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‘American Idol’ finale live updates: How to vote

NEW YORK — “American Idol” will crown its winner on a special three-hour live coast-to-coast season finale event airing tonight on ABC!

Grace Kinstler, Chayce Beckham, and Willie Spence will take the stage to perform multiple songs tonight in hopes of securing America’s vote and, ultimately, become the next Idol!

Voting for the next “American Idol” starts at the beginning of the episode on Sunday night at 8:00 ET | 5:00 PT and will be open throughout the live show. One contestant will be eliminated after the first hour.

Here is how to vote:
Willie Spence: Text 2 to 21523
Chayce Beckham: Text 5 to 21523
Grace Kinstler: Text 10 to 21523

Other options:
– Go to americanidol.com/vote
– Use the #AmericanIdol app

LIVE IDOL UPDATES

6:25 p.m. ET
Rehearsals have been underway this afternoon. Ryan Seacrest tweeted a photo with one of the special guests, Fall Out Boy.

Other guests performing tonight include renowned music artists Lindsey Buckingham, Alessia Cara, Luke Combs, Sheryl Crow, Mickey Guyton, Chaka Khan, Leona Lewis, and Macklemore on the Idol stage. Celebrity judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie will also perform a hit song during the show.

7:30 p.m. ET
Idol has released the voting numbers. You can begin to vote when the show starts.

7:55 p.m. ET
Behind the scenes with Ryan Seacrest moments before showtime!

8:00 p.m. ET
Macklemore opened the finale with a spectacular performance of “Can’t Hold Us” featuring the 3 finalists. Tonight is the night!

8:05 p.m. ET
Grace Kinstler kicked off the final night of competition. Before her opening number, mentor Bobby Bones encouraged her to go out and sing for her dad, who passed away while she was attending college. The Lakewood, Illinois native performed ‘All By Myself’ by Eric Carmen.

Katy Perry said she picked the song for Grace because she was inspired when Celine Dion sang it.

“You did not just take that one higher than Celine,” Katy said.

“You took this song to another level,” Luke Bryan added.

8:10 p.m. ET
The judges picked the opening songs for the contestants. Willie Spence was challenged to take on a Ray Charles classic, “Georgia On My Mind.” He delivered with one of the strongest performances of his ‘Idol’ journey and had the judges on their feet.

“You have delivered since the day you walked into the audition,” Luke said.

“You are a religious experience and you do it every time,” Lionel Richie added. “That was a great performance.”

8:20 p.m.
Chayce Beckham says put himself on this journey for the blue collar worker. His opening song: “Blackbird” by the Beatles.

“You’ve earned your bass fishing trip,” Luke said. “Win or lose, we’re going fishing!”

WHO ARE THE TOP 3?

Grace Kinstler is a 20-year-old Chicago native and college student at Berklee College of Music. The unexpected loss of her father last year fueled her ‘Idol’ journey, she said. Kinstler has a powerful voice that’s won her praise from all of the judges. “Your voice quality, your confidence, the way you portray yourself on stage, it’s a winning package,” Lionel Richie said.

Chayce Beckham, 24, hails from Apple Valley, California. His mom and stepfather signed him up for American Idol after a horrible accident last year that changed his life. After his audition, Katy Perry predicted he would be top 5. The country rocker’s first single “23” hit number one on two iTunes charts after its release last week.

Willie Spence grew up in Douglas, Georgia and started singing at his grandfather’s church in Florida at age 6. Now 21, Spence shared some of his struggles with health over the last year. He’s lost over 180 pounds since being hospitalized in March 2020. Spence has a booming voice that’s earned him standing ovations from the judges this season. Luke Bryan told him, “You just have the magic, buddy.”

LIVE IDOL ENCORE
After the new ‘Idol’ is crowned, fans can play a part in bringing back a favorite finalist for an additional national TV appearance: a special encore performance on “Live with Kelly and Ryan” via “Live’s ‘American Idol’ Encore.” Tune in Monday morning! The new American Idol will also appear on Monday’s show.

The search for next season’s Idol has already begun. Visit AmericanIdol.com/auditions to learn more.

You can see every performance on American Idol’s YouTube channel and watch the full episodes anytime on Hulu.

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