Abi Carter Wins ‘American Idol’ Season 22; Katy Perry Bids Emotional Farewell!

Parag Nanda

Abi Carter Wins 'American Idol' Season 22; Katy Perry Bids Emotional Farewell

“American Idol” wrapped up its 22nd season with a memorable finale, crowning Abi Carter as the winner and marking the emotional departure of judge Katy Perry.

The night kicked off with finalists Jack Blocker, Abi Carter, and Will Moseley honoring their mentor, Jon Bon Jovi. They performed a lively rendition of “Livin’ on a Prayer,” and Bon Jovi himself joined them for a powerful performance of “Legendary.” Each finalist then sang a Bon Jovi hit: Moseley with “It’s My Life,” Blocker with “I’ll Be There for You,” and Carter with “Bed of Roses.”

As the competition heated up, the finalists returned for a second round of performances before the third-place announcement. Moseley sang “My Town,” Blocker took on “All My Ex’s Live in Texas,” and Carter performed “Somewhere.” Blocker was then eliminated, leaving Moseley and Carter as the final two contenders for the Season 22 title.

After three intense hours and a second round of voting, viewers crowned Abi Carter as the winner of “American Idol” Season 22, with Will Moseley finishing as the runner-up. Carter celebrated her victory by reprising her moving rendition of Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?”

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The finale also featured a special appearance by Fantasia Barrino, who celebrated the 20th anniversary of her Season 3 win with an inspiring message to the finalists.

The night was filled with star-studded performances from Jason Mraz, Seal, James Bay, Cody Johnson, Bishop Briggs, Nicki Frediani, Hootie and the Blowfish, New Kids on the Block, CeCe Winans, and Wynonna.

A significant moment of the night was Katy Perry’s emotional farewell. After seven seasons as a judge, Perry took the stage with third-place finalist Blocker to perform “What Makes a Woman.”

Abi Carter Wins 'American Idol' Season 22; Katy Perry Bids Emotional Farewell

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Throughout the evening, the mere mention of Perry’s departure brought tears to her eyes. To honor her, the female members of the Top 12 performed a medley of her hits, including “Teenage Dream,” “Dark Horse,” and “California Gurls.”

Perry, along with Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie, had been a fixture on “American Idol” since 2018, when ABC revived the show after its initial 15-season run on Fox. The judging panel had remained unchanged since Season 16 until Perry’s departure. As of now, ABC has not announced who will replace Perry when “American Idol” returns for its 23rd season.

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