary of memorable singers and moments from the journey to now, including Luke and Katy roller skating, a proposal, and the pivot to these at-home performances. Luke then introduces his new song "One Margarita", which he succinctly describes as a "drinking song".

One of the most memorable of contestants to make it to Hollywood Week, Douglas Kiker has returned for a performance with Rascal Flatts of "Bless The Broken Road". When Luke gave him the news of the duet over a video call, it inspired a very understandable cuss word of excitement from Doug.

In her initial audition, Just Sam started singing "You Say" by Lauren Daigle but couldn't quite finish it. So they wanted to give her the chance to finish it in the best way possible — as a duet with Lauren.

Next, we get the debut performance of Katy's new song, "Daisies", in the form of a visually rich artistic piece utilizing green screens to the fullest.Before we get to hear who our Top 2 contestants are, star of stage and screen Cynthia Erivo has joined forces with the Top 11 for a medley of hits from the legendary Aretha Franklin - "I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)", "Rock Steady", and "Chain of Fools".

After the nationwide vote, it's time for Ryan to announce the Top 2 finalists. The first person to make in is Arthur (who is greeted by a face full of confetti and hugs from his family). Just Sam, who is by herself in her Los Angeles apartment, is the other finalist. Before we can learn who wins…a commercial break!

While the lights can't dim, the tense music and long pauses are still here to fill the air. After a long beat, Ryan announces Just Sam as 2020's American Idol winner! Her grandmother is with her via a video call and Arthur's family celebrates them both.

To close out this very unique season, Lionel (who co-wrote the iconic song) joins forces with Idol alumni including Alejandro (aka Scarypoolparty), Fantasia Taylor, Gabby Barrett, Jordin Sparks, Katharine McPhee, Kellie Pickler, Laine Hardy, Lauren Alaina, Phillip Phillips, Ruben Studdard and Scotty McCreery and this year's Top 11` for a performance of "We Are The World".

And with that performance radiating love and togetherness, we end a very singular Idol season. With 2020's journey in the books, if you felt inspired to try your hand at 2021 or know someone who should, visit the Audition Page for more information!

Catch up on past episodes: Check out the recaps here and full episodes here.

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