Katharine McPhee returns to American Idol to perform moving duet with semifinalist Willie Spence

Katharine McPhee Foster made her triumphant return to American Idol on Sunday night to perform a moving duet with season 19 semifinalist Willie Spence.

The 37-year-old season five runner-up and the 21-year-old caretaker teamed up to sing Céline Dion and Andrea Bocelli’s 1999 ballad The Prayer.

It gave Katharine a chance to put her powerful soprano pipes to good use and showcase her slim 5ft8in figure six weeks after welcoming her first child.  

Back on Idol! Katharine McPhee Foster (L) made her triumphant return to American Idol on Sunday night to perform a moving duet with season 19 semifinalist Willie Spence (R)

Back on Idol! Katharine McPhee Foster (L) made her triumphant return to American Idol on Sunday night to perform a moving duet with season 19 semifinalist Willie Spence (R)

Back on Idol! Katharine McPhee Foster (L) made her triumphant return to American Idol on Sunday night to perform a moving duet with season 19 semifinalist Willie Spence (R)

Soaring song: The 37-year-old season five runner-up (L) and the 21-year-old caretaker (R) teamed up to sing Céline Dion and Andrea Bocelli's 1999 ballad The Prayer

Soaring song: The 37-year-old season five runner-up (L) and the 21-year-old caretaker (R) teamed up to sing Céline Dion and Andrea Bocelli's 1999 ballad The Prayer

Soaring song: The 37-year-old season five runner-up (L) and the 21-year-old caretaker (R) teamed up to sing Céline Dion and Andrea Bocelli’s 1999 ballad The Prayer

McPhee dedicated her performance to her TV producer father Daniel, who passed away in July 2018.

And Spence dedicated his performance to his grandfather, who recently passed away due to the coronavirus.

‘He loved [The Prayer]. I grew up listening to my mom sing the song,’ Willie – who shed 180lbs off his 600lb frame prior to his audition – explained.

‘I would’ve never though that I would lose my grandfather. This has really been one of the hardest times of my life. I’m going to always remember what you told me, “Never give up.” And I will never give up. My grandfather still is my hero to this day, and I just know he’s watching and smiling down.’

In the spotlight: It gave Katharine a chance to put her powerful soprano pipes to good use

In the spotlight: It gave Katharine a chance to put her powerful soprano pipes to good use

She showcased her slim 5ft8in figure six weeks after welcoming her first child

She showcased her slim 5ft8in figure six weeks after welcoming her first child

In the spotlight: It gave Katharine a chance to put her powerful soprano pipes to good use and showcase her slim 5ft8in figure six weeks after welcoming her first child

RIP: McPhee dedicated her performance to her TV producer father Daniel, who passed away in July 2018

RIP: McPhee dedicated her performance to her TV producer father Daniel, who passed away in July 2018

RIP: McPhee dedicated her performance to her TV producer father Daniel, who passed away in July 2018

'He loved [The Prayer]': And Spence dedicated his performance to his grandfather (R), who recently passed away due to the coronavirus

'He loved [The Prayer]': And Spence dedicated his performance to his grandfather (R), who recently passed away due to the coronavirus

‘He loved [The Prayer]’: And Spence dedicated his performance to his grandfather (R), who recently passed away due to the coronavirus

Willie - who shed 180lbs off his 600lb frame prior to his audition - explained: 'My grandfather still is my hero to this day, and I just know he's watching and smiling down'

Willie - who shed 180lbs off his 600lb frame prior to his audition - explained: 'My grandfather still is my hero to this day, and I just know he's watching and smiling down'

Willie – who shed 180lbs off his 600lb frame prior to his audition – explained: ‘My grandfather still is my hero to this day, and I just know he’s watching and smiling down’

The Florida-born, Georgia-raised crooner also belted Bette Midler’s 1988 hit Wind Beneath My Wings, and revealed his goal to win a Grammy in the next five years.

Judge Lionel Richie gushed that it was ‘mesmerizing to watch’ Spence and judge Luke Bryan said he could ‘do no wrong in my eyes.’

‘It was goosebumps central, everywhere. It really showcased your voice, and different levels… that you have within you,’ judge Katy Perry said. 

Solo number: The Florida-born, Georgia-raised crooner also belted Bette Midler's 1988 hit Wind Beneath My Wings, and revealed his goal to win a Grammy in the next five years

Solo number: The Florida-born, Georgia-raised crooner also belted Bette Midler's 1988 hit Wind Beneath My Wings, and revealed his goal to win a Grammy in the next five years

Solo number: The Florida-born, Georgia-raised crooner also belted Bette Midler’s 1988 hit Wind Beneath My Wings, and revealed his goal to win a Grammy in the next five years

Besotted: Judge Lionel Richie (L) gushed that it was 'mesmerizing to watch' Spence and judge Luke Bryan (R) said he could 'do no wrong in my eyes'

Besotted: Judge Lionel Richie (L) gushed that it was 'mesmerizing to watch' Spence and judge Luke Bryan (R) said he could 'do no wrong in my eyes'

Besotted: Judge Lionel Richie (L) gushed that it was ‘mesmerizing to watch’ Spence and judge Luke Bryan (R) said he could ‘do no wrong in my eyes’

Judge Katy Perry said: 'It was goosebumps central, everywhere. It really showcased your voice, and different levels... that you have within you'

Judge Katy Perry said: 'It was goosebumps central, everywhere. It really showcased your voice, and different levels... that you have within you'

Judge Katy Perry said: ‘It was goosebumps central, everywhere. It really showcased your voice, and different levels… that you have within you’

‘I think, to win this, it’s about song choice, and it’s about those amazing classic songs that other powerhouses sing, and that show that you are also a powerhouse.’

It was a full circle moment for the Country Comfort actress, who met Bocelli when he served as guest mentor alongside her future husband David Foster on the formerly Fox singing competition in 2006.

15 years later, Katharine and the Canadian 71-year-old are now proud parents of son Rennie David and they’ll celebrate their second wedding anniversary on June 28.

Taylor Hicks won that year: It was a full circle moment for the Country Comfort actress (3-L), who met Bocelli (2-L) when he served as guest mentor alongside her future husband David Foster (L) on the formerly Fox singing competition in 2006

Taylor Hicks won that year: It was a full circle moment for the Country Comfort actress (3-L), who met Bocelli (2-L) when he served as guest mentor alongside her future husband David Foster (L) on the formerly Fox singing competition in 2006

Taylor Hicks won that year: It was a full circle moment for the Country Comfort actress (3-L), who met Bocelli (2-L) when he served as guest mentor alongside her future husband David Foster (L) on the formerly Fox singing competition in 2006

34-year age gap: 15 years later, Katharine and the Canadian 71-year-old (L, pictured in 2019) are now proud parents of son Rennie David and they'll celebrate their second wedding anniversary on June 28

34-year age gap: 15 years later, Katharine and the Canadian 71-year-old (L, pictured in 2019) are now proud parents of son Rennie David and they'll celebrate their second wedding anniversary on June 28

34-year age gap: 15 years later, Katharine and the Canadian 71-year-old (L, pictured in 2019) are now proud parents of son Rennie David and they’ll celebrate their second wedding anniversary on June 28

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