american idol recap

American Idol Recap: Four Score — But One Will Have to Go Home Anyhow

“I know what it is as an artist to have an idea in your head.”

Oh, J.Lo, sometimes you make it too easy!

You could say I’m being unfair by taking the American Idol judge/”Booty” singer’s quote out of context — she did try to make a point of some kind after saying those exact words to contestant Dalton Rapattoni — but if she can’t be bothered to remember the name of this week’s mentor (rock legend Stevie Van Zandt, mmmkay?), doesn’t she deserve a couple zingers thrown in her general direction? #DontBeFooledByTheRocksThatShesGotInHerHead (Badum-bum… I’ll be here all night, folks!)

Still, let’s not make this about She Who Professionally Shakes Her Sequins* in Vegas! (*and other stuff)

After the unceremonious ouster of Sonika Vaid — a talented young woman who, let’s keep it real, wasn’t quite ready for this jelly — the Top 4 threw down like Imperator Furiosa in a Mad Max fight sequence… resulting in the single best episode of the show’s Farewell Season run.


Whoops — I didn’t mean to all-caps that sentiment. It just slipped out. Maybe I’d be less rageful if you’d made this happen four weeks ago?

Seriously, though, with Mr. Van Zandt’s desperately needed advice on American Rock Classics and Sia’s gentle pushing of contestants outside their vocal comfort zones on her own songbook, we finally got the live performance episode promised to us back in the innocent and hopeful days of Hollywood Week (before they eliminated Jessica Cabral and, later, Shelbie Z with no explanation whatsoever, I might add).

Before you make me write “I will not be a bitter recapper” on the blackboard 50 times — there was, after all, the glorious David Cook’s deliciously building “Heartbeat” and an eye-popping rendition of Sia’s “Cheap Thrills” — let me skip to my grades for tonight’s damn fine installment:

American Rock Songs
La’Porsha Renae — Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” — Grade: A- | I’m not sure why in-house mentor Scott Borchetta was so opposed to La’Porsha choosing a song with an “I’m a cowboy” refrain. Just because La’Porsha is a black woman doesn’t mean she can’t channel her inner John Wayne — or at a minimum, interpret the lyric as a metaphor for her inner outlaw, right? Whatever the case, the Season 15 front-runner very much delivered when it came to the idea of seeing a million faces, and rocking ’em all: Wrapping her vibrato and growl around the familiar melody, La’Porsha made the track sound new and fresh and different than how I’d expected — never missing a note in the process. And isn’t that what the Idol experience is supposed to be all about?

MacKenzie Bourg — Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me” — Grade: B- | The judges went after MacKenzie’s quirky arrangement with a vengeance, even though the bespectacled contestant’s real struggle wasn’t in the concept, but rather the execution. Granted, the SwayBots’ decision to clap out of time with the beat probably made MacKenzie feel like a band of milky-eyed, teeth-baring zombies were swarming the stage with a mission to maraud. And while that led to a few glaring moments when Mac’s voice got swallowed up like a minnow in a whale’s mouth, there was a sincerity and a connectedness to it all that almost outweighed the flaws.

Trent Harmon — Z.Z. Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man” — Grade: A+ | Stevie’s advice for Trent to take his swampy “ooohs” from the bridge to the opening of his performance was absolutely inspired. Trent brought so much swag to the stage – leaning left, then right, and letting us see every angle of his on-fleek hairdo — that he managed to pull off blues brother, Sinatra-esque crooner and ’80s rocker… all in one 90-second performance.  That’s no small task, but as Trent is beginning to prove, there’s not much he can’t handle once he’s got bravery and confidence in his arsenal. The arrangement may have been the season’s biggest risk — but by getting deep into the groove and expertly using every part of his vocal range, Trent got an incredible payoff.

Dalton Rapattoni — The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” — Grade: B+ | Thumbs up to Stevie Van Zandt for suggesting Dalton have a backup track in his pocket just in case his first choice of “Seven Nation Army” didn’t work out. And despite Dalton’s slouched walk around the judges’ table and carefully crafted looks of angst into the camera, there was a genuine feel — and a melodic accuracy — to the performance that reminded me why Dalton was an early favorite straight from Hollywood Week ’til the present.

