American Idol bosses have cancelled the talent show's nationwide finalist tour for the first time.
While finalists from all previous seasons have travelled the length and breadth of the U.S. to take part in the victory tour, this year's decision marks the end of an era for the Fox show.
"The American Idol Live tour has historically been an integral part of celebrating the seasons’ contestants and also garnering excitement for summer auditions for the upcoming season,” the show's production company Core Media told Entertainment Tonight in a statement (01Apr16).
Instead, the show makers are focusing on the finale and hope it will be a "memorable and meaningful" experience.
The two-night finale, which airs next week (06-07Apr16), will feature top finalists La’Porsha Renae, Trent Harmon and Dalton Rapattoni as they battle it out for the crown, as well famous former Idol stars Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson and Carrie Underwood.
The live tour's demise was on the cards since the show failed to attract the 40 million viewers it enjoyed during the height of the series' popularity in 2002. This year's series saw those ratings slashed by two-thirds.
Speaking about the cancellation, recently eliminated finalist MACkenzie Bourg viewed the news as a blessing in the disguise.
“Now you can focus on being an artist first and that's what I am," he explained.
The final airs in the U.S. next week (beg04Apr), with Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick, Jr. in the judges' seats.