Wednesday, April 06, 2016

American Idol: Season 15 - Final 2 Perform (SERIES FINALE RECAP)

Hello my friends one last time!  It's partly bittersweet, it's partly a relief but inevitably it is finally here.  This is my final recap for American Idol's initial broadcast run.  Of course, I have to word it like this because there is all of this talk about how one day (probably sooner than later) it may return in a new form.  So, I can't necessarily rule out any future musings from yours truly if I make the unwise decision to fall into the inescapable trap again!  Yes, I joke around.  I may act like I hated every minute but anyone that's still sticking with this recap to the bitter end knows that I loved mostly every minute of it.  For all of the awful performances, cheesy moments, judging table round robins, this was one crazy 15 year experience.  And there is no denying it, stars DID emerge from this show.  They may have found the best ones early on, but we've been treated to some great performances over the years.

The actual final performances of our final 2 tonight is almost an afterthought to what this season really represented.  It was a celebration of achievement of American Idol's entire run.  If anyone watched the recap special Tuesday night it was a nice retrospective on the accomplishments of the series.  From the uncertainty of everything in season 1 to the fully established mega-phenomenonthe show became.   They bookended the retrospective with Kelly Clarkson's audition and with her final live performance earlier this season.  And that pretty much says it all.  This show really was what it was because they found a SUPERSTAR in that 1st season.  Every season after that had contestants who aspired to come on the show and become the next Kelly.  And sure, they found some that may have had equal or more success, but it was Kelly that started it all.  Even Carrie Underwood admitted in the retrospective that Kelly inspired her to audition.  But, no one needs me to keep hammering home who my favorite (Who are we kidding? the BEST) idol is!?  I've brought it up every season multiple times!  Kelly will be on Thursday night's series finale but in a pre-taped performance due to her being extremely near giving birth to her 2nd child.

Okay, I'm rambling.  It's been awhile since I did that right?  We do have a job to do tonight and that is to pick one final winner of American Idol.  I've gotten 8 of 14 picks correct.  The whole male guitar trend really threw me off in the 2nd half of the series.  Could it possibly happen again in this final season?  Only one way to find out.  It's time to dive into our real-time recap ONE LAST TIME!  

Performance Recap

Round 1 - Winner Songs

  1. Trent Harmon - "Falling" - Not a bad jam for Trent.  I don't know how well it would do on the radio, but Keith certainly knew all of the words!  Trent has come a long way in this abbreviated competition though and this performance was pretty good.  "Pretty" good.  
  2. Dalton Rapattoni - "Strike a Match" - Okay, the vocal doesn't compare to the others.  We've beaten that to death.  But, if you want to talk about Idol winning songs that could actually get airplay, then Dalton's song and Dalton himself is probably Radio ready.  He could actually have a decent career after this show even if he doesn't win.  
  3. La'Porsha Renae - "Battles" - Hey look it's Diana Ross!  Combine the voice with a radio friendly tune and you get some serious potential!  That was a solid entry of a mostly successful playlist La'Porsha has been putting together all season.  

Eliminated from Top 3 (And my pick): Dalton Rapattoni - It seemed like a foregone conclusion, but you just never can tell how America would vote!  Farewell Dalton and best of luck in your career!  

La'Porsha vs. Trent!  Power Vocal vs. Power Vocal. 

Round 2 - Simon Fuller's choice
  1. Trent Harmon - "If You Don't Know Me By Now" by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes - Didn't he sing this earlier this season?  If not, he sang something similar.  Still, it was another powerful performance.  I feel like he's fighting an uphill battle in this competition, but he's putting his heart and soul into those performances out there.  
  2. La'Porsha Renae - "A House is Not a Home" by Dionne Warwick - This song is a classic Idol song that everyone in creation sang every year.  Of course Simon Fuller would pick it!  Solid performance from La'Porsha.  I'd probably rank them pretty evenly that round.   It sounded like the judges were giving to edge to Miss Renae after her beautiful awareness of melody.  Close call though. 
Round 3 - Contestant's picks
  1. Trent - "Chandelier" by Sia - Beautiful, just like the last time.  Maybe even better.  I think I legitimately can say this year that whoever wins this year is a deserving winner.  The final 2 are the legitimate 2 contestants that should've been the final 2.  They should just take Nick's crown from last year and give Trent and La'Porsha the wins!  I do have to ask though.  Why did Trent PICK to go first if he won the coin toss?  We all know what La'Porsha is going to sing and she's going to bring the house down.  
  2. La'Porsha - "Diamonds" by Rhianna - She brought the house down with this when Kelly Clarkson was in the house.  Of course, she was going to do it!  And of course, it was amazing.  Like ridiculously amazing.  I just don't know how you top that.  Drop the mic girl.  Drop. The. Mic. 

The Final Pick

One last time, we need to walk down memory lane of my annual picks.

