AMERICAN IDOL – “618 (Season Finale)” – The live coast-to-coast, three-hour season finale features special performances from music legends and today’s top artists, with the Top 3 contestants taking the stage for the final time as America decides who will become the next American Idol. SUNDAY, MAY 21 (8:00-11:00 p.m. EDT/5:00-8:00 p.m. PDT), on ABC.
ABC/Eric McCandless

Keith Urban Returns to ‘American Idol’ For Season 21 Finale

Keith Urban returned to American Idol for Sunday's (May 21) Season 21 finale in two capacities. A judge on the series for seasons 12 through 15, Urban sang one of his hits live and served as a mentor for this year's Top 3 — Colin Stough, Megan Danielle and winner Iam Tongi.

Urban sang his hit 2021 single "Wild Hearts" while on ABC's live broadcast. An energetic pop-country gem that entered country radio's Top 5, the song selection positioned Urban to wow his charges with his skillset as a well-rounded performer.

As a mentor, Urban joined current judge Luke Bryan in bonding with rising county singer Stough. The 18-year-old Mississippian impressed Urban with bold, melodic changes to Urban's "Stupid Boy."

Country singer and second-place finisher Danielle also added her own spin to an Urban standard. In her case, it was the sentimental "When God Whispered Your Name."

That same night, Tongi helped clinch his win with a stunning rendition of Urban's "Making Memories of Us."

The Rodney Crowell-penned No. 1 hit from 2005 served as a textbook display of Tongi's ear-grabbing singing and guitar-strumming skills. As importantly, the moment captured the personality and stage presence that won over the television-viewing public throughout the singing competition's 21st season.

Tongi's win paid off a feel-good story. A few months before his audition, Tongi lost his father, fellow musician Rodney, following his elder's battle with kidney disease.

After his successful audition, Tongi posted a photo on Instagram of his father's grave, pairing it with the caption: "I got that golden ticket dad, wish you were here."

Urban also sang on Idol's Season 8 finale. In addition, he was a coach in 2011 on the Australian version of The Voice. A native of Australia, Urban was listed in Dec. 2020 among Rolling Stone Australia's "50 Greatest Australian Artists of All Time."

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