AceShowbiz - There were tears of joy on "American Idol" on Monday, May 2. Pushing aside the competitive spirits for a while, the show got sentimental as ABC aired "The Great Idol Reunion" to mark the 20th season of the long-running series.
In the special, original judges Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson joined current judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie on the judging panel. Meanwhile, fan favorites such as Ruben Studdard, Scotty McCreery and Jordin Sparks returned on the stage.
First on the stage were season 17 finalist Laci Kaye Booth and winner Laine Hardy who sang "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. Ruben and Jordin later teamed up to sing "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" by George Michael and Aretha Franklin.
Another standout from the show, William Hung returned to belt out "She Bangs". Up next were season 16 winner Maddie Poppe and runner-up Caleb Lee Hutchinson, who have been dating since they met on the show. They performed "Islands in the Stream" by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.
Kris Allen and David Cook then sang "Dreams" by The Cranberries together. Justin Guarini also joined host Ryan Seacrest onstage and gave an update about his family and his Broadway career. He helped introduce 2011 runner-up Lauren Alaina and winner Scotty McCreery, who sang "When You Say Nothing At All" by Alison Krauss and Union Station.
Throughout the night, Paula got emotional watching the former finalists and contestants return. "I'm most proud, most humbled by having an experience of a lifetime," she said of how it felt to be back. "I'm crying seeing all the contestants who are like my babies. It's beautiful."
"American Idol" will return with the Top 7's live performances on Sunday, May 8.