Sia Songbook
La’Porsha Renae — “Elastic Heart” — Grade: A- | The opening verse, in which La’Porsha built delicious tension with her voice while flanked by two drummers — was sublime, but I wish that she’d kept to the austere arrangement for the entire cover, to be honest. Not to say she didn’t nail every note of the tune once the band kicked in behind her, but a little of the drama got washed away in the mix. Still, the way La’Porsha’s voice swooped and soared over the chorus, I couldn’t help but agree with Sia’s assessment that anyone who tries to change the budding diva deserves a “high karate kick” to the throat.

MacKenzie Bourg — “Titanium” — Grade: B+ | I know Harry’s the “music geek” of the judges’ panel, but his complaint about MacKenzie reducing “Titanium” to a single note wasn’t just stupid, it was mind-numbingly unfair. All mentor Sia asked was for the acoustic troubadour to push the limit of his upper register on the chorus — which allowed MacKenzie to capture a little added magic and emotion in the self-empowerment anthem. Did the audience cheer when he reached up to those notes in his crumbly falsetto? Sure. But that in no way meant the rest of the performance wasn’t gorgeously phrased and lovely. No, Harry, big notes and musical intimacy are not mutually exclusive. Recognize!

Trent Harmon — “Chandelier” — Grade: A+ | I figured Trent and “Chandelier” would be a winning combination, but I’m not sure anything could have prepared me for the rapturous experience of Trent’s mournful, deadly accurate upper register wrapping its way around Sia’s ode to a party girl with a drinking problem. The Mississippi farm boy made every word, every note absolutely ache — and the result was breathtaking. As wrong as Harry was about MacKenzie, he was right about Trent’s vocal scoring 100 out of 100 here.

Dalton Rapattoni — “Bird Set Free” — Grade: B- | I get that Dalton — on the heels of sharing his story last week about struggling with bipolar disorder – was falling deep into the emotion of Sia’s overcoming-obstacles anthem. But part of one’s job as a vocalist is to maintain control of your pitch and phrasing even when the music is consuming you. And whole Dalton pretty much nailed the first verse, his intonation slipped away and the performance got less and less pleasing to the ear as it went on. J.Lo told Dalton she was cheering his bravery, but those words masked the unspoken truth that the actual vocal wasn’t strong enough to earn Dalton a place in the finale.

OK, your turn. Vote for your fave performances in our poll below, then hit the comments and share your reasoning — and your thoughts about this week’s elimination!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Bernie says:

    Trent was incredible tonight. Hands down won the night.

    • Scout says:

      Trent was amazing tonight. Loved Sharp Dressed Man.

      • The Beach says:

        The arrangement and his vocals on that song were terrific. Hands down best of the night.

        • Lyn says:

          ITA and I haven’t been a Trent fan. So tonight I looked away and just listened to him. Spectacular voice.

          • Terry says:

            Even when I look away I still don’t enjoy him. Have never been a fan of his facial contortions or his voice.

          • Ben says:

            @Terry +1.

            But.. even when i recognize his talent (he and La’Porsha are the front-runners)… i still don’t feel the hype, that WOW energy (ala Kelly Clarkson) coming from him. I just don’t feel “star”.

          • Gailer says:

            @terry, @ben
            I agree, and sorry, there’s no one good enough to be a bookend for Kelly this season

    • JM says:

      Absolutely!!! First time, he beat LaPorsha. So far she’s been in first place, but hold on, Trent is peaking at the exact right time.

      • Smokey says:

        Trent and Laporsha will sail thru to the finale — only question left is whether Dalton or MacKenzie can make it to 3rd place. Polls I seen so far indicate Mac is in the lead between the 2. But, those aren’t votes, just polls at this point.

        • Nigel says:

          Let’s not take that for granted. We know how scary fangirl power is. I’m terrified for La’Porsha because Trent beat her for once this week, so it’s between her and the eye candymen, and Dalton though in the bottom last week did better than MacKenzie, so the “heartfelt”performances would give him a surge in votes i think.
          I’m not American. so please vote America please please guys

          • Lyn says:

            La’P was sub par on both songs IMO. There was zero conviction on the first song not to mention she hasn’t lived those lyrics. And her second song was weak, wobbly and she swallowed a lot of the words. She has a good voice, but last night didn’t show that. And toward the end when they showed them in the chairs she looked concerned like she knew Trent blew her doors off.

