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Ryan Seacrest American Idol News
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American Idol will launch its 15th and final season with a two-night, four-hour premiere on Wednesday, January 6 and Thursday, January 7, Fox announced on Tuesday afternoon.

The singing competition will see the return of judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick Jr., along with host Ryan Seacrest.

The Farewell Season of #Idol kicks off with a 2-night event Wed & Thu JAN 6 & 7 on @FOXTV! https://t.co/kmdmri3XXr pic.twitter.com/q1PYOIDA5w

— American Idol (@AmericanIdol) November 10, 2015

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American Idol judge Harry Connick Jr. spoke to On Air with Ryan Seacrest on Friday morning to announce his next album, That Would Be Me.

His new record, out on October 23, is quite a departure from his previous work. Rather than staying in his lane of jazz music, Harry decided to go down another road and explore the pop territory.

“I hesitate to call it a pop record, but it is a pop record in that it’s not a jazz record,” he says. “This is music that I think is a little more accessible to people and they’re all original songs. It definitely goes places that I don’t usually go, but it feels very natural to me.”

Harry is hyping the album release with its lead single “Like We Do,” which praises his marriage with his wife and former Victoria’s Secret Model Jill Goodacre. He tells OAWRS that “Like We Do” features the same style of music he used to make back in the day before he started playing with big bands.

“I just like a lot of styles and they just came out the way that they came out,” he explains. “That song has a little bit of a country feel to it. Not that I said that I wanted to do a country song, it just sort of came out like that.”

You can purchase “Like We Do” on iTunes now.

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Nick Fradiani was crowned the winner of American Idol‘s Season 14 on Wednesday night!

And on Thursday morning, the 29-year-old stopped by On Air with Ryan Seacrest to talk about his thrilling moment. “I’m not gonna lie, I was not expecting to win at the end,” says Nick. “I thought I had a shot, but when I heard you say [my name], I think I blacked out.”

And he wasn’t the only one feeling the pressure of the excitement. Nick’s parents have been a constant fixture in the audience all season and just before the winner was revealed, Ryan says Nick’s father told him, “My heart is pounding out of my chest.”

“It’s been a long journey and they’ve been on it with me, my family, my friends,” explains Nick. “When that song came on and the confetti was flying, it gets emotional. I saw my mom and my dad, it was a lot.”

Getty Images

Getty Images

Nick’s participation on Idol is a total fluke. It all began when he agreed to play guitar for a female friend who was auditioning over Skype. “They were like, ‘Do you sing too?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I guess.’ That was it … and then I won.”

As for that friend who didn’t make it past her Idol audition, Nick says there are no hard feelings. In fact, “She’s been really supportive. We’re still really good friends. It was a little awkward at the time …”

Nick’s coronation song “Beautiful Life” got rave reviews the moment he performed it on the first night of the finale on Tuesday. And he says the performance was so great because the track is such a perfect fit for him.

“When I first heard it, it kind of reminded me of the band Fun. and the Goo Goo Dolls,” he explains. “Chris Carrabba wrote it from Dashboard Confessional. When I first heard the demo… I’m a big Dashboard fan, I was like, ‘That’s Dashboard Confessional!’ … I just fell in love with it right away. It felt like me, it felt like my song.”

Nick’s song “Beautiful Life” is available on iTunes now here!

Sadao Turner / Ryan Seacrest Enterprises

Sadao Turner / Ryan Seacrest Enterprises

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And the Season 14 winner of American Idol is … Nick Fradiani!

Download @nickfradiani‘s WINNER song #BeautifulLife on @iTunesMusic right now: http://t.co/GI2rmw5a6y #IdolFinale

— American Idol (@AmericanIdol) May 14, 2015

It was a neck-and-neck battle in the finale on Wednesday night, but in the end the 29-year-old from Connecticut walked away with the crowning glory, with Clark Beckham as runner-up.

The. Best. Night. Of. His. Life. Come on, sing it with us now! ???? #BeautifulLife @nickfradiani! pic.twitter.com/nMqLZlp01s

— American Idol (@AmericanIdol) May 14, 2015

It was certainly a star-packed night! Steven Tyler, Chris Brown, Pitbull, New Kids on the Block, Vance Joy, Echosmith, and more took the stage with the Idol Top 12 for the two-hour extravaganza. Check out the performances:

It was announced earlier this week that the 2016 season of Idol will be the last. Want to be a part of the legend? Auditions begin next month in cities all across the county, including Savannah, San Francisco, and Philadelphia, as well Bus Tour Stops in 11 other different locations. And if you can’t make any of those, online submissions are currently being accepted. Head on over to AmericanIdol.com/Auditions for more info!

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American Idol will conclude with a two-hour finale episode that will coronate the Season 14 victor on Wednesday night. After a nationwide vote based on Tuesday night’s performances, the singing competition will honor the title to either Nick Fradiani or Clark Beckham at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Judge Keith Urban, who has watched the Top 2 finalists’ journey from the very beginning alongside Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr., phoned in to On Air with Ryan Seacrest just hours before the winner is unveiled and gave a recap of the close race all season long.

