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American Idol 15: Top 3

And just like that, American Idol aired it's last episode in the studio where everything started. Just like Ryan Seacrest at the end of the episode, I was also clearly chocked up that we're at the homestretch and American Idol is about to end by next week. What will my life be? Haha. Ok. I don't want to be over dramatic, but you know what I mean. 

As for the episode, it was a pretty even night.  I think that every single one of the Top 3 managed to land a punch at some point in the evening. Dalton, La'Porsha, and Trent all delivered a performance that made a case as to why they should win the crown this season, and that's exactly what a Top 3 night should be! I honestly have no idea what's going to happen next week at the Finale. One of them will be eliminated right off the bat, but who?

We shall see..

On with the show!

Round 1: Personal Choice

03. Dalton Rapattoni
Calling You
Vocally, Calling You was decent and unoffending, but for Top 3 week? No, it simply wasn't up to par. I mean, if you're going to pick something uptempo this late in the competition, it better be damn good given how strong Trent and La'Porsha are as vocalists. Song choice was key to Dalton's success at this point of the game, and this wasn't it. Waste of a performance slot. 6

02. Trent Harmon
Tennessee Whiskey
The vocals were a bit more ragged and his fast vibrato returned with a ferocious vengeance, but somehow it all worked to his advantage. I liked how he managed to infuse some soul into this country ditty and the end result was quite compelling to watch. Oh, and the almost acapella breakdown in the middle section of the performance was brilliant. 8

01. La'Porsha Renae
Glory was another inspired song choice, and while I'm not sure if I wanted the drums to overpower parts of her performance, La'Porsha soulful tone reigned supreme over the rest of the solo performances during this round. This was downright fantastic! It was packed full of emotion and the song rose and fell perfectly with some beautiful vocal moments. 8.5

Round 2: Scott Borchetta's Choice

03. La'Porsha Renae
Stay With Me
Where to begin? Look, Stay With Me was another good, but not great performance from La'Porsha, and that's mostly because she looked terribly uncomfortable with the general theme of Scott's song choice for her. Sure, Mr. Borchetta could've been a lot more sensitive given her tragic background, but La'Porsha should've just sucked it up and delivered it like she's singing someone else's story. I mean, she insisted on singing "I'm a cowboy" last week, why not this? I'm giving her big points for the vocals, but she really appeared to just want to be done with it and not savor it at all. 7  

02. Dalton Rapattoni
Dancing In The Dark
This wasn't anything groundbreaking and I didn't think he did anything to further change the game, but Dalton's version of Dancing In The Dark was pretty terrific. The arrangement was clever, his vocals were the consistent, and there's a certain magnetic energy to this performance. Very nice. 8

01. Trent Harmon
Drink You Away
So, this was the first Justin Timberlake song on American Idol ever? Wow. Drink You Away was a brilliant song choice for Trent as this allowed him to showcase his versatility to an audience that might be looking an excuse to vote for another country Idol. He opened up, interpreted the lyrics with enough passion, and what followed was an electrifying second half. The tune fit him like a glove and he was unbridled in the final moment. 8

Round 3: Judges' Pick

03. Dalton Rapattoni
Everybody Wants To Rule The World
Yikes. It's unfortunate for Dalton that his weakest performance happened to be his last of the night. Not sure why the judges picked this song for him - other than the obvious - but all of the familiar pitch problems returned, his rhythm sounded slightly off, and I felt like the band swallowed his vocals for the most part. 5

02. La'Porsha Renae
I cringed at the song choice at first - no one can do Adele justice, at least in my book - and while the song felt a little too structured to allow for La'Porsha's impressive freestyle runs and wails, she still delivered. It was a stellar vocal performance paired with intricate phrasing and palpable emotions. Yes, she didn't add anything new or special to the song, but she at least showed us that she's really capable of singing more modern ballads and being believable doing so. 8.5

01. Trent Harmon
Waiting Game
Beautiful. Natural. Effortless. This was a gorgeous performance and possibly the best pure vocal we've heard from Trent since the beginning of the competition. The affectations were dialed back and the vibrato was simplified. The vocal choices were also serene and subdued and the way he manipulated each note like a sculptor was impressive. Trent delivered, once again, a very vulnerable and satisfying performance and he was note perfect in his execution. Outstanding. 9.5


MacKenzie Bourg
Quite frankly, I prefer MacKenzie Bourg over Dalton Rapattoni - based solely on their complete body of work this season - but I'm happy that MacKenzie went out not only with one of his best performances this season but one of the most mature and well-rounded solo performances of the evening. His vocals were honest and simple and despite his vocal limitation, he made the song work for his voice. Gorgeous. 8

Dalton Rapattoni

Dalton Rapattoni
American Idol 15: Top 3 Reviewed by DAM on 3:01 AM Rating: 5

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