User Score: 5683
Just like last year the Top 2 sang the final songs from the night before ("Flying Without Wings" by Ruben and "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Clay) and also sang a duet. The duet was "Ain't No Stopping Us Now" by McFadden and Whitehead.
The Top 3 did a special medley where Ruben sang "Solitaire" by The Carpenters, Kimberley sang "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" by Judy Garland, and Clay sang "On the Wings of Love" by Jeffery Osborne, then all came together to sing.
The Top 12 (minus Corey and Josh) sang a medley in honor of the guest judges this season, with each song being wither performed or written by one of them. The medley included:
"Let's Groove" by Earth, Wind & Fire (band member Verdine White was judge on Disco (first Top 8) week), "Baby Love" by The Supremes (written by Lamont Dozier who was guest judge on Motown (Top 12) week), "Tears of a Clown" by Smokey Robinson (guest judge on Billy Joel (Top 7) week), "Midnight Train to Georgia" by Gladys Knight (guest judge on Movie songs (Top 11) week), "Words" by Neil Sedaka (guest judge on 60's/Neil Sedaka songs (Top 5) week), "Physical" by BeeGees (band member Robin Gibb guest judged on BeeGees (Top 4) week), "That's Where The Music Takes Me" by Olivia Newton-John (guest judge on Country Rock (Top 10) week), "Hello" by Lionel Richie (guest judge on Billboard #1 (second Top 8) week), and "Rhythm of the Night" by DeBarge (written by Diane Warren who was guest judge on Diane Warren songs (Top 6) week).
Kelly Clarkson performed "One Voice" by Barry Manilow along with the Top 12 (minus Josh and Corey) and also her own song, "Miss Independent" for a second time on the Idol stage.
After winning Ruben sang "Flying Without Wings" which would become his first single.
Clive Davis came out and presented Kelly Clarkson with a plaque to represent her certified platinum debut album. She did it in just 5 weeks.
There were 24 million votes. Ruben got 50.28% and Clay got 49.72%
Early in the episode, Ryan says that Clay and Ruben were separated by 13,000 votes. Later he says that only 1,330 votes separated them. Later, on the news, it was stated that both of these numbers are wrong and 135,000 votes actually separated the two performers, still causing there to be less than a 1% difference between them.
Ruben Studdard-"A House Is Not A Home" by Luther Vandross (1st song),"Imagine"by John Lennon (2nd song) and "Flying Without Wings" by Westlife (3rd song)Clay Aiken-"This Is The Night" (Original) (1st song)"Here, There and Everywhere" by The Beatles (2nd song) and"Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel (3rd song)
After the recap Paul Anka came out and sang a rewritten version of "My Way" while clips from the season played behind him, including the very embarrassing photos of Simon. This is the first time that someone other than an American Idol contestant (be it current or alum) sang on the Idol stage, and the first time they didn't open the phone lines right after showing the recap.
After all three performances by each before they recapped them Ryan went to the red room and introduced the finalists, after saying Ruben's name there was a flash and for half a second there was a different screen, then it went back to Ryan in the red room.
Unlike last years finale, the judges sat where they had all season, and gave a critique after each performance.
Again, Ryan only read out numbers after the third performance by each contestant
The Top 12 (minus Corey Clark and Josh Gracin) sang "What This World Needs Now is Love" and also "God Bless The U.S.A." one final time. Clay and Ruben also each sang a song from the season that was special to them. Ruben sang "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" which he sang during 60's/Neil Sedaka week, and Clay sang "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" which he sang during Wild Card week.
Just like last season there is no Bottom 2/3 it is just mentioned that Kimberley has been eliminated. This makes the first all male finale.
The Ford music video was "She's a Lady" by Tom Jones. The guys are getting ready to go on a date. Separately Kimberley is also getting ready for a date. Kimberely arrives at the hotel where both Clay and Ruben go to greet her. She walks right past them to Ryan and they go on a date leaving Clay and Ruben shocked.
The Group Number was a medley of three random songs, to signify the Top 3. They were: "Up Where We Belong" by Joe Cocker and Jenifer Warnes, "Reunited" by Peaches and Herb and "Solid" by Ashford and Simpson.
Both Justin Gaurini and Tamyra Gray come back to sing. Tamyra sings "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" and Justin sings "Unchained Melody". This is Tamyra's first time back on the Idol stage, and Justin's second.
There were over 19 million votes. Also it was mentioned that between all three of them there was only a 4% difference.
Songs sung (1st song random, 2nd song judges choice, 3rd song Idol's choice):
Kimberley Locke-"Band Of Gold" by Freda Payne (1st song),"Anyone Who Had A Heart" by Dionne Warwick (2nd song) and"Inseparable" by Natalie Cole (3rd song)
Ruben Studdard"Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" by Stevie Wonder (1st song),"Smile" by Charlie Chaplin (2nd song) and"If Ever You're In My Arms Again" by Peabo Bryson (3rd song)
Clay Aiken-"Vincent" by Don McLean (1st song),"Mack The Knife" by Bobby Darin (2nd song) and"Unchained Melody" by The Righteous Brothers
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