The chart-topping hitmaker and fan-favorite Top 5 Idol finalist joined forces to perform “Can I Be Him,” the third single from Arthur’s second studio album, Back from the Edge.
Arthur and the 22-year-old Texas native, Hager, both of whom played acoustic guitar belted out the lyrics to the chart-topping hit.
After seeing a video of Hager singing his 2017 hit, “Can I Be Him,” on the internet, Arthur decided to have Hager join him for a duet of the fan-favorite hit on the final episode of the Season 20 of Idol.
“Oh My Gosh,” Hager shouted upon seeing Arthur on the video call.
“Hey Fritz, how’s it going? It’s Jame Arthur, I’m happy to speak to you, I just wanted to check in and let you know that me and you are going to be singing together,” Arthur told Hager in a video chat. “We’re going to be performing in the finale. I saw that you did an amazing cover of one of my songs. “I saw that you did an amazing cover of one of my songs, ‘Can I Be Him,’ I was blown away by it. It was probably the best cover I’ve ever seen of that song. I think we’re going to do a sick version of that song and impress the American public.”
“Yeah, oh my gosh, dude! I’m so excited,” Hager said in excitement.
Additionally, Hager recently released his debut single, “Hearts Align,” which he worked on with producer King Henry (Beyoncé, Diplo, LANY), and written by season 18 alum Francisco Martin and Drew Pearson.
“It’s a dope song, and I’m so excited to share it with you guys,” Hager wrote on Instagram at the time of the track’s release.
The three-hour Season 20 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 Noah Thompson, HunterGirl, and Leah Marlene.
Additionally, superstars Carrie Underwood, Gabby Barrett, James Arthur, Sara Bareilles, Michael Bublé, Deana Carter, Earth, Wind & Fire, Melissa Etheridge, Flo Rida, Ben Platt, Thomas Rhett, Tai Verdes, and more also performed during the star-studded broadcast.
Several other contestants from Season 20 also returned to the Idol stage, including Mike Parker, Christian Guardino, Jay Copeland, Nicolina Bozzo, Fritz Hager, Emyrson Flora, and Lady K.
Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, the American Idol finale aired live coast-to-coast on Sunday, May 22, at 8/7c on ABC. The finale also streamed live on ABC.com and the ABC app and will be available to watch via Hulu on Monday (May 23).