Due to COVID-19 shutting down production and sending everyone into lockdown one year ago, season 18's contestants never got the true Idol experience, as the remainder of the season was filmed remotely. "“Those finalists never got the true experience of the big stage, the lights, the cameras, the hair, the makeup, the wardrobe, that fun stuff, Kris Pooley and the band backing them up,” host Ryan Seacrest explained, which judge Katy Perry noted was “kind of unfair.”
However, on Monday, fan favorites like Cyniah Elise, Makayla Phillips and even runner-up Arthur Gunn returned. While you'd think viewers would have been happy to see the veterans back on their screens, that wasn't quite the case.
The 10 returning contestants were all fighting for one spot in this season's top 10, and many people thought the twist was "extremely unfair" to this season's contestants. Especially bringing back runner-up Gunn, who had made it all the way to the finale. In fact, some viewers went so far as to theorize that Idol just wants to bring Gunn back so he can win.
Regardless, there were still many enjoyable performances Monday night and even some Idol viewers who were happy to welcome the veterans, including Gunn, back.