Season 16 of American Idol premiered on ABC on Sunday March 11, 2018 and ended on May 21, 2018. The announcement of the show returning was announced on Good Morning America on May 9, 2017. It is the show's first season to air on ABC. Ryan Seacrest returned as the host. Singer-songwriter Katy Perry, country music superstar Luke Bryan, and Grammy Award-winning musician Lionel Richie joined the show as judges. iHeartRadio radio personality Bobby Bones was the in-house mentor to the top 24 this season.

This season was won by twenty-year-old Iowa singer-songwriter Maddie Poppe.

Auditions[edit | edit source]

The auditions for ABC's revival season began two bus tours in 22 cities. Those who passed their first audition would go in front of the producers where they would be selected to appear before the judges in different cities.

Audition Cities[edit | edit source]

The following cities held auditions for Season 16, dates of the auditions are also shown.

Second Chance Auditions[edit | edit source]

During the live broadcast of the 2017 American Music Awards, three contestants who did not pass the audition in front of the judges were given one more chance to allow the public to vote for them. The three candidates were Maris, Britney Holmes and Dominique Smith. The winner of the golden ticket to Hollywood was then revealed the following night on an episode of Dancing with the Stars. Lionel Richie appeared in the show announcing that the public vote was in favor of Britney Holmes, a 28-year-old vocal coach from Texas, who headed to Hollywood as the first declared semifinalist of the season.

Hollywood Week[edit | edit source]

During Hollywood Week, the contestants must perform in front of the judges in hopes of advancing to the next round. These rounds consist of numerous cuts while the contestants perform in solos and in groups. Only the best contestants will advance.

Judgement Round[edit | edit source]

The first judgement round of Hollywood was known as "Lines of Ten". Numerous groups of contestants lined up in sets of ten to perform a song individually. After a line performed, the judges chose the best to advance on while others were cut from the competition. Those who advanced moved on to the group rounds.

Group Rounds[edit | edit source]

The group rounds are the ultimate test of the stability and harmony of an artist within a group. Like previous seasons, contestants were required to assemble into gender neutral groups of three or more. Those who failed to assemble a group of three or more, were instantly disqualified due to the three person rule. Groups who gave a quality performance advanced on to the next round. However, groups or certain group members that didn't perform to a good enough extent were cut from the competition.

Solo Round[edit | edit source]

Those who advanced passed the Group Rounds had to perform a solo in front of the judges. After the performances, 50 contestants were chosen to perform in front of a live audience for their Final Judgement.

Showcase Week[edit | edit source]

After the Top 51 performed in front of their first full audience, they met with the judges for their Final Judgement. Only 24 were able to advance to the next round while the rest were unfortunately cut from the season.

Top 24[edit | edit source]

After the Final Judgement, 24 contestants were chosen to move on to the Semifinals.

Males:

Jonny Brenns Ron Bultongez Brandon Diaz Dominique Marcio Donaldson Cade Foehner
Caleb Lee Hutchinson Garrett Jacobs Dennis Lorenzo Trevor McBane Ada Vox Michael J. Woodard

Females:

Gabby Barrett Amelia Hammer Harris Jurnee Mara Justine Kay Kay Shannon O'Hara
Effie Passero Maddie Poppe Alyssa Raghu Layla Spring Michelle Sussett Catie Turner

Semifinals[edit | edit source]

During the Semifinals of Season 16, the Top 24 performed in solos and in duets with Idol Alumni. The Top 24 was split into two groups, one group performing one week and the other the following week. After the combination of solos and duets were performed within a group, the judges handpicked only seven out of the twelve to continue to the next round of competition. The remaining five contestants were cut from the season. By the end of the the Top 24's performances, the Top 14 were revealed.

Celebrity Duets[edit | edit source]

Instead of Idol alumni since Season 15, celebrity singers were chosen as duet partners for the Top 24 contestants. Aloe Blacc, Bishop Briggs, Luis Fonsi, Andy Grammer, Patrick Monahan, Allen Stone, and Sugarland for the first group while Banners, Colbie Caillat, Cam, Lea Michele, Rachel Platten, Bebe Rexha, and Allen Stone were assigned for the second group.

