LOS ANGELES —
"I love everybody that walked on this show," Jackson said. He added, "Hopefully, I touched their lives a little bit. They certainly touched mine."
Grammy- and Oscar-winning former "Idol" finalist Jennifer Hudson returned for Thursday's finale to duet with Glover on Natalie Cole's "Inseparable."
"I look up to her and, honestly, she is so successful after this show, and I really admire her," said Glover backstage. "I finally got a chance to not only meet her but sing with her."
Hudson was among the guest stars who helped fill out the two-hour finale show, including Psy, Frankie Valli, Emeli Sande, Jessie J, Aretha Franklin and former "Idol" judge Jennifer Lopez. Current "Idol" judges Keith Urban and Mariah Carey — along with Jackson on bass — also performed.
Jackson previously declared Wednesday's three-song showdown a dead heat between Harrison and Glover, who have both once been among the show's low vote-getters during the finals.
"The title is freaking amazing, and I'm so proud of Candice, but for me, I'm so thankful I could even stand next to her on the finale," said Harrison, who now lives in Nashville, Tenn.
Last year's finale between Phillips and budding pop diva Jessica Sanchez brought in 132 million votes. The vote totals for Thursday's finale weren't shared with viewers.