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“American Idol” has crowned its latest winner

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Abi Carter, a 21-year-old musician from Indio, California, won the popular vote to become the “American Idol” Season 22 champion during Sunday night’s finale.

Will Moseley, a 23-year-old musician from Hazelhurst, Georgia, and Jack Blocker, a 25-year-old graphic designer from Dallas, Texas, were the runners-up. The star-studded finale featured guest performances from music industry icons such as Jon Bon Jovi, 2004 “Idol” winner Fantasia Barrino, Jason Mraz, Wynonna Judd, Seal, and New Kids on the Block. The show also saw judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and host Ryan Seacrest, marking Perry’s final episode after six years and seven seasons on the panel.

Abi’s victory seemed almost certain after her first performance received prolonged applause, bringing her to tears and making it difficult for Bryan to speak. The moment was solidified with a video message from Billie Eilish, who said, “I wish you nothing but the best. I’m here to support you, and I love ya,” leaving Abi overwhelmed.

Abi had captivated both judges and viewers since her audition, where she performed Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?” from the “Barbie” soundtrack, earning one of three platinum tickets. Her moving piano performance led Bryan to predict, “That may be the winner of ‘American Idol.'”

When Abi was announced as the winner, it was an emotional moment for her and Perry, who had frequently described Abi as “angelic.” Perry was moved to tears as Abi performed the Eilish song that had started her “Idol” journey.

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