Top 14[edit | edit source]

The following contestants advanced on to the Top 14:

Males

Females

Semifinal Voting Rounds[edit | edit source]

On March 22, the fourteen semifinalists competed for America's vote for their places in the Top 10. During the next day's live results, the six contestants who received the highest amount of votes were Poppe, Foehner, Barrett, Hutchinson, Woodard and Turner, who advanced in the Finals while the eight remaining singers who received the least amount of votes had to sing for four remaining spots to advance. Afterwards, the judges selected Vox, Jurnee, Sussett and Lorenzo to complete the Top 10.

Top 10[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were Season 16's Top 10:

The Finalists (left to right): Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Dennis Lorenzo, Maddie Poppe, Michael J. Woodard, Jurnee, Catie Turner, Cade Foehner, Gabby Barrett, Michelle Sussett & Ada Vox

Finals[edit | edit source]

Top 10 perform[edit | edit source]


During this season's live shows, each performance offered real-time voting before the end of the show until the Finale on March 21. In the first round of the Finals, the contestants performed songs from the Disney films. The first three finalists were eliminated after the performances.

Eliminated Contestants[edit | edit source]

Ada-vox-20032855.jpeg

Ada Vox was one of the first three finalists to be eliminated on April 28, 2018 bringing the total down to 7 remaining contestants.

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Michelle Sussett was one of the first three finalists to be eliminated on April 28, 2018 bringing the total down to 7 remaining contestants.

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Dennis Lorenzo was one of the first three finalists to be eliminated on April 28, 2018 bringing the total down to 7 remaining contestants.

Top 7[edit | edit source]

The following contestants advanced on to the Top 7:

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order:

  • Maddie Poppe - "The Bare Necessities" by Phil Harris and Bruce Reitherman
  • Jurnee - "How Far I'll Go" by Auliʻi Cravalho
  • Cade Foehner - "Kiss the Girl" by Samuel E. Wright
  • Ada Vox - "Circle of Life" by Elton John
  • Michelle Sussett - "Remember Me" by Benjamin Bratt, Gael García Bernal, Anthony Gonzalez, and Ana Ofelia Murguía.
  • Gabby Barrett - "Colors of the Wind" by Judy Kuhn
  • Michael J. Woodard - "Beauty and the Beast" by Angela Lansbury
  • Caleb Lee Hutchinson - "You've Got a Friend in Me" by Randy Newman and Lyle Lovett
  • Catie Turner - "Once Upon a Dream" by Mary Costa and Bill Shirley
  • Dennis Lorenzo - "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" by Elton John

Group Performance:

  • Group performance: "When You Wish Upon a Star" with Katy Perry

Top 7 perform[edit | edit source]


The seven finalists who survived the first live show participated for the Idol Tour 2018. During this round of the Finals, the contestants performed songs written by Prince and from the year they were born. Afterwards, two contestants were eliminated at the end of the program.

Eliminated Contestants[edit | edit source]

Catie-turner-20032858.jpeg

Catie Turner was one of the two contestants eliminated on May 6, 2018 bringing the total down to 5 remaining contestants.

Jurnee-20032863.jpeg

Jurnee was one of the two contestants eliminated on May 6, 2018 bringing the total down to 5 remaining contestants.

Top 5[edit | edit source]

The following contestants advanced on to the Top 5:

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order:

Top 5 perform[edit | edit source]


During this round of the Finals, the contestants performed songs from the Carrie Underwood Songbook and a dedication performance to their respective mothers. For the first time after fifteen seasons, the surviving three contestants competed in the Finale on May 20, 2018.

Eliminated Contestants[edit | edit source]

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Michael J. Woodard was one of the two contestants eliminated on May 13, 2018 bringing the total down to 3 remaining contestants.

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Cade Foehner was one of the two contestants eliminated on May 13, 2018 bringing the total down to 3 remaining contestants.

