Thomas Rhett and Katy Perry joined forces for the live debut of their duet, “Where We Started,” during the American Idol finale on Sunday evening (May 22).
The superstars took the stage as silhouettes in front of what looked like a picturesque sunrise atop two massive staircases. Rhett was given the spotlight first, before Perry was illuminated for her verse. The pair then paired their vocals together for the chorus.
“Where We Started” is the title track off Rhett’s new album, released on April 1, 2022. The country/pop track finds Rhett and Perry recalling the early days of a relationship in an effort to remind themselves of better times.
“Those days when you’re brokenhearted/ And you’re gettin’ knocked down/ And you say you don’t know how far we’re gonna go/ Just look at that road and think about where we started/ Keep your eyes on me ’cause talk is cheap/ We’re all we need, yeah/ Darlin’, I know how far we’re gonna go/ Just look at that road and think about where we started,” they sing on the chorus.
Earlier this year, Thomas Rhett shared the story behind the song with Country Now and other media outlets and revealed that a duet was “never a plan,” it just sort of happened that way.
It all started when a member of his team asked for his permission to send it to Perry to see if she’d be interested in collaborating on the song.
“I was like, ‘Yeah, but they’re not gonna respond.’…And literally within 24 hours Katy responded and said, ‘I love this. I resonate with this so well,’” Rhett explained. “When she put her vocal on it, it took her, like, two weeks. She really put a lot of time and effort into this vocal…This reminded me of how amazing a vocalist she is, and I feel like it really came to life.”
Where We Started features 15 tracks, including Rhett’s latest hit, “Slow Down Summer.”
The three-hour Season 20 finale of American Idol also featured performances from Perry’s fellow Idol judges Luke Bryan 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, 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).