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Megan Danielle Crowned ‘American Idol’ Runner-Up After Covering Keith Urban, Journey, & More

todayMay 22, 2023

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Megan Danielle bid farewell to American Idol on Sunday evening (May 21). The Georgia native was revealed as the runner-up on season 21 during the star-studded Idol finale. 

Prior to her departure from the show, Megan Danielle performed several times. First, she took the stage with a soaring cover of a Keith Urban hit.

She showcased her incredible vocals with a performance of Keith Urban’s 2020 hit, “God Whispered Your Name.”  

KEITH URBAN, MEGAN DANIELLE; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless
KEITH URBAN, MEGAN DANIELLE; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

Donning a blue shattered glass dress, Megan Danielle commanded the stage as she belted out the angelic lyrics. 

“And then God whispered your name/ And that’s when everything changed/ And love came out of the rain/ And talk about being saved,” she sang. 

The Georgia native’s performance earned praise from each of the American Idol judges. 

“You know there’s some people you kind of have to introduce them to BBQ sauce and then some people just have natural BBQ sauce abilities. The cry in your voice is everything,” Lionel Richie applauded.  

Katy Perry complimented Danielle’s growth as an artist and a performer. 

“I think you really like this new version of you. It’s a version of you that’s always been inside of you and it’s so comfortable and proud of how far you’ve come and I think our job here is done because that’s the gift,” she proudly shared. 

MEGAN DANIELLE; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless
MEGAN DANIELLE; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

Luke Bryan couldn’t help but to comment on the 20-year-old’s spot-on vocals.  

“I don’t know I have not heard you make one bad vocal decision all year. I have not heard you miss a note and through all that you have done it stylistically in your own way,” he said. “Your voice is your own voice and it’s just very inspiring… It’s been inspiring to watch you grow.” 

She later returned to the stage to perform a cover of Journey’s “Faithfully,” which brought Katy Perry and Luke Bryan to tears. 

MEGAN DANIELLE; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless
MEGAN DANIELLE; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

“I think this is what parent’s do when their kids graduate,” Katy Perry said, “you aced this class and what you gave us at the end was phenomenal.”

“I love this show because I just cry all the time,” Luke Bryan joked. “The only time I cry and I know people at home are being affected by this too. You just make people feel so many emotions… I’m just happy for you and it was just beautiful from top to bottom.” 

The finale also included Danielle performing her debut single, “Dream Girl,” and a duet between the rising star and Lauren Daigle. 

Megan Danielle first turned heads on American Idol when she auditioned with Lauren Daigle’s “You Say.” She went on to perform songs such as “Up to the Mountain (MLK Song)” by Patty Griffin, “Always Remember Us This Way” by Lady Gaga, “Easy On Me” by Adele, “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac, “Holy Water” by We The Kingdom, “Thank God I Do” by Lauren Daigle, “Angel from Montgomery” by Bonnie Raitt, “Go Rest High on That Mountain” by Vince Gill, “Head Over Feet” by Alanis Morissette, and more. 

Live from Hollywood, the three-hour Season 21 finale of American Idol also featured performances from the Idol judges, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, as well as the top 3 finalists: Megan Danielle, Colin Stough, and Iam Tongi. 

Additionally, Ellie Goulding, Jelly Roll, Pitbull, TLC, Lil Jon, James Blunt, Jazmine Sullivan, REO Speedwagon’s Kevin Cronin, Kylie Minogue, Lainey Wilson and Lauren Daigle also performed throughout the broadcast. 

Iam Tongi, Megan Danielle, Colin Stough; Photo Courtesy American Idol
Iam Tongi, Megan Danielle, Colin Stough; Photo Courtesy American Idol

American Idol alums Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken also returned to the show. 

Country superstar Keith Urban, who served as an American Idol judge during seasons 12 to 15, was on hand to mentor the top 3.  

“To be able to come in as a mentor, and play as well, is incredible,” he told PEOPLE. “That was home for me for several seasons, and the mentoring part is probably one of the things I always enjoyed the most, getting to work with the artist one-on-one.”

Keith Urban; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless
Keith Urban; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

During the show, several other fan-favorite contestants returned to the American Idol stage, including Haven Madison, Olive Steele, Wé Ani, Zachariah Smith, Warren Peay, and more. 

Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, the American Idol season 21 finale aired on Sunday, May 21 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT. 

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Written by: Country Now

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