Keith Urban Will Return to ‘American Idol’ as Guest Mentor

Nearly seven years after Keith Urban retired from the judge’s chair on American Idol, the country singer will make a triumphant return as a guest mentor. The hit competition show announced the exciting news over the weekend, ahead of its Disney Night episode. 

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“Once an IDOL judge, now our FINALE guest mentor,” wrote the ABC franchise. “Welcome back, @keithurban!💙🎸” 

The singer was a judge from 2012 to 2016 for seasons 12 –15. During his last run, Urban judged alongside Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. Following his time on American Idol, the show took a short hiatus on Fox. The show returned on ABC in 2018 with the current panel – Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan. 

Not only will Urban be guiding contestants through the forthcoming finale, but he will also be performing. The platinum-selling artist is scheduled to deliver his 2022 hit “Wild Hearts.” 

The three-hour-long episode will also include a star-studded lineup. Host Ryan Seacrest announced last night (May 14) that Jelly Roll, Kevin Cronin, Kylie Minogue, Lainey Wilson, Lauren Daigle, James Blunt, Clay Aiken, TLC, and Ruben Studdard will be taking the stage. Pitbull, Jazmine Sullivan, and Ellie Goulding will also make an appearance. 

The Top 12 singers from the season will return to Hollywood to witness the crowning of one special contestant. The three ​​competitors fighting for the grand title are Iam Tongi, Colin Stough, and Megan Danielle.

Noah Thompson, a country singer, won Season 20 of American Idol. Three of the last four winners have specialized in country music. Will Stough become the fifth country newcomer hailing from Idol? Find out on Sunday (May 21) during the three-hour season finale, starting at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT on ABC, which American Idol hopeful will be crowned. 

Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for CMT

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