‘American Idol’ Season 14 Finale: Nick Fradiani Wins, but Judges Steal the Show

by | PopCrush
Ryan Seacrest and Nick Fradiani
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

Last night (May 13), American Idol concluded its penultimate season (the show announced it would end its more than decade-long run after one more season next year), and the winner is… Nick Fradiani!

The 29-year-old rocker from Guilford, CT gradually won over the affections of viewers throughout the course of Idol’s 14th season, coming out on top during last night’s finale over runner-up, Clark Beckham.

Before being announced as this year’s Idol, Fradiani performed Matchbox 20’s “Bright Lights” and — for a second time this season — delivered his rendition of Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up” on Tuesday’s show. And, in Idol tradition, both he and Beckham delivered their would-be winner singles. For Fradiani, that was “Beautiful Life,” with which he victoriously closed out yesterday’s finale.

Naturally, there’s much more to an Idol finale than just the two remaining contestants: It’s an extravaganza! The star-studded event featured some very unexpected duet — including both Fradiani and Beckham joining Fall Out Boy onstage to perform the troupe’s “Centuries.”

Some of the season’s eliminated contestants also returned to the Idol stage for equally special duets: Second runner-up Jax absolutely crushed it with former judge Steven Tyler with a cover of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart.” Meanwhile, Adanna Duru joined the fantastic Janelle Monae for “Yoga,” Joey Cook teamed up with Echosmith on their hit “Cool Kids,” Rayvon Owen joined Jamie Foxx for “In Love by Now” and Quentin Alexander and Vance Joy wowed with “Riptide.”

The contestants weren’t the only ones getting a part of the action either: Sparkly judge Jennifer Lopez — who just announced an upcoming Las Vegas residency! — killed it with a medley of covers: Rihanna’s “Diamonds” and Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven.” Fellow judges Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. joined her on guitar and piano, respectively. And just like that, they stole the show.

What did you think of the Idol finale? Who should have won, and which surprise performance were you living for the most? Let us know in the comments below!