'American Idol' farewell: Who (William Hung! Brian Dunkleman!) and what to expect on finale night
Spoiler alert! Loads and loads of American Idol finalists will take the stage at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Thursday in a showy nod to the series' past. Somewhere in the vicinity of 60 will take part in group numbers and spotlight performances, according to executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, with other star surprises in store.
According to sources, Brian Dunkleman will finally return to open the show, alongside host of 15 years Ryan Seacrest. Viral star William Hung is set to take the stage as well, as are original judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.
All 15 Idol winners will be in attendance, joining their fellow alums for group numbers devoted to David Bowie, country music, Idol rockers and divas. Expect a favorite trope of Idol: all onstage wearing all white for a giant sentimental song (Barry Manilow's "One Voice," from his 1979 album of the same name).
Surprisingly not on the run-of-show: a tribute to the late Michael Johns, a top 10 finalist on season seven who died in August 2014. Also missing are a slew of former Idol finalists -- third place contenders were hit especially hard -- including Angie Miller, Nikki McKibbin, Jasmine Trias, Alex Preston, Vonzell Solomon, Syesha Mercado and Jax.
Photos of all of the 'American Idol' winners so far:
Confirmed performers include: Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson (the latter of whom pre-taped her appearance), Ruben Studdard, Fantasia, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, Scotty McCreery, Candice Glover, Caleb Johnson, Nick Fradiani, David Archuleta, Ace Young, Allison Iraheta, Amber Holcomb, Blake Lewis, Bo Bice, Brandon Rogers, Bucky Covington, Carly Smithson, Casey James, Chris Daughtry, Clark Beckham, Clay Aiken, Colton Dixon, Constantine Maroulis, Danny Gokey, Diana DeGarmo, Elliott Yamin, George Huff, James Durbin, Jessica Sanchez, Josh Gracin, Joshua Ledet, Justin Guarini, Katharine McPhee, Kellie Pickler, Kimberley Locke, Kree Harrison, LaToya London, Lauren Alaina, Melinda Doolittle, Pia Toscano, Sanjaya, Skylar Laine, and Tamyra Gray. Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson flew to Los Angeles on April 4 to pre-tape a performance with Fantasia and London for a season three reunion.