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David Bowie Tribute; Over 50 Past Finalists & More Set for Tonight's Emotional AMERICAN IDOL Finale

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, who was responsible for bringing the UK's 'Pop Idol' to America back in 2002, reveals details about tonight's Series Finale, airing at 8/7c on FOX.

[Spoiler Alert: Details about the finale appearances and songs are revealed below!]

"There was this little thing that went out in the press called "white guys with guitars," WGWG," teases Lythgoe, who helms tonight's show. "So I put them all together, with their guitars, all doing this incredible Bowie tribute medley. It's Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, Phillip Phillips, David Cook and Nick Fradiani. And nowhere else can you get five American Idols together in one room. And I promise you, if they went out on tour, and each did 20 minutes in their own right and 20 minutes together, this is a sell-out tour, they're so good together. The WGWG tour."

Lythgoe reveals that the opening number for tonight's grand finale will be a song written by music legend Barry Manilow. He explains, "There is something very special that precedes the opening number. When I saw it, it was inspiring to me. Back around season two, we did a Barry Manilow song called "One Voice" as a group number, so I thought how wonderful would that be to do a new arrangement where it starts with one person, then the kids who are in the top 2 and the top 3 ... until the stage is full of more than 50 American Idols. And it's chilling. I think within the first four minutes of the show people are gonna be in tears."

Take a look back at the IDOLS who
made it to Broadway HERE

With 140 finalists who have competed on the show, the exec says it was very hard to chose who would be asked to participate on the Finale. "It was exceptionally tough because people are chosen for their personalities as well as their vocal ability and we had such a short time to put it together. I wanted to bring out the stars people remember, which includes someone like Sanjaya. And for the medleys by genres, I wanted the best singers that I could get in those areas. So that is how we did it. Then lots of people had to drop out at the last minute. We lost one of our country kids, Josh Gracin, through a family bereavement, and thank goodness CONSTANTINE Maroulis stepped in as a country boy. David Archuleta was unavailable, and then he called up two days ago and said he could come and be in the opening."

While it will no doubt be an emotional evening, Lythgoe reveals it may not be the last we see of AMERICAN IDOL.
"I don't believe that this is the end," he begins. "I believe there will be another incarnation for American Idol. And I think it's wonderful that it's taking a rest in order to sort it out. A lot of things need to be rethought about how you bring the focus back on the contestants. I think it needs humor back into it. And I think you have to find a way to regenerate bringing a collective audience together again. Because that is what drives the show, that is the heart of the show - it's about the people investing their time, their energy and their vote in the program. That's what makes it successful. And it's real family entertainment."

Read the interview in full here

Image courtesy of FOX


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