The onetime phenomenon ends its 15th season and says goodbye with a grand finale Thursday featuring special guests and the battle between 2016 finalists Trent Harmon, La’Porsha Renae and Dalton Rapattoni for the final “Idol” crown. The spotlight is exactly where it belongs: on the legacy of a show that gave television a widespread audience hit.
Rapattoni told reporters, “That is history. You don’t think about history as it’s happening unless you get an opportunity like this: the last episode of ‘American Idol’ — that’s a historical thing.”
Thursday’s finale seems primed to draw a crowd, if not for the judges and singers past and present, then for a show that, at its best, hit high notes destined to stay in television and cultural history long after the final song. And viewer will also be curious to see if Simon Cowell will make one last nostalgic appearance.