Season 18 of American Idol premiered on ABC on Sunday February 16, 2020 and ended on May 17, 2020. It is the show's third season to air on ABC.

Ryan Seacrest returned as host, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan returned as judges, and Bobby Bones returned as mentor.

This season was won by Just Sam, with Arthur Gunn finishing in second place.

Auditions[edit | edit source]

Main article: Season 18 Auditions

Twenty-two cities were visited by the Idol bus beginning with Nashville, Tennessee on June 7-8, 2019. Auditions could also be submitted via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Musical.ly.

Audition Cities[edit | edit source]

The following cities held auditions for Season 18, dates of the auditions are also shown.

  • Savannah, Georgia- September 30-October 1, 2019
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin - October 8-9, 2019
  • Washington, D.C. - October 14-15, 2019
  • Los Angeles, California - November 1-2, 2019
  • Sunriver, Oregon - November 7-8, 2019

Regional Auditions[edit | edit source]

During the live broadcast of the 2019 American Music Awards, three contestants who were eliminated from the competition in Season 16 and Season 17 were given a chance to return to the competition. The contestants were Logan Johnson, Shawn Robinson, and Layla Spring. The winner of the vote was revealed to be Layla Spring on the finale of Dancing with the Stars Season 28 on November 25, 2019. However, Layla Spring wasn't shown.

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 advanced.

While the majority of Hollywood Round is similar to that of previous seasons, for the first time ever, head-to-head duets were added.

Judgement Round[edit | edit source]

The first judgement round of Hollywood was known as "Line of Nine". Numerous groups of contestants lined up in sets of nine 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 duet rounds.

Duet Rounds[edit | edit source]

The duet rounds are the ultimate test of the stability and harmony of an artist within a duet. Like previous seasons, contestants were required to assemble into gender neutral duets of one or more. Those who failed to assemble a duet of one or more, were instantly disqualified due to the one person rule. Duets who gave a quality performance advanced on to the next round. However, duets or certain duet 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 Duet Rounds had to perform a solo in front of the judges. After the performances, 40 contestants were chosen to perform in front of a live audience for their Final Judgement.

Showcase Week[edit | edit source]

After the Top 40 performed in front of their first full audience, they met with the judges for their Final Judgement. Only 20 were able to advance to the next round while the rest were unfortunately cut from the season.

Top 20[edit | edit source]

After the Final Judgement, 20 contestants were chosen to move on to the semifinals.

Males:

Females:

This Is Me[edit | edit source]

Two special episodes explore the lives of the Top 20 finalists, featuring rehearsal footage of the contestants.

Semifinals[edit | edit source]

Main article: Top 20 (Season 18)

Production on the Top 20 rounds was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.[1] It resumed with an April 26 show with contestants and judges working from home.

Top 11[edit | edit source]

Main article: Top 11 (Season 18)

The following contestants advanced to the Top 11:

Males

Females

Semifinal Voting Rounds[edit | edit source]

On May 3, the eleven semifinalists competed for America's vote for their places in the Top 11. During the next day's live results, the eleven contestants who received the highest number of votes Knight, Gargano, Webb, Leer, West, Wackerman, Gunn, Sam, James, and Martin who advanced in the Finals while the eleven remaining singers who received the least amount of votes had to sing for one remaining spots to advance. Afterwards, the judges selected Phillips to complete the Top 11.

Top 11[edit | edit source]

Main article: Top 11 (Season 18)

The following contestants were Season 18's Top 11:

The Top 11 sang Homeware Bound songs, and then sang songs for their figures.

Top 7[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were Season 18's Top 7:

The Top 7 sang Disney songs, and then sang songs for their mother figures.

Finale[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were Season 18's Finale:

Results[edit | edit source]

Color key

Females Males Not Chosen Third place Runner-up Winner
Did Not Perform Public's Vote Judges' Save Immune Eliminated
Results per stage
Place Contestant Top 20 Top 11 Top 7 Finale
4/26 5/3 5/10 5/17
1 Just Sam Winner
2 Arthur Gunn 2nd place
3-5 Dillon James Eliminated
Francisco Martin
Jonny West
6-7 Julia Gargano Eliminated
Louis Knight
8-11 Sophia James Eliminated
Grace Leer
Makayla Phillips Saved
Jovin Webb
12-20 Faith Becnel Eliminated
Franklin Boone
Dewayne Crocker Jr.
Cyniah Elise
Kimmy Gabriela
Aliana Jester
Nick Merico
Lauren Spencer-Smith
Olivia Ximines

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Main article: Season 18/Gallery

Images[edit | edit source]

Video[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]


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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