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American Idol 15: Top 2

.. and yes, we're at the homestretch - THE FINAL PERFORMANCE EPISODE EVER! It's quite surreal, but what a Finale it was!

Both contestants came out swinging tonight. Trent has been on fire for weeks now, while La'Porsha just continued her streak of consistently fantastic performances. They showed up tonight focused and ready to lay it all down. That's the finale we deserved and I think we got a really interesting fight on our hands. So, who will the public rally behind? The frontrunner who had been rock solid the entire season? Or the underdog who peaked at the right moment?

Let’s get to the last and final showdown of American Idol! Shall we?

BY ROUNDS
Round 1: Winner's Single

Trent Harmon
Falling
This may not be the sound I was expecting for Trent - I was hoping it veered more to Waiting Game than an almost swampy Sharp Dressed Man - but I can't deny the fact that the song highlighted his vocal strengths, he sounded fantastic, and the impassioned delivery was impressive. It was one of Trent's most confident performances to date. 8

La'Porsha Renae
Battles
La'Porsha's song was just a perfect fit for her - theme-wise and vocal-wise - and the song actually sounded surprisingly contemporary. I'm not sure I enjoyed the cliched lyrics as much as I did with Falling, but she sang her hell out of the song and that's good enough. I guess. 7.5

VERDICT: Trent Harmon

Round 2: Simon Fuller's Choice

Trent Harmon
If You Don't Know Me By Now
On paper, this had the potential to knock La'Porsha out of the competition, but there was something about the performance that didn't flow as much as I wanted. If he only stuck with the melody and less of the adlibs, this would've been a perfect song to showcase the soulful quality of his voice. That's not to say it was bad because it wasn't. Far from it, actually. 7.5

La'Porsha Renae
A House Is Not A Home
This, to me, was a vocal masterclass. A House Is Not A Home is a hard song to sing - degree of difficulty was insane - but how she effortlessly navigated the melody while shifting to her head voice was just outstanding. I genuinely didn't expect her to push back on the wailing and caress the song and provide some superb vocal dynamics. 9

VERDICT: La'Porsha Renae. Easily.

Round 3: Reprise

Trent Harmon
Chandelier
Sure, Chandelier was just a few short weeks ago, but I thought that this was the right tune for the night and the smartest given the choices La'Porsha have from a slew of strong performances throughout the season. To be honest, I didn't expect to be anymore moved, but the performance just went into the stratosphere. It was absolutely pitch perfect, his vocal transitions were impeccable, and I was completely sucked into the emotions and the vocal choices. Bravo, Trent. 9.5

La'Porsha Renae
Diamonds
Make no mistake, La'Porsha tried to differentiate this performance to her previous one with more runs and a couple of tweaks in the melody, but somehow, the vocals came off a little labored. Not to take anything away though from her as this was still pretty terrific, I just thought I enjoyed her original version than this one. 9

VERDICT: Trent Harmon

BY PERFORMANCES

1. Chandelier
Trent Harmon

2. A House Is Not A Home
La'Porsha Renae

3. Diamonds
La'Porsha Renae

4. Falling
Trent Harmon

5. If You Don't Know Me By Now
Trent Harmon

6, Battles
La'Porsha Renae

BY IDOL

1. Trent Harmon
You know what, this Trent-La'Porsha Finale had the makings of a Phillip-Jessica Finale of Season 11 or Lee-Crystal Finale of Season 9. Jessica and Crystal were clearly amazing vocalists and they almost always outsang Phillip and Lee for most of the season until both started surging towards the end. Trent Harmon had the same trajectory as Phillip and Lee and the momentum is obviously in his side. And yes, it continued tonight, but with a very slight margin. 

2. La'Porsha Renae
She's been absolutely flawless the entire season and it would almost seem a big injustice if she'd eventually end up as a runner-up, but you know what, American Idol has not always been about the voice - maybe try the other show, but I doubt it - but a lot more things. Not to take anything away from her though. She's been one of the greatest vocalists to come out of the show and she gave every reason for America to vote for her. Will it be enough? I'm not so sure. 


Prediction will be on another post!
American Idol 15: Top 2 Reviewed by DAM on 7:00 PM Rating: 5

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