“I just think it’s been an amazing season,” says Keith, who has been with Idol since Season 12. “I particularly love how this last group has been so close, neck and neck every week in the voting. It’s a testament to how strong they all are and that’s why tonight is going to be a mind-blowing cliffhanger. I mean more than any season I can imagine because I think the votes have been so close. I have no clue who’s going to take it tonight.”

Keith will reprise his role on the judging panel for Idol‘s 15th and final season, which kicks off in January. The series’ ending was announced on Monday morning, with FOX’s Co-Chairman/CEO Gary Newman stating in a press release, “It was not an easy decision.”

“It’s bittersweet, really. I mean, you of all people must find it harder to believe — the end of an incredible era,” he told Ryan, who’s been with the show since it premiered in 2002. “I mean what an amazing ride and phenomena and pop culture phenomena this show has been. It seems a little bit surreal to me right now.”

Despite the end to the Idol era, there may be a silver lining for the country singer. Keith has been jet-setting back and forth from Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia to juggle his role as a television personality and a husband to Nicole Kidman, who was shooting a film Down Under the whole month of April.

“I did that every week for a good little while,” says Keith, after he described the dizzying time difference he must adjust to during his frequent travels between both cities — in addition the commute he makes to his home base in Nashville.

Outside of Idol, Keith is working on a song with pop hitmaker Jason Derulo. The two, along with the legendary Stevie Wonder, collaborated on a track off Jason’s forthcoming Everything Is 4 album. Keith, who scored his 18th No. 1 with his current single “Raise ‘Em Up,” teases, “I play the banjo on Jason Derulo’s song called ‘Broke!'”

Tune in to American Idol Season 14’s epic conclusion, which will feature performances from the Top 12, Steven Tyler, Vance Joy, Janelle Monae, Echosmith, Fall Out Boy, New Kids on the Block, Pitbull, Chris Brown, and more, tonight at 8 p.m. on FOX.

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In 24 hours, we’ll have our new American Idol!

The first part of the two-night finale went down on Tuesday night at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, cutting the competition down from three to two.

SPOILER ALERT: Don’t continue reading if you don’t want to know who went home!

Before any performances, the Top 3 — Clark Beckham, Jax, and Nick Fradiani — was whittled down and it was revealed who America voted to battle it out on Wednesday’s season finale.

And the two contestants to vie for the American Idol title are … Clark and Nick! The pair then performed their original songs, “Champion” and “Beautiful Life” respectively.

The second part of the American Idol finale airs on Wednesday at 8/7c on FOX! And the two-hour extravaganza will be packed with mega-collaborations between the Top 12 and acts including Steven Tyler, Vance Joy, Janelle Monae, Echosmith, Fall Out Boy, New Kids on the Block, Pitbull, Chris Brown, and The Jacksons.

Who do you think will be the winner?

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The first part of American Idol‘s two-night Season 14 finale begins tonight when the competition will be cut down from three to two.

We’ve seen the finalists evolve before our eyes onstage each week and now Clark Beckham, Jax, and Nick Fradiani are battling it out for the Idol title.

Tune in to Idol on Tuesday at 9/8c at Wednesday at 8/7c on FOX to see who wins. But before then, check out our favorite three performances from the Top 3 … and then vote for who you think will go all the way!

Take Our Poll

CLARK

“Yesterday” — The Beatles

“Every Breath You Take” — The Police

“Tracks of My Tears” — Smokey Robinson and The Miracles

JAX

“White Flag” — Dido

“Piece of My Heart” — Janis Joplin

“Blank Space” — Taylor Swift

NICK

“Bright Lights” — Matchbox Twenty

“Wake Me Up” — Avicii and Aloe Blacc

“Thinking Out Loud” — Ed Sheeran

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Jax has made it all the way to the Top 3 on American Idol and has arguably been a fan favorite this entire season … which is a big coincidence because she has been a longtime follower herself!

“It’s really surreal that I used to be a fan of the show,” she tells On Air with Ryan Seacrest. “I watched it as a little girl and now I’m actually in the finale. Maybe there’s some little girl that was just like me watching it in their living room connecting that way I connected to some of the past Idol contestants. That’s all I really want out of this.”

Will Jax make it to the Top 2? Tune in to Idol tonight at 9/8c on FOX as she battles Nick Fradiani and Clark Beckham before the season concludes tomorrow at 8/7c!

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Season 14 of American Idol is fast approaching its two-night finale at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on Tuesday and Wednesday evening.

With over thousands of Idol hopefuls from across the nation, judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, Harry Connick Jr., and America closely watched the transformative journey of Jax, Clark Beckham, Nick Fradiani, Rayvon Owen, and Tyanna Jones as they bested their rivals, championed the weekly themes, and entered the Top 5.