          • Tim says:

            I agree that La’Porsha may get a shocking 4th place finish. I certainly hope not … and personally, I think MacKenzie had the worse night … but I just have a bad feeling that her fanbase is complacent and won’t rally the way that Mac or Dalton’s will. It won’t be a proper finale if she’s not in it, though.

        • Temperance says:

          Yeah… the 13 year old girls are a potent influence, and if you read the comments on iTunes, there are hoards of little girls screaming about Dalton. He was flat out last this week, and I think he needs to bake for another 5 years.

    • Lisa G says:

      Yep. He was awesome. If he wins I hope people don’t blame it on him being a guy (with or without a guitar) as he has real talent. I’d be ok with either La’Porsha or Trent winning, but I admit that I’ve been more on the Trent train for the last few weeks. As for the other two, MacKenzie had a bad night, and Dalton made me cry with his last song. Even though I think Dalton is the weakest overall of those left, based on tonight, he should move on to the top 3. The final two will be a Mississippi showdown however. :)

      Oh…whoever let La’Porsha wear that oversized Hefty bag on TV should be fired. I liked her first outfit and then she came out for the second song and it was the worst she’s had to wear so far. There are a lot of big women in Hollywood, this shouldn’t be as hard as they are making it look.

      • tealeaves says:

        I get what you are saying regarding La’Porsha’s second outfit. I told myself that in person it is probably a luxurious fabric and if you are watching her live on stage it probably looked fine. But from the overhead camera angles it did not have a good ‘silhouette’ as they would say on Project Runway.

    • Nutt says:

      He was very good. Loved Sharp Dressed Man, but Chandelier made me teary and I watched it twice!

    • Collin says:

      Totally agree. I wasn’t a huge fan of Trents till tonight. To me tonight wasn’t even close. Sharp dressed man was easily the vocal of the year. Laporsha had her worst night. I can’t believe he gave her a A- on wanted. Terrible song choice and she forgot the lyrics! You can’t do that at this stage of the competition. I don’t care how good of a singer u are. She deserves a C at best. The other two aren’t even worth talking about. They’re way outta there league at this point. Tonight was the Trent show. It wasn’t even close!

      • The Beach says:

        I agree about LaPorsha. I thought this was probably her weakest night and I was shocked that not a single judge called her out on forgetting her lyrics. And I thought her enunciation was less than stellar on Elastic Heart. I couldn’t understand half the lyrics. Sorry Michael, maybe you just feared the wrath of Melinda, but those were definitely not A- performances.

        • marie says:

          In fairness, anyone can forget a line now and then. I’ve seen Paul McCartney forget a lyric in one of his own songs, and I’ve seen Harry C. himself in concert where he has forgotten a line. It happened no one is perfect, and unless it’s a situation where someone consistently messes up, it’s not such a big deal.
          Sure, we’re setting the bar very high for La’Porsha, but that’s to be expected. Those may not have been her best performances but they were still pretty fine.

          • Collin says:

            Absolutely. She did good with her second song. Way better overall than the heart throbs!
            But to not even bring it up in there critiques, or lack of, is just wrong. These judges aren’t doing her any favors by just praising her all the time. I think that showed tonight. She was just plain and simple off tonight. I think she’s getting to comfortable. Definitely belongs in the finale though. Usually a stellar vocalist

          • Lyn says:

            @ Collin: Did you notice later in the show when they panned to them on the chairs how worried La’P looked? She knew she messed up.

        • Somebody says:

          I thought Elastic Heart was a wasted opportunity for her. Maybe she should have picked a different song. The tempo was all wrong, and she just didn’t sing it well (in my opinion). It sounded so emotionally flat compared with the way Sia performs it. But I guess we’re at the point in the competition where the judges will never offer La’Porsha any sort of criticism ever again (as opposed to MacKenzie, who they truly threw under the bus tonight).

