"American Idol" results nights have become quite the eclectic affairs. While the purpose of the broadcast is always to announce the next contestant to be sent home, host Ryan Seacrest and the rest of the "Idol" crew manage to drag out the inevitable with a combination of witty banter, group performances from the contestants and a few guest stars here and there.
Thursday night's (April 14) results episode featured visits from first-ever "Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson, who performed her hit single "Don't You Wanna Stay" with Jason Aldean; the debut of the latest "Cowboys & Aliens" movie trailer; music legends Chaka Khan and Anita Baker chilling in the audience; and a killer performance from Rihanna.
With her bright-red hair worn in loose waves and dressed in a floor-length, heavily textured rose-colored gown, the 23-year-old rocked the house with an ethereal performance of her ballad "California King Bed" (which she also recently performed as a duet with Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles at the Academy of Country Music Awards).
Rihanna began her song in the midst of several long white curtains, surrounded by a group of female dancers in the background. She started the ballad softly, almost hiding in the curtains but eventually emerged to take center stage and rock out with the guitarist during the most powerful part of the song.
After the performance, which brought the audience to its feet, Seacrest pressed Rihanna for details about her upcoming tour and the rumor that she was planning something special in order to fully incorporate her fans into the experience.
"You always know the inside scoop!" Rihanna protested, before opening up a bit about the plan. "Right now, we just designed the stage. I'm really not supposed to say this, but I want to get you excited," she told the crowd. "We're building two sections on the stage [for the fans. They'll be] closer than they've ever been. It's real VIP."
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