American Idol 2021: 2020 ‘Comeback’ Twist Confirmed (Song Spoilers)

AMERICAN IDOL 401 (Auditions) American Idol, the iconic series that revolutionized the television landscape by pioneering the music competition genre, will return to airwaves during its season premiere SUNDAY, FEB. 14 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (ABC/Christopher Willard) RYAN SEACREST
(ABC/Christopher Willard) RYAN SEACREST

On Live with Kelly and Ryan this morning, Ryan Seacrest explained the mysterious American Idol “comeback” twist that fans have been talking about recently. After explaining that the show will be live tonight for the first time, Ryan added that for the contestants that competed last year that did all their singing from home, there would be a special “second chance.”

“We’re going to bring…some of the finalists back to the stage for a special,” said Ryan. “And one of them will have the chance to actually get into the Top 10, because they didn’t get the full experience.” 

That “special” is titled “The Comeback” and will air on ABC Monday April 12. The night before, on Sunday April 18, the Top 12 will perform Oscar nominated songs, hoping to to secure a spot in the Top 9. I’m assuming the voting results will be revealed on the live telecast by the end of the episode.

Season 18 contestant list revealed with Song Spoilers

Billboard magazine, confirms the contestants and song spoilers:

Faith Becnel – Cry Baby by Janis Joplin
Franklin Boone – Meant to Live by Switchfoot
DeWayne Crocker Jr. – Voice of God by Dante Bowe ft. Steffany Gretzinger & Chandler Moore 
Cyniah Elise – Edge of Midnight (Midnight Sky Remix) by Miley Cyrus ft Stevie Nicks 
Arthur Gunn – Iris by Goo Goo Dolls
Aliana Jester – I’ll Never Love Again by Lady Gaga
Louis Knight – Maybe That by Louis Knight 
Nick Merico – City Lights by Nick Merico 
Makayla Phillips – Anyone by Demi Lovato 
Olivia Ximines – Say Yes by Michelle Williams ft Beyonce & Kelly Rowland 

Last year’s champion, Just Sam, was not asked back because she has already won the show. Two other top 10 finalists, Dillon James and Francisco Martin, have signed with record labels and so they weren’t eligible to compete again. The outlet confirms.

Voting for “The Comeback” will last a week, to be revealed on May 2

The winner of the “comeback” round will not be revealed until American Idol returns from a week long Oscar break. In fact, voting will be open until Monday April 26 at 6 am ET. The Academy Awards air on Sunday April 25 on ABC. On Monday April 26, the network airs a Sesame Street special. American Idol returns on Sunday May 2 to kick off the Top 10 finals with the announcement of the Comeback winner. 

Idol producer claims it’s all about second chances

American Idol producer Trish Kahane claims to Billboard that they wanted to give last year’s contestants a chance at the “full” Idol experience.

When it became apparent that things were going to be a bit better this year and that we were going to be able to return to the Television City studio with the big lights, we thought about last year’s contestants. They did so well with the remote production, with their mums and dads helping them and their brothers and sisters holding iPhones and ring lights, but they never had the proper Idol experience. Some people really come alive on that big stage. We thought they deserved to have that experience.

I the twist is a gimmick to keep fan attention over the week long Oscar break. It’s unfortunate that the pandemic derailed the contestant’s season 18 journeys.  But sometimes life isn’t fair. It’s completely unnecessary to bring contestants back from another season. I mean, Arthur Gunn, the runner-up, has a total advantage over the newbies. 

Meanwhile, tonight (April 12), The Top 12 will be revealed on the first American Idol LIVE show. Ten singers will advance based on America’s vote. The remaining six will sing for the judges, who will choose two wildcards to round out the Top 12.

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Janky video of Ryan confirming the American Idol twist is below.


About mj santilli 34830 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!