American Idol has made a handful of major stars over its years on the air.
Throughout the 20th season, several past winners and fan-favorite competitors returned to help mentor the young singers. Several top stars also came back to sing on The Great Idol Reunion special.
However, the biggest and most successful of the American Idol alumni have not returned. Kelly Clarkson, who won the first season and is one of the most successful alumni working today, has a deal with NBC that has likely kept her off this anniversary season.
Chris Daughtry, who left as a runner-up and went on to create the best rock band to ever come out of American Idol also didn’t show up – but he has experienced some tragedy in his life that likely kept him at home.
Adam Lambert, who went from American Idol to become the lead singer of Queen, checked in via a Facetime message.
While those stars never showed back up, the biggest star in American Idol history was just waiting until the end.
Carrie Underwood coming back to American Idol
The Top 5 takes place on Sunday night and American Idol announced that Carrie Underwood would be back to mentor the singers heading into the finals.
“Well, here’s a dream come true!” American Idol posted on its Twitter account. “#AmericanIdol icon @carrieunderwood will mentor the Top 5, live from the home of her Las Vegas residency “REFLECTION” at @resortsworldlv!”
“Who better to help our hopefuls earn a place in the Grand Finale?”
Carrie Underwood also responded to the announcement on Instagram.
“Can’t wait,” Carrie wrote.
Carrie Underwood on American Idol
Carrie Underwood won Season 4 of American Idol.
Since that time, she has become one of country music’s top stars. She has sold over 70 million albums worldwide. She has won eight Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
This also isn’t Carrie Underwood’s first time returning to American Idol in this role. In Season 16, she was there as well in an “advising appearance.” This was during that season’s Carrie Underwood/Mother’s Day Dedications.
In that season, the Top 5 performed Carrie Underwood songs and then their Mother’s Day dedications. The Carrie songs they sang were Flat on the Floor, Last Name, Undo It, So Small, and I Told You So.
Carrie was also back in Season 15 as the opening voiceover narration.
American Idol airs on Sunday nights at 8/7c on ABC.