William Hung, one of “American Idol’s” earliest viral sensations, made his return to the stage for the show’s series finale on Thursday night.
Hung performed Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs,” which is the song that originally made him an Internet star. The Hong Kong born singer rose to prominence in Season 3 of the show when he auditioned by singing an incredibly off key version of the song.
Despite not even making it past the audition round, Hung became a viral star off of the performance and signed a record deal shortly thereafter. He released two studio albums: “Inspiration” in 2004, which sold over 200,000 copies; and “Miracle: Happy Summer from William Hung,” which sold only 7,000.
Set at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, the finale featured a slew of returning contestants, including past winners Scotty McCreery, Jordin Sparks, Carrie Underwood and a very pregnant Kelly Clarkson, who pre-taped her performance.
The two-hour finale was jam-packed with performances and medley’s from some of “Idol’s” most notable alums. Katharine McPhee, Kree Harrison, Diana DeGarmo, Chris Daughtry, Pia Toscano, Fantasia Barrino, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Hicks, Candice Glover, Melinda Doolittle and Jessica Sanchez were among the dozens of returning contestants.
Judges Keith Urban, Harry Connick Jr. and Jennifer Lopez also got in on the fun by taking to the stage to perform themselves. Former judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, Kara DioGuardi and Simon Cowell also appeared. Even the short-lived judges Nicki Minaj and Ellen DeGeneres made appearances with brief pre-taped goodbyes.