Top 3[edit | edit source]

The following contestants advanced on to the Top 3:

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order:

Group Performance:

Top 3 perform[edit | edit source]


In the Finale, the final three contestants performed their winner's single, a reprise of their favorite performance and a dedication to their respective hometowns. During the final results, the contestant who finished in third place was revealed midway of the program followed by the announcement of the winner at the end of the show.

Third place[edit | edit source]

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Gabby Barrett finished in third place on May 21, 2018.

Runner-Up[edit | edit source]

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Caleb Lee Hutchinson was announced as the Runner-Up on May 21, 2018.

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order:

Winner[edit | edit source]

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Maddie Poppe was declared the winner of first revival season of American Idol on May 21, 2018.

Guest Performances[edit | edit source]

  • Carrie Underwood - "Cry Pretty" (May 13, 2018)
  • Lionel Richie with the Top 10 - "All Night Long" (May 21, 2018)
  • Nick Jonas & Mustard - "Anywhere" (May 21, 2018)
  • Luke Bryan - "Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset" (May 21, 2018)
  • Kermit the Frog & Maddie Poppe - "Rainbow Connection" (May 21, 2018)
  • Maddie Poppe - "Going Going Gone" (May 21, 2018)

Notable Past Contestants[edit | edit source]

  • Skylar Dayne, who was cut in Hollywood week, later tried out for the Fox singing competition show The Four: Battle for Stardom, where she was eliminated in the show's second week.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

Season 16
Finalists
Maddie Poppe ·Caleb Lee Hutchinson ·Gabby Barrett ·Cade Foehner ·Michael J. Woodard ·Jurnee ·Catie Turner ·Dennis Lorenzo ·Michelle Sussett ·Ada Vox ·Jonny Brenns ·Marcio Donaldson ·Garrett Jacobs ·Mara Justine
Semifinalists
Ron Bultongez ·Amelia Hammer Harris ·Shannon O'Hara ·Effie Passero ·Alyssa Raghu ·Brandon Diaz ·Dominique ·Kay Kay ·Trevor McBane ·Layla Spring
American Idol
Seasons
1  · 2  · 3  · 4 · 5  · 6  · 7  · 8  · 9  · 10  · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19
Judges
Simon Cowell (Seasons 1-9)  · Paula Abdul (Seasons 1-8) · Randy Jackson (Seasons 1-12) · Kara DioGuardi (Seasons 8-9) · Ellen DeGeneres (Season 9) · Steven Tyler (Seasons 10-11)  · Nicki Minaj (Season 12)  · Mariah Carey (Season 12) · Jennifer Lopez (Seasons 10-11,13-15)  · Keith Urban (Seasons 12-15)  · Harry Connick, Jr. (Seasons 13-15)  · Katy Perry (Seasons 16-)  · Luke Bryan (Seasons 16-)  · Lionel Richie (Seasons 16-)
Hosts
Ryan Seacrest (Seasons 1-16) · Brian Dunkleman (Season 1)
Winners
Kelly Clarkson · Ruben Studdard · Fantasia Barrino · Carrie Underwood · Taylor Hicks · Jordin Sparks · David Cook · Kris Allen · Lee DeWyze · Scotty McCreery · Phillip Phillips · Candice Glover · Caleb Johnson · Nick Fradiani · Trent Harmon · Maddie Poppe · Laine Hardy · Just Sam
Runners-up
Justin Guarini · Clay Aiken · Diana DeGarmo · Bo Bice · Katharine McPhee · Blake Lewis · David Archuleta · Adam Lambert · Crystal Bowersox · Lauren Alaina · Jessica Sanchez · Kree Harrison · Jena Irene · Clark Beckham · La'Porsha Renae · Caleb Lee Hutchinson · Alejandro Aranda · Arthur Gunn
Coronation Songs
"A Moment Like This" · "Flying Without Wings" · "I Believe" · "Inside Your Heaven" · "Do I Make You Proud" · "This Is My Now" · "The Time of My Life" · "No Boundaries" · "Beautiful Day" · "I Love You This Big" · "Home" · "I Am Beautiful" · "As Long As You Love Me" · "Beautiful Life" · "Falling" · "Going Going Gone" · "Flame"
Spin-offs
From Justin to Kelly · Juniors · Christmas
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