3 Ways 'American Idol' Took Over the 2014 Tony Awards

There was a very odd theme at this year's Tony Awards, and no, we're not talking about Neil Patrick Harris terrifying celebrities, although that certainly came up two or three times. Sunday night's ceremony, strangely enough, was all about American Idol — or at least a few of its former contestants. Whether they were starring in nominated shows, previewing musicals to come, or just making us think about what they've been up to, several past Idol stars had big parts in the night''s festivities. Three ways American Idol took over the Tony Awards:

1. Fantasia Singing From After Midnight

The third season Idol winner is now a Broadway star, thanks to leading roles in The Color Purple and After Midnight, the latter of which was nominated for seven Tonys on Sunday. Alongside Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight, Fantasia opened the ceremony, singing "On the Sunny Side of the Street" from the musical.

2. Jennifer Hudson Introducing Finding Neverland

Although she's not a member of the cast, Hudson, memorably a season three Idol loser, sang a song from the upcoming Finding Neverland musical to introduce audiences to the show. Hudson's successful film career, capped by her Oscar-winning role in Dreamgirls, may have eclipsed her reality TV background, but appearing on the series clearly honed the star's live singing chops, as her Neverland performance blew the roof off of Radio City.

3. Justin Guarini Being on Broadway

The star of From Justin to Kelly (yes, that will always be how he's known to us) may not have been actually been at the Tonys, but oh, his presence was felt. Guarini, the season one American Idol runner-up, is now a Broadway leading man, appearing in Wicked after a turn in Romeo and Juliet. His performance may not have earned him a Tony this year, but knowing that the most annoying contestant in Idol history (sorry, Sanjaya) could be appearing at the awards show before long is enough to color anybody's Tony-watching experience.