American Idol Season 15

Phillip Phillips, David Archuleta among those on hand for Idol’s finale

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Phillip Phillips is congratulated on his American Idol win by runner-up Jessica Sanchez. (FOX Photo)

Phillip Phillips is congratulated on his American Idol win by runner-up Jessica Sanchez. (FOX Photo)

The list of past American Idol finalists returning for the show’s Thursday night finale keeps growing.

The biggest news is the addition of Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips to the list of performers.

That means every past winner will sing at some point during Thursday’s two-hour finale, though Kelly Clarkson’s performance will be pre-taped because she’s nearly the due date for her second child.

Phillip was the only past winner not mentioned in Idol’s initial release listing performers for the finale, leading to speculation that his lawsuit against 19 Entertainment would keep him from participating.

But he’ll apparently be part of a David Bowie tribute along with four other past winners, Nick Fradiani, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, and David Cook.

It’s nice to see Phillip on hand since he’s the last Idol winner to enjoy any sort of chart success. “Home,” his coronation single, sold more than 5 million copies.

Meanwhile, lots of past finalists have taken to Twitter to post photos of their reunion with old friends at the rehearsals for Thursday night’s show.

David Archuleta posted this photo from backstage at the American Idol studio Tuesday evening.

David Archuleta posted this photo from backstage at the American Idol studio Tuesday evening.

My Twitter timeline exploded Tuesday night when Season 7 standout David Archuleta posted a photo of himself backstage at the Idol studio. Eight years after he graced the Idol stage, that young man still has an incredibly loyal fan base. No word yet on whether he’ll be performing.

And Anthony Federov from Season 4 was busy on Twitter, posting a bunch of photos, including one posing with Season 3 standout Jasmine Trias. Later he tweeted that he would be in attendance, but not performing on Thursday.

Here’s hoping Idol at least takes time to introduce all the past contestants who are in attendance.

Meanwhile, kudos to FOX on Tuesday’s well-done special looking back at 14 years of American Idol.

My favorite moments:

* A producer admitting that no one was coming to the auditions prior to the first season. She remembered going to a mall and begging people to try out.

* Kelly Clarkson recalling how she was waiting to audition for Season 1 and kept seeing singers departing in tears, leaving her to wonder “what’s happening in that room.” Simply victims of Simon Cowell’s blunt feedback, it turned out.

* Carrie Underwood remembering being “terrified” to audition in front of Simon, worried that her judgment of her own vocal ability might be “way off.” It wasn’t, of course.

* And Idol producers recalling how music producers wanted nothing to do with the show in its early days. And how that changed once it became a mega hit. Suddenly, the biggest artists were clamoring for a guest spot on the show, knowing it was the quickest way to reach millions of viewers with their new music.

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