  • Season 1: Kelly Clarkson (winner) vs. Justin Guarini (got it right)
  • Season 2: Ruban Studdard (winner) vs. Clay Aiken (got it wrong)
  • Season 3: Fantasia Barrino (winner) vs. Diana DeGarmo (got it right)
  • Season 4: Carrie Underwood (winner) vs. Bo Bice (got it right)
  • Season 5: Taylor Hicks (winner) vs. Katharine McPhee (got it right)
  • Season 6: Jordin Sparks (winner) vs. Blake Lewis (got it right)
  • Season 7: David Cook (winner) vs. David "the artichoke" Archuleta (got it right)
  • Season 8: Kris Allen (winner) vs. Adam Lambert (got it wrong)
  • Season 9: Lee DeWyze (winner) vs. Crystal Bowersox (got it wrong)
  • Season 10: Scotty McCreery (winner) vs. Lauren Alaina (got it wrong)
  • Season 11: Phillip Phillips (winner) vs. Jessica Sanchez (got it right)
  • Season 12: Candice Glover (winner) vs. Kree Harrison (got it right)
  • Season 13: Caleb Johnson (winner) vs. Jena Irene (got it wrong)
  • Season 14: Nick Fradiani (winner) vs. Clark Beckham (got it wrong)
Even if I get this wrong I still barely finish with a winning record!  I mentioned it above.  I love both of these contestants.  This is who most of us thought should be the final 2 and they both made it without any crazy voting scandals.  There are no losers here.  So the biggest question is can I finally pick the right one?  Can I figure out what America is thinking?  I haven't been bragging, but my record this season has been pretty solid on bottom 3 picks and elimination picks.   I don't believe La'Porsha or Trent landed in the bottom this whole season.  I've always had a soft spot for the females winning in this show especially after the male dominated 2nd half.  So, I don't think it's a surprise what direction I'm going here. 

(UPDATE AFTER FINALE - WRONG ONE FINAL TIME!!   Congrats Trent Harmon!  More thoughts on finale in comments.)

There we have it.  I mean Kelly already declared the winner weeks ago.  We just had to see La'Porsha earn it week after week since.  Kelly also was tweeting tonight and said she has never voted for a contestant on Idol before but she is voting for La'Porsha tonight.  We start with a girl we end with a girl.  I like it.  But again, if Trent wins that's awesome.  They're both great singers and I'm just glad no hacks like Nick Fradiani or Lee Dewyze are taking home the win this year.  Then again, there really wasn't anyone like that in this year's competition.  But with that, I guess it's time to wrap things up for a final time.  

I wanted to write one last message of thanks. Thank you to anyone who stuck with me until the end here.  This blog was always my pet project that loomed in the shadows of that bigger blog I had back during the LOST days.  But, while LOST was keeping me up at night pondering the mysteries of the universe I was having a blast speaking my mind on everything from awful auditions/performances to the very best moments Idol ever had to offer.  It was a tough road, some might argue it was meaningless in the end.  But, for someone who loves music and likes to arrange words in a manner that sometimes entertains (usually myself more than anyone else I'm sure!) this was the perfect outlet for me.  So thank you to everyone who found it entertaining enough to check in!  Thanks to my wife who put up with my need to write these blogs even years after I probably should've stopped.  Those kids of ours didn't make it easy in these waning years.  But, I had a mission to see this thing through to the end.  And see it through I did! 

I know what you're thinking.  WAIT MIKE!  There's one more episode! Yes there is and I'm sure I'll have something to say about it.  But, as we did for the past few seasons let's just use the comments section here to discuss it.  I will post my thoughts in the comments at some point after all is said and done.  

So, we've reached the end.  Maybe Idol will return.  Maybe I'll watch.  Maybe I'll write.  But it's a lot of maybes.  For now, we have reached a definitive end and I am saying my goodbyes.  If you still want to see me ramble on about TV you can always check out where there's always SOMETHING to discuss even if it's not in my elaborate forms of yesteryear.  But for Idol, I hope you've enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you when I see you!  


Leslie said...

I always enjoy your ramblings which is why I have read all 3 of your blogs!! :)

I loved the retrospective Tuesday, and for just a moment when they mentioned people who blogged about the show, I half expected you to pop up! I mean, you did make it on TV after the LOST finale, so it's not out of the realm of possibility, right? It was fun to be reminded how the show was so cheaply done in the beginning compared to all the bling it has now!

As for the performances, I figured Dalton would go, and I hope he goes on to have a good career. I have said I'm not a fan of Trent's and last night didn't change that. La'Porsha did well, and I hope she wins!

I'm looking forward to tonight's finale! I'm sure they have some great surprises for us!

Mike V. said...

Thanks Leslie! Don't forget about the short-lived and ill-conceived Flash Forward Addicts blog too!

lol...I did have a chuckle when they talked about BLOGGERS of American Idol. But, intentionally, I never promoted this blog as much as I did the LOST blog because I didn't really want to enter that larger conversation. Not that I ever would have either!! My LOST TV spot was for the season 5 finale in's not like I was on ABC World News or anything! lol But yeah it was still cool...and totally embarrassing!