          • Nigel says:

            Sorry I really have to disagree with you, Elastic Heart was great, I felt it really showed her as a contemporary artist, and made her star quality more apparent. Her vocal was still great on the song, but your attention wouldn’t be on the vocal all the time because you would also be spending more time observing her charisma on stage, which some of her other performances don’t allow for. Of course, I think she would’ve done a better job singing Titanium than MacKenzie. But then MacKenzie would have nothing to sing then. By the way the grades for him this week are wayyy too generous, he was the worst for both Round 1 and 2

          • Somebody says:

            Fair enough. I can agree to disagree. If I’d never heard the song before, I could have happily forgotten about it after hearing La’Porsha sing it. But since I have heard it before, and many times, I just felt like there’s so much more in it that La’P didn’t even attempt to wring out. I mean, there was a lot about it that just wasn’t great. It wasn’t bad by any stretch. Just kinda boring.

          • kristaaal says:

            Yess I totally agree with you. Elastic heart is one of my favourite Sia songs (and I love most of her songs) and it’s very emotional the way Sia sings it. I felt La’ porsha did it no justice at all. I didn’t like the arrangement and I couldn’t believe the judges kept heaping praises on her all night when it clearly wasn’t her best night. Still love me some laporsha though, hopefully she’ll realize this wasn’t her best and it will give her room to step up and improve in time for the finale.

        • Nigel says:

          Have to disagree there, La’Porsha’s weakest night was probably Top 24 or Top 8 week? And her performances this week were still great!!! Wanted dead or alive I loved how she was intense in the vocal but strutting as slowly as a Queen.So there is that feeling that this week she wasn’t at her best, but I disagree, I think it can be argued that they’re both different from what we’re expecting from her, as she took on a rock song with country undertones and a straight-up pop song.

          The fear that I have with her this week is just that apart from Diamonds and No More Drama (and maybe Proud Mary), we don’t have enough performances which are in her wheelhouse genre-wise, because she’s shown so much variety over the weeks. Like no soul or R&B this week, and it’s the week where it’s down to the 2 best vocalists and the fangirl magnets. So I’m pretty scared. Especially since Trent was so exquisite this week. First performance totally deserved the A+, Chandelier not so much. It’s a super difficult song, and he went offtune very obviously in one section of the performance. So probably should be an A or A-. I think this also justifies La’Porsha’s A- on Bon Jovi, going off pitch for a few notes can be equivalent to forgetting three words?

          • JayNC says:

            Yes, I don’t understand everyone saying she had an off night. I loved her rendition of Dead or Alive, and her second song was good, not great but when is good an off night? Let’s celebrate that Trent had a fantastic night without disparaging LaPorsha. They both deserve to be in the finale.

          • Sherr says:

            Sorry, disagree with you about Trent’s pitch on Chandelier. It was spot on, and the little things he did with the notes were unbelievable. He manipulates his voice effortlessly. I really like LaPorsha, and assume she’s gonna win, but Trent’s my choice. Just amazing.

          • MamaLis says:

            @ Sheri – I agree with you about Trent. But I actually think he could win. My 12 yr-old last night who loves Dalton was going CRAZY over Trent’s performance last night. It’s all about the “Arc” on Idol. If LaP continues with greatness but Trent grows, expands, and peaks – he actually has a shot at winning!!

          • Collin says:

            I think the problem is that she set the bar so high that if she has any issues at all a lot of us think she had a off week. Between that and Trent having his best week, Laporsha didn’t stand out so much. Whenever someone forgets lyrics it’s never a good thing. I know it happens even to the best. It just shows a lack of focus. I’d much rather have someone be a little pitchy then forget lyrics. Forgetting lyrics stands out a lot more. She’s still absolutely fantastic though! Having one average performance doesn’t change that. Hopefully people look past that and vote her to the finale where she belongs!

        • The Beach says:

          Don’t get me wrong, guys. I loves me some La’Porsha and think she’s amazing. There were just other performances of hers that I liked a lot better.

      • Jonny Z says:

        Tonight with Trent stepping-up into the power vocal songs, it exposed the difference between the middle-of-the-road hollerators and a power singer that can span depth and range in vocals.

  2. MikeMike says:

    A bit behind, is nest week’s episode the hometown visits (my favorite!!)??

  3. trickster says:

    Trent Harmon! That is all!

