“American Idol” stepped back in time last night as old favorites like Ryan Seacrest, Randy Jackson, and Paula Abdul met up with the newer judges.
Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell made up the original judging panel from “American Idol” Season 1, with Ryan Seacrest as the host. Abdul and Jackson left in 2009, after about eight seasons. Cowell left not long after that in 2010.
Now, 20 years after the premiere of Season 1, the original group has met up once more. Cowell couldn’t make it to the American Idol Reunion on May 2, but the rest of the group made the most of it. Not only did Abdul and Jackson mingle with the new judges, but they also met up with former contestants too.
And to commemorate the occasion, Ryan Seacrest took the time to post a photo of him, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, and Justin Guarini. Longtime “American Idol” fans recognize Guarini as the runner-up in Season 1, who lost to Kelly Clarkson.
“Just like old times,” Seacrest captioned the epic photo. “Feels good to have the #AmericanIdol family back together. 1 more hour until the great #IdolReunion! Who are you looking forward to seeing?”
Here’s Who Attended and Performed at the ‘American Idol’ Reunion
Several guests showed up for the reunion, including previous “Idol” winners and runner-ups. According to Variety, the night featured duets from Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard and Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks. They killed it in a smooth performance of George Michael and Aretha Franklin’s “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me.” Paula Abdul teared up at the performance while Randy Jackson and Ryan Seacrest remembered meeting Sparks for the first time.
We also saw Season 7 and 8 winners David Cook and Kris Allen nailing a rendition of “Dreams” by The Cranberries. These two spent a lot of time performing together overseas, so we’re not surprised that they sounded so good.
From Season 10, winner Scotty McCreery and runner-up Lauren Alaina crooned along to “When You Say Nothing At All” by Alison Krauss and Union Station. From Season 19, Willie Spence and Grace Kintsler also performed together. They crushed a rendition of Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynn’s “Rather Be.”
The Season 16 winner and runner-up are actually together now as a couple. Maddie Poppe and Caleb Lee Hutchinson melted hearts when they sang Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers’ “Islands in the Stream.”
And, in a shocking move, Season 17 winner Laine Hardy performed with fifth-place alum Laci Kaye Boot. This reunion was recorded in early April, so the “American Idol” producers didn’t know at the time that Hardy would be arrested on April 29.
Police arrested Hardy for allegedly planting a listening device in his ex-girlfriend’s dorm room after their breakup. Several fans were not happy with “American Idol” for choosing to air his performance after his actions.