I liked Trent's growth over the season. But when it comes down to these 2 I think La'Porsha still has the edge. They are both great singers though and I'll be happy either way!

I'm looking forward to tonight too. I sure wish KC was going to find a way to be there...but Nasvhille to L.A. at 9 months preggers is probably a tall order! Her pre-recorded appearance will have to do!

Leslie said...

Oh yeah, I read your FF blog, too! LOL!

I thought I heard that Kelly is gonna sing with Carrie tonight, but I may be totally making that up! I know Kelly won't be there in person, but she could do a live stream which would be kinda cool!

Mike V. said...

It has been confirmed that Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson will perform tonight. But when you read the fine print it is noted that Kelly's performance was pre-recorded. Maybe she could do a live stream. That would be nice if they did that! But, I don't know how she'd be able to sing with Carrie with any potential stream delays. lol

Mike V. said...

I had a feeling it would be Trent! Always should go with my gut! Lol Congrats to both of them for a good run. But in the end that finale was a celebration of all 15 years and for the most part it was pretty impressive! I'll write more tomorrow if I get a chance!

Mike V. said...

Idol Finale Thoughts - was amazing to see everyone again. BO BICE, you got old dude!! There were a few I didn't recognize at all. Bo was one of them. Diana Degarmo (Mrs. Ace Young) looks like she had some work done.

It was awesome that every Idol Winner had a presence on the show, but come on....I think we saw the flaw in the voter system when we saw the WGWGs take front and center stage to do the Bowie Tribute. It was like they were CLONED: Phillip Phillips, David Cook (the best one!), Lee DeWyze and wonderful, Kris Allen, was there one more?? Ohhh right...the most recent one...Nick Fradiani. And it's probably another reason why Trent won over La'Porsha (even though they both were equally deserving)

Kelly's pre-recorded medley of hits and to close with "A Moment Like This" was another tear inducing moment. Carrie Underwood, the most polished and successful Idol did not disappoint. Even the Divas from Season 3 impressed.

Do we really think they didn't know Simon was coming? Surely, everyone knew he'd be there! I don't think we needed Kara DioGuardi to perform, but whatever. At least she was backed up by Tamyra and Jordin.

It's just crazy how much talent has come through the Idol system over 15 years. And they all seem to be doing pretty well for themselves. I had to laugh when Taylor Hicks took the stage doing his usual

But Ryan got in the last laugh after they cut to the ending title cards and he said "FOR NOW" We all know this show will return in some form or another. I'm not sure if I'll keep up with writing about it when it does. This was truly the end of an era for the show and maybe for my blogging habits as well.

But it was a fun, horrifying, exciting and hilarious ride! Thanks to everyone for riding along with me!

Leslie said...

I was surprised it was Trent, but I heard this morning that they will BOTH get a record deal anyway which isn't a surprise. Bo was the biggest surprise looks-wise, but when he opened his mouth, his voice was totally recognizable! Kelly's medley was great! My husband said it would be great if Kelly had her baby last night during the finale! Lots of faces and talent across that stage! Was Adam there? What about Chrystal Bowersox? Didn't know Diana and Ace are married! Kara's performance was an unforgettable as her time as a judge!

Mike V. said...

Adam was not there but he was a mentor and performer earlier this season. Yeah a surprise with no Crystal Bowersox...but I guess they at least got all the winners involved and then a lot more. I knew pants on the ground and William hung would be there too..they had to be! lol

Totally believe Trent and La'Porsha will get deals...but I also predict we'll never hear from either of them. lol Granted...Scott Borchetta has apparently claimed he's going to make a star out of Trent just like he did with Taylor Swift....and they're going to make the country album that Justin Timberlake promised but never will do. OKAY...we'll see!

It would've been crazy if Kelly gave birth last night...but no..she was just tweeting along live with the episode! I really wish she could've been there, but it was great that she was still involved and the medley was perfect and awesome. (all those mash-ups so she was like doing 2 of her hit singles at once to fit them all in...a real testament to how well she's done in the industry. Good stuff!)

Leslie said...

Yeah, it wasn't until I was writing my post that I was like "where was Adam", but he must have had a conflict. I wasn't sure if I just missed Crystal. I don't care for Scott Borchetta. He may be good at what he does, but he just seems like he's trying to be something he's not.

Like you said, it was a fun ride, and your blog added to the always!

Mike V. said...

Scotty B...I made fun of him every week right before he talked! Those jackets he wore with the embroidered "music has value", his voice, the perm...all of it. Cracked me up. And the fact that he's responsible for Taylor Swift makes him even more reprehensible. lol

Granted...Taylor can write a catchy tune...I'll give her that. But when she's promoting an album, it can be unbearable!!

Thanks on the blog props Leslie! I was fun! I wish we had a little more discussion on these things...but I think that was also due to the waning popularity of the show. There was heavier discussion back in its prime!