'American Idol' Series Finale: 12 of the Best, Most Surprising and Weirdest Moments

by Zach Seemayer 1:33 AM PDT, April 08, 2016
Playing 'American Idol' Series Finale: 12 of the Best, Most Surprising and Weirdest Moments

American Idol came to a close Thursday night with an epic, two-hour finale filled with laughter, tears, lots of love and extra helpings of nostalgia. And also, William Hung was there for some reason.

From Kelly Clarkson's mind-blowing medley to Keith Urban's duet with Carrie Underwood to a reunion of the show's original judges, the grand finale was filled with highlights that would make any Idol fan feel satisfied. And as we previously mentioned, William Hung was there. Seriously.

Here are a look at some of the best, most surprising and absolutely weirdest moments from the American Idol series finale:

WATCH: 'American Idol' Crowns Surprising Season 15 Champion


Pregnant Kelly Clarkson’s Epic Medley

What happens when you get the very first American Idol champ to sing a medley made up of her greatest hits? One of the best moments in Idol history.

Carrie Underwood’s Unbelievable Performances (and Leggy Looks!)

The "Heartbeat" singer not only pulled off an epic duet with Idol judge Keith Urban, but she also delivered an stunning solo number near the end of the finale that reminded all of us why we loved this show in the first place. Plus, can we talk about those gams?! Best in the business.

Jennifer Lopez’s Red-Hot Show

The Idol judge took to the stage in a sexy maid outfit for a debut performance of her new single "Ain't Your Mama," which she quickly stripped off before transitioning into "Let's Get Loud." No matter what you think of the song, you can't deny that the 46-year-old diva knows how to deliver a wild show.

WATCH: Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson Get Emotional During Sweet 'American Idol' Finale Moment

Jennifer Hudson Shines During 'Three Divas' Reunion

Hudson joined fellow third-season Idol alums Fantasia Barrino and LaToya London for a stunning medley, and it's impossible to believe that the 34-year-old Oscar winner came in 7th all those years ago.

La’Porsha Renae’s Baby Daughter Stealing the Mic

Renae's infant daughter already seems to have TV hosting ambitions -- or she just wanted to grab Ryan Seacrest's shiny mic. Either way, it was impossibly adorable.

Trent Harmon’s Winning Moment

While many were surprised that Renae didn't win, Harmon proved to be a tough competitor and truly inspiring singer. His humble, excited moment of victory just goes to show what kind of guy he really is.

WATCH: The 7 Biggest Scandals in 'American Idol' History

Ryan Seacrest Choking Up Over the End of ‘Idol’

Photo: FOX

After 15 years, Seacrest had to say goodbye to the show that made him a household name -- at least, "for now," he teased during the closing credits. Are more Idol seasons in our future? Only time will tell.


Brian Dunkleman’s Reunion With Seacrest

The former co-host who left Idol after the first season to pursue an acting career that never really took off came back to make some self-deprecating jokes, but ended up giving Seacrest his heartfelt congrats. It was a funny, touching moment with a lot more class than expected.

WATCH: Brian Dunkleman Pokes Fun at Himself, Reunites With Ryan Seacrest at 'American Idol' Finale

Simon Cowell ‘Crashing’ the Stage

Photo: Getty Images

After original Idol judges Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson joined Seacrest on stage without Simon Cowell, everyone was a little confused and disappointed at his absence. Of course he soon "surprised" everyone by walking out a bit later. It's hard to believe Seacrest, Abdul or Jackson really didn't know Cowell was in the house, but if they were privy to the joke, that was some of the best acting they've ever done.


Larry Platt’s ‘Idol’ Performance – With Cris Judd as a Background Dancer

Photo: FOX

It wouldn't be American Idol without a performance that made you ask, "Wait, what? Why is this happening?" Which is exactly what we got with Larry Platt's performance of "Pants on the Ground," featuring J.Lo's ex-husband, Cris Judd, as a backup dancer. Sure, why not?

Ryan Seacrest's Impractically Large Neon Gift

Photo: FOX

As a reward for his loyal service to the show for 15 seasons, the stalwart host was given a giant neon sign of the American Idol logo, presented by a number of past Idol contestants who wheeled the impractically large gift out onto stage and then off again almost immediately. Even Seacrest had no idea what he'd do with it.

William Hung Showed Up

William Hung performed for like 20 seconds and then went away forever. This was a surprisingly good metaphor for his entire career.

WATCH: 'American Idol' Finale: 15 Big Reveals From the Series Retrospective

After 15 seasons fans had to say goodbye to the pop culture phenomenon. But if you're not quite ready to let go just yet, check out the video below for a look at some of the series' best moments.