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May 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Fox’s season finale of American Idol Wednesday night averaged 28.16 million viewers. Here’s a run-down by half-hours: 8:00 p.m.: 22.95 million: 8:30 p.m.: 27.78 million; 9:00 p.m.: 30.63 million; 9:30 p.m. (in which the winner, 17-year-old Scotty McCreery, was crowned): 31.27 million. In addition, Fox announced earlier in the day that 122.4 million votes were cast following Tuesday night’s performance show — representing the highest number of votes ever cast in the show’s history. The number topped the previous record of more than 100 million set in 2009 when the two finalists were Adam Lambert and Kris Allen. Since the show first aired, the network noted, 4.8 billion votes have been cast. Wednesday night’s finale, broadcast from the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, featured some of the music world’s top stars, plugging their latest CDs, stage shows, and movies. They included Bono and the Edge singing a number they wrote for the $70-million Broadway show Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark with the show’s star, Reeve Carney. As if to offset the youth of the two finalists — runner-up Lauren Alaina is 16 — the night also featured a performance by 84-year-old Tony Bennett and 67-year-old Gladys Knight. Others performing on the finale included Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Tim McGraw, Marc Anthony, former Idol winner Carrie Underwood and current Idol judge Steven Tyler.