American Idol 2018, season 16 grand finale
Ryan Seacrest during the American Idol 2018 season finale. Credit: Getty Images

The grand finale of American Idol 2018 aired Monday night and the popular singing competition announced a winner at the end of last night's performances.

American Idol season 16 top three finalists Caleb Lee, Gabby Barrett and Maddie Poppe each performed three songs during the live broadcast of American Idol grand finale.

The American Idol 2018 finale also had some memorable performances including  Lionel Richie and the Top 10 finalists performing his classic hit song "All Night Long" live. Musician and singer Gary Clark Jr. took the stage with Cade Foehner and Dennis Lorenzo and grooved to "Bright Lights" before the live audience.  Ada Vox and legendary soul singer Patti LaBelle dazzled the stage with a live performance of "Lady Marmalade."

American Idol 2018 Season 16 Finale

 

Of all the American Idol and celebrity collaborations during the season finale, Maddie Poppe and Kermit the Frog’s performance may have surprised everyone the most. The duo performed a beautiful rendition of "Rainbow Connection" during the American Idol finale and the audience absolutely loved it. 

 

Despite all the talent showcased through all 18 episodes this year, intense eliminations during the finale of American Idol 2018, it came down to two finalists: Caleb Lee and Maddie Poppe. To add to the drama and excitement of American Idol, finalist Caleb Lee also revealed that Maddie Poppe is his girlfriend in such a way that made it seem like it was already obvious that the two have a thing for each other. 

During the finale, the duo performed "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "What a Wonderful World." How fitting.  

Maddie Poppe and Caleb Lee Hutchinson perform together

So who won American Idol 2018, season 16?

It was the moment everyone was waiting for. Ryan Seacrest was set to announce the winner of American Idol 2018 before the live audience and millions of viewers watching around the country.

The winner of American Idol is…

In overly dramatic American Idol fashion, Ryan Seacrest announced Maddie Poppe as the winner of this year’s singing competition. Poppe went on to perform her new song, "Going Going Gone."

Who is Maddie Poppe, American Idol 2018 winner?

Maddie Poppe, a 20-year-old singer-songwriter from Clarksville, Iowa, and was considered a fan favorite since the beginning of season 16. During her audition for the show in March, the singer performed her own rendition of "Rainbow Connection" before celebrity judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie. Since then she continued to impress the judges and audience each week with her unique renditions of classic songs.

What does American Idol Winner get?

According to Bustle, the winner of American Idol will receive a guaranteed recording contract with Hollywood Records and a cash prize of $250,000, which is not as much as past seasons of the singing competition. Although the winner will receive a new record contract and tons of notoriety, a 2010 New York Times report said that the record contract "potentially binds the artist to the show’s producers for up to seven years, roughly twice as long as a typical first contract." As long as the artist is able to produce hit music and fulfill all the intricate requirements of the contract, the artist will have the opportunity to be successful in the music and entertainment industry. Let’s hope Maddie Poppe has what it takes.

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