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April 08, 2016 at 01:59 PM EDT

Three Divas and the Soul of American Idol

LaToya London, Fantasia, and Jennifer Hudson back together is what longtime Idol fans have been living for. It’s like going to sparkle church, and it all starts with “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” It’s not that theatrical business that we remember from Clay Aiken — it’s a bridge that leads you straight over the troubled water and directly to the tabernacle.  And then Jennifer Hudson’s special solo with “Remember the Music,” is just a beautiful moment reminding us that at one point even seventh place wasn’t something to scoff at. Fantasia follows up with an unbelievable performance of “Ugly.” I run around my living room screaming, “Yeah, yeah, yeah” in celebration. The lesser known of the three divas, LaToya, is accompanied by season 5 daddy silver fox, Taylor Hicks, for a rendition of “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me).” Weird dancing ensues.

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Elsewhere in the world of soul, Brandon Rogers, George Huff, Danny Gokey, Elliott Yamin, and Clark Beckham show up to do a nice medley, but what really matters is that Joshua Ledet makes a rare appearance to sing “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” and ruins you with his fun vocal scatting. Not to be outdone, Candice Glover and Melinda Doolittle (BOW AT THE IDOL ALTAR) show up to sing “Joy to the World.” In short, Idol has no shortage of country or soul or literally anything.

Gang’s All Here!

After a flashback of 15 years of awkward moments, bloopers, crazy contestants, and silly auditions, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson join Ryan Seacrest on stage to reunite, but the one part that seems to be missing is the heart (or lack thereof) of the show. But just as Paula and Randy launch into a Simon Cowell flashback speech, the devil himself appears to reunite the entire team. In a bit of an awkward moment, Simon, Paula, and Randy stumble through a thank you to the fans and to American Idol, as if they are holding off for one final surprise. And then, in a blur of white satin, William Hung (#HungOnIdol, y’all) blasts from stage left screaming, “SHE BANGS! SHE BANGS!” You know that he has been waiting on this moment for YEARS.

Carrie Underwood, “Something In the Water”

As the night comes to an end, with Kelly is on baby hiatus, it makes so much sense to me that we end this Idol legacy on Carrie Underwood singing her 2014 single because the main way that Idol will continue to live on is through the talent it has produced. Sporting a fancy sheer dress and a fun new bob, Carrie tears into “Something in the Water” with the same vigor and strength that she put forth every week as a contestant. She ends the performance with confetti rain because nothing is too much for the series finale.

NEXT: A final Idol

/ ( 3 of 4 )

Ryan Seacrest hosts as Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan guide aspiring singers on their way to superstardom.
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