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Before the winner is crowned on Wednesday evening, RyanSeacrest.com spoke to the Top 5 at KIIS FM’s Wango Tango about their journey on the singing competition that introduced them to a whole new fanbase. When asked about their Idol highlight, Top 3 finalist Nick says, “I’d say it was probably all the awesome mentors we’ve had. We’ve had the opportunity to work with some insanely talented musicians that we always looked up to and watched. Then we got to get first-hand critiques from them.”

“For me, it was getting to perform in general,” adds Tyanna, who placed fifth this season. “Just getting the opportunity to get up there, doing something that I wasn’t really used to doing because I’m young and everything. Just getting to perform in front of people who are becoming fans and start to like you over time.”

Following the series’ conclusion, the Top 5 will have the opportunity to meet fans beyond the Idol stage on their summer’s Live! tour. Although the bill for the Season 14 trek was cut in half — in the past 13 seasons, the tour enlisted the Top 10 — the contestants are stoked to kick it off on July 7 in Clearwater, Florida.

“I’m excited to be with the [Top 5] for starters,” say Top 3 finalist Jax. “And second of all, to be with our family outside of Idol because we have a lot of people that gave us the stage — the people who are going to see us play. So it’s really exciting to get to meet them and to thank them in person.”

“Playing original music will be cool too,” add Nick and fourth-place finalist Rayvon, while Clark stoked excited by promising, “We’re going to tear the roof off of where ever we’re going. It’s that exciting.”

However, for Jax, Nick, and Clark, the trio is still pushing through the final leg of their Idol race. The Top 3 will attempt to secure the decisive fan votes with their performance on Tuesday night. In addition to their final act, Nick will sing a duet with Andy Grammer, Jax will team up with former Idol judge, Aerosmith‘s Steven Tyler, and Clark will take the stage with Michael McDonald.

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“We’re going to do one performance each of a song we’ve already done, so we’re going to pick our favorite one. Simon Fuller picked a song for us and we get to sing our coronation song that is going to be our first single,” Nick reveals. “And Wednesday is kind of the relief show,” adds Jax, “where we get to have fun and party and perform with other people.”

Despite the technicality of only one contestant being the Season 14 champion, the group collectively admits that they have already won just by simply meeting each other and working with industry professionals.

“We’re going to be best friends for life,” says Rayvon. Adds Clark, “We’re going to miss the stylists, the PAs, the crews, and the band and everybody.”

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“We have to keep the relationships,” Jax continues. “Because we met our best friends here.”

The two-night Season 14 finale will air on Tuesday at 9/8c and Wednesday at 8/7c on FOX. The television network announced on Monday that it will shutter the singing competition after the 2016 season.

“It was not an easy decision,” said FOX Co-Chairman and CEO, Dana Walden of Idol, which was the No. 1 show for a record-breaking eight consecutive seasons with a series-record average of 31.1 million total viewers.

The final season of American Idol will launch in January 2016.

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Since 2002, American Idol has churned out some of the world’s biggest talents, including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Adam Lambert, Kellie Pickler, Jordin Sparks, and Chris Daughtry.

And next year’s Season 15 will be the FOX program’s final bow, the network announced on Monday morning. Judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr. will all be returning, as will host Ryan Seacrest.

the gang @JLo @KeithUrban and @HarryConnickJr will all be back at the table for our final season pic.twitter.com/QSPHDoka8z

— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) May 11, 2015

The 2016 season will certainly go out on a high note. FOX CEO/Co-Chairman Gary Newman says after making the tough decision to end the groundbreaking show, “We wanted to do it in a way that felt special and celebratory and treated the show the way it deserved to be treated … Next year, it’s going to be a true season-long celebration. We’re already talking about surprises we can have for the fans to make it feel special and send it off [in a way] that makes it as significant as the run it’s had on our network.”

After the news came out on Monday, Ryan released a statement praising his time on Idol, which first launched his TV career during its inaugural season in 2002.

“American Idol has been a big part of my life for so long, it’s frankly hard to imagine it without it,” he says. “It’s been a remarkable journey, and I feel very fortunate to have been part of a show that made television history in countless ways. It’s a show about chasing and fulfilling dreams, and truth be told, it helped some of my own dreams come true too.

you guys I was 27 when we started idol…just a kid pic.twitter.com/iZ3Dvv7m5k

— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) May 11, 2015

“All the American Idol producers, judges, crew and everyone at Fox have been heroic in their efforts to create, produce and sustain such a groundbreaking show for so many years,” Ryan continues. “I’m so glad they’re going to give us a season-long send off. The last season will undoubtedly be a special and emotional one, but first I’m looking forward to closing out Season 14. The finale is always my favorite part – two live shows with lots of surprises, and, of course, one winner!”

The two-night finale of American Idol‘s Season 14 kicks off Tuesday at 9/8c, when the competition will be cut to the Top 2, and concludes on Wednesday at 8/7c on FOX!

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