  4. Zach says:

    Trent reminds me of Steve Perry so much in his voice….and his personality is so awesome! Just a down home country farm boy with an amazing talent. I hope he wins as well. :)

  5. Trent says:

    That first paragraph had me in stitches HAHA! Well played Mike!
    In other news, TRENT TOTALLY BROUGHT THE HOUSE DOWN. I think he will win the season. Even La’Porsha paled in comparison this week.
    Disappointed that Sonika got awkwardly shuffled off the stage and didn’t even get to perform one of her songs.
    Mackenzie or Dalton should go next (probably Dalton).

  6. You know what I really don’t like about this current format? We no longer get the sing out performances. Sonika didn’t even get to sing tonight!!

  7. Christian says:

    Well Done Idol!

  8. Gabby says:

    Trent had me from the beginning of the season. I am patting myself on the back for my excellent nose for talent. His version of “Chandelier” was just gorgeous.
    And JLo better hope not to cross Maureen Van Zandt in a dark alley — ha ha! A new one was ripped on ol’ Jenny From The Block tonight!!! Priceless.

    • Nigel says:

      I was on the Trent bandwagon after watching group round, aka mono-singer round (Okay sorry hahaha). But La’Porsha I was a fan of from the start.
      Hmmm maybe Jennifer wasn’t familiar with that kind of music? I dunno the timeline of American music, but it maybe the music didn’t penetrate the Spanish community that well? It could even have been white culture at the time, so if anyone has the answer let me know.

      • CookieGirl says:

        stop confusing spanish last names with spanish background, JLo parents were not even spanish speakers! she was born and raised in NY so she is american, she learned spanish in her late 20’s after Selenna movie to ride in the “latin” wave…

  9. Florence+TheMachineRulez!!! #TeamMariah says:

    Trent and Laporsha won it for me!!! Both are in the finale based on their overall body of work!!! That third spot is very hard but I might give it to Mackenzie just because he had bigger moments than dalton had. Also thank u sia for pushing these contestants so that they can perform for real!!!

    • JM says:

      Well, let’s hope Mackenzie places third, but I’m not sure after he wimped out on the high notes on ‘Titanium’. Then Keith threw him under the bus when he said that he preferred Dalton going for it than singers who shy away from stretching themselves.

      • Nigel says:

        I thought he was throwing La’Porsha under the bus (unintentionally of course). He said “there are phenomenal singers over there” then “but I’d rather see inspired singing than soulless perfection”. I wouldnt count MacKenzie as perfection any day, sorry. Besides i think Keith has been the most generous with MacKenzie in terms of praise over the past few weeks, out of the 3 judges.

        • Florence+TheMachineRulez!!! #TeamMariah says:

          Well what do you think laporsha is singing about. No more drama was not a perfect performance but it was very raw and had a lot of feelings from her that was unleashed.

  10. Derby says:

    Dalton was horrible tonight. The tongue bath he got after he destroyed The Beach Boys song was ridiculous. And MacKenzie was just boring.

    If Trent and La’Porsha aren’t the finalists, AI is really going out with a whimper.

    • Scout says:

      Something about how Dalton choreographs every single moment, every single look into the camera comes off as contrived. I like him, but I wish his choreo was way less obvious. It’s becoming predictable… Dalton sits down on the stage (again). Dalton stares moodily into the camera. Dalton reminds us of his fragility. And so on.

      • JM says:

        Thank you! You put into words exactly what I was thinking. And his faux-crying tonight really put me over the edge.

        • Lyn says:

          IMO the staginess is due to his being in a boy band before. Every move is preplanned. Plus he’s bipolar [like Paula Abdul] and needs the structure so he doesn’t lose it. Love him, but he can’t win this.

      • Mary Ellen says:

        Dalton’s ’emotional performance’ left him completely dry-eyed in spite his apparently being over wrought. He couldn’t quite pull it off.

      • The Beach says:

        I have to laugh when Dalton pulls his longing looks. They always remind me of the Ace Young/Constantine googly-eyes they used to pull on every song.

      • marie says:

        Precisely. Dalton’s whole shtick is contrived.

        • Kbella says:

          Careful.. Someone might call you a “hater.” *rolling eyes

          • Em says:

            Well, there’s some definite hate towards him, so not everything said against him is criticism, there’s a great deal of hate. (Did you see the commenter that said that his lifelong struggle with Bipolar Disorder wasn’t as “difficult” as La’Porsha’s struggles and let me remind you, the poor guy LITERALLY wanted to die when he was younger than 10 years old. Thats so sad. But people can’t seem to have anything kind to say about him. Not about his singing, because its okay to have an opinion on his singing, as he is in a singing competition, but I think making rude unnecessary comments about his personal life is something the world could do without.) And notice how I was able to state my opinion without calling anybody a “hater”? That’s because not everybody defending the dude on this website is like “OHMYGOSH LEAVE MY BABE ALONE U H8TR”, I’m defending him because people find every reason to pick on him.

          • Em says:

            Allow me to clarify a sentence before people reply, I meant to say: “Did you see the commenter that said that his lifelong struggle with Bipolar Disorder wasn’t as “difficult” as La’Porsha’s struggles and therefore not valid and not true, and let me remind you, the poor guy LITERALLY wanted to die when he was younger than 10 years old. Thats so sad.” Just wanted to clarify.

          • Kbella says:

            I have never and would never say anything to suggest that Bipolar Disorder is not a serious condition. Two very close family members of mine suffer from it and it can so painful for me to see them struggle so I can’t even imagine what it must be like to actually suffer through it.

            That being said, I think what bugs most people about Dalton, myself included, is that he focuses more on the theatrics of his performance than the actual singing. I want to enjoy what I’m listening to when someone is singing. He is always putting on this angsty face and gazing into the camera with his sad, pretty eyes (like Constantine did, which also bugged the crap out of me).

            And then last night when he bent over, started shuddering and shaking like he was sobbing, and then stood back up, wiped his hand across his face like he was wiping away tears, only to have perfectly dry eyes felt very theatrical and manipulative. If you’re not crying, that’s ok. If you are crying, that’s ok too. But don’t fake it. That’s annoying.

          • Em says:

            Oh, I wasn’t trying to say that you were the one that said anything about his Bipolar Disorder. And I actually really love how he puts on a show. I went to one of his concerts before he was on the show, and he has this energy. Like when you’re in the room it feels like you’re seeing a unicorn. (that’s a bad example, but it made me feel like I was, but that’s my opinion.) He has the ability to put on a show and while I agree he focuses on the theatrics more than the vocals, with the right coaching to find a balance, he could be something great. And I also can see why you think that his crying was fake, but he does have a bit of a disconnect with his emotions and I think he was very overwhelmed with the powerful lyrics which he connected to very well and the fact that he was in the bottom shook him up a bit so my guess was that he was trying to hold it together because he probably didn’t want to lose it in front of millions of viewers waiting to judge him. He’s such a sweet guy though, and I don’t think he is fake. During the meet and greet after the concert he was just so kind and I want him to do well. I like his energy and his emotion and at the end of the day I firmly believe that he was trying to hold it together because he is probably insecure (about sobbing on television in front of millions). But I respect your opinions and I hope you can respect mine. Nothing but love! Just stating my opinion, and so are you so we’re cool. :)

      • Shazza says:

        Agreed, I somehow can’t see past his “acty” face. He tries hard with his performances but to me the hunching over & swaying from side to side makes him look like he’s having stomach cramps. Wish him well for his future but don’t want to see him in the finale.

      • Nigel says:

        HAHAHA I really hope the voters pick up on that. But I’d rather see MacKenzie go out earlier if possible, because he might sabotage LaPorsha and Trent if he cracks top 3. Also something tells me people will respond to Dalton just because he was in the bottom last week

        • MamaLis says:

          I don’t necessarily think he was in the bottom. I caught onto that right away, especially when Ryan said, “And we’re closing the night with a very emotional performance.” They RARELY close the night with the worst performer. Obviously no one would believe Trent in the bottom 3. So it’s either Mac or Dalton. Once they saw Mac’s performance’s for the week, they didn’t want him closing the show so guess what? It suddenly came down to … Sonika and Dalton!!

      • Jess says:

        Great points! Dalton had good words about wanting to say the right words and when Harry repeated them he gave a smirk as if to say “That was good right?” and that moment I knew it was contrived.

    • Gabby says:

      I’ve pretty much despised Dalton all season and was actually ok with his “God Only Knows” tonight. It’s one of my favorite songs of all time and I was afraid he was gonna butcher it.

      • Ani says:

        I love that song too, and I thought Dalton really did butcher it. I had to grab my mute button a few times on especially off key notes. The judges were way too kind.

        • Annie says:

          I am with you 100%. I also love that song (love The Beach Boys in general) and he totally ruined it. Sometimes I feel like we are not seeing the same performances as the judges.

        • marie says:

          Oh, he TOTALLY butchered that magnificent song. In the comments on Michael’s earlier article with the song spoilers, someone speculated that I might be “pleasantly surprised” with his performance. I wasn’t.

          • Mary says:

            I think who made that comment in the other thread thought because the recording was good the performance would be. Like I told her, auto tune is a wonderful feature for some of these singers but a live performance is the true test. I have only seen a couple of the performances and your are correct that didn’t make the grade. Michael was generous.

        • Nigel says:

          Really?! I thought it was pretty good, it had that kind of loungy jazz feel. He had a moment in the beginning I thought, but it still paled to LaPorsha and Trent who had moments throughout both their performances

    • Omarr says:

      lololol when you said “tongue bath” i couldn’t stop laughing! I totally agree with you

    • Guy says:

      Yeah I thought his first performance was a total mess vocally, and I was fully prepared for the judges to criticize him. And they praised him for it instead. And I agree with what Scout above said about it seeming overly choreographed and contrived.
      His second performance was better but not really deserving of the reaction it got. It was just okay.

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      I dunno if I’d call Dalton “horrible,” but yeah, he was on the lower end tonight. I enjoyed his vocal on the Beach Boys cover well enough, but I wish he would have just sat down and sung it. All the walking around made me nervous. And he brought passion to “Bird Set Free” but sacrificed pitch. As Keith implied, passion is better than vocal perfection, but Trent gave us both, so…
      At this point, it’s pretty clear that Dalton and MacKenzie deserve to fight for third place. La’Porsha’s has had stronger weeks on the show, but she still blew by those two pretty easily. I mean, I liked MacKenzie on his Sia song tonight, but it was still a qualified enjoyment, like “Yeah, you sung that really well for a guy with a limited range!” I don’t have to qualify anything when I listen to La’Porsha. She’s just good.
      But holy god, Trent really staked his claim on the crown, didn’t he? He was stupid good tonight.
      Overall, nights like this prove why it sucks to have a shortened season. In a normal year, the contestants would be getting their motors really up and running about now, but this year the show’s almost over. Season 15 may not have had the best lineup in the show’s history, but it’s far from the worst, and I’d have liked more time with them.

    • Collin says:

      Yes he was. Again!! I have no idea what the judges were seeing. It was very obvious how average his vocal ability is when he didn’t give over the top performances like he usually does. He’s been hiding behind the theatrics for a while now. He’s so far behind Trent and laporsha. Mack isn’t much better either. Should just skip to the finale.
      Still don’t understand why they saved Sonika last week? Everyone knew she was going home tonight. Maybe they were scared she’d upset the Trent & Laporsha finale they so desperately want. At least she might’ve had a chance to knock Dalton out so we didn’t have to listen to his crap again tonight! She at least could’ve gave us a decent top 3. It’s very lopsided between Trent&Laporsha and the two heart throbs! Olivia would’ve been the best to complete that top 3. I could care less about this show till the finale now. It really sucks how this turned out! Nice work AI!

      • coltion says:

        You are just dont know music imnot a teenager girl and dalton rocks

        • Mary says:

          That is funny, if you are willing to overlook that he is off key more than on, and the staging is what makes him – even though it is the same every week – then by all means vote for him. People without hearing problems knows that he doesn’t have a good voice.
          Auto will be his saving grace if he makes a record.

        • Kbella says:

          No, no he doesn’t.

      • Nigel says:

        Excuse me if they didn’t save Sonika then we would be having Tristan HELLOOOOO. I dont think they were allowed to eliminate both.
        Unless they brought Jessica Cabral back. They shouldve brought jessica cabral back

        • Jonny Z says:

          Jessica was good enough to have knocked-out most of the top 10, even though girls get fewer votes than guys per norm.

        • Collin says:

          I meant to say they should’ve saved Tristan. At least she had a chance on knocking out one of the heart throbs and we could actually listen to someone who could sing half way decent. No I don’t think she was in the same league as Trent & Laporsha but she was a lot better than the heart throbs. Sonika was a little better than Tristan but she had no chance on moving forward.

    • coltion says:

      Totally disagree he sound good abd the only current and relevant the others could have made career in the 80 90

    • Gailer says:

      I agree about dalton and Mac, but the other two are no prizes, idol will still go out on a whimper, April exit,no tour,etc

  11. dsbrilliant says:

    My grades for tonight:
    Trent: A+ on both songs, but I slightly preferred Chandelier
    La’Porsha: A- on Wanted Dead or Alive, A on Elastic Heart
    MacKenzie: B on I Want You To Want Me, B+ on Titanium
    Dalton: D+ on God Only Knows, B+ on Bird Set Free

    Overall, Trent won the night and may just have secured a spot in the finale with La’Porsha. Next week, unfortunately, I foresee Mac going home due to his unfair bussing and Dalton’s pimp spot. I preferred Mac to Dalton overall this week, as I found God Only Knows pitchy and unlistenable, but I just feel like Dalton’s fans will rally him into the final 3.

  12. kevstar says:

    Dalton doing the Beach Boys? Not looking forward to that one!

  13. Lauren Naiman says:

    How craptastic is the poll..both of the contestants that will never see a moment of radio airtime are at the top.

    • Timmah says:

      I think I would substitute “all four” for “both”.

    • kevstar says:

      None of these people will get heard on the radio, so why not let the best singers win? Or, maybe you should get your ears checked.

      • Mike says:

        Honestly, some of the best singers were lost weeks ago. The manipulation on this show can be frustrating.

        • kevstar says:

          Those people didn’t make the top 4, therefore they can’t be voted on.

          • collin says:

            Thanks captain obvious! As much as I liked Trent tonight I to don’t think any of these 4 will have stellar careers. Trent and Laporsha both have great voices but they’re not really marketable. Seen it in the past. I.E. Candice Glover. Dalton and Mack don’t have the chops.
            Tristan is the only one in the top 10 that has a good chance on having a great career. She’s only 15. Has a great voice. Has plenty of time to grow. And she is already being checked out by producers. She just sang with Darius Rucker at the grand ole opry. Sounds like they want her bad in country music!

          • The Beach says:

            Tristan’s main problem was she continued to over-estimate her current belting abilities. She’s a beautiful girl with a lovely voice when she sang softly but she kept trying to tackle Martina McBride songs and she has one of the best and strongest voices in country music. She’s only 15…she will get there but it shows how matching song choice with current vocal ability is critical.

  14. James says:

    Trent! Yes! I am rooting for La’Porsha, but Trent won the night hands down. If either Mackenzie or Dalton do not go home, I will just stop watching. Trent and La’Porsha is the designated top 2. It should not differ.

  15. Omarr says:

    Trent took the night. Queen La’Porsha came in second for the first time all season. I absolutely love the idea of having a Trent v. La’Porsha finale! It’s a win either way.

    • James says:

      Agreed! A Trent VS. La’Porsha finale will slay all existence!

    • suebrody says:

      Trent and La’Porsha will be in the finale if America gets it right.

    • Night Owl says:

      100% agree with everything in your post. You took the words right out of my mouth, or off my fingertips. I just hope that all those making these comments are also taking the time to actually vote. The problem with standouts is that people tend to think that it’s impossible that they could be voted off, and they don’t vote. All of which leads to said standout being voted off.

      • Looking back on Idol history I find myself wondering if we’re not in for the 11 male winner in 15 years because there seems to be a pattern of the best (often female) singer not making the top spot (Allison, Haley, Jax, Melinda, Jessica, Crystal, etc.; or among the men Joshua Ledet and Adam Lambert) I’m on LaPorsha’s train and anything other than a Queen LaP / Trent finale is unthinkable; but I can see people assuming they don’t need to vote for La Porsha because we take how good she is for granted. I’m also bothered by the fact. And I’ve noticed a trend in the “media” today – Scott B badmouthing LaPorsha