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The American Idol season 11 finale will feature several tributes, which should come as little surprise considering the number of celebrity deaths in the news of late.
The Hollywood Reporter has learned that this year’s female finalists will pay homage to the late Donna Summer while the boys will honor the recently departed Robin Gibb with the songs of the Bee Gees.
Helping the contestants translate the Summer’s classic songbook (the disco queen appeared on the season 7 finale) to a group performance with ’70s icons Gloria Gaynor, Thelma Houston and Gladys Knight joined by Nelly Furtado, Sheila E., Jennifer Holliday and, of course, the Season 11 girls (later in the show, they perform with Chaka Khan). In addition, Broadway and Glee star Kristin Chenoweth will trade vocals with finalist Jessica Sanchez on the Summer-Barbra Streisand girl power anthem, “Enough is Enough.”
Among the other stars set to perform with the finalists are John Fogerty, who will duet with Phillip Phillips, Reba McEntire, who will kick up her boots with Skylar Laine and the long-awaited Fantasia-Mantasia mash-up – a no-brainer for second runner-up Joshua Ledet.
Sanchez will join Dreamgirls soul-mate Holliday for an encore performance of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” and the boys will sing with Neil Diamond for yet another group number.
Previously announced performers include hitmaker Rihanna and rockers Aerosmith.
Tune in on Thursday for all the finale action, capping off five months of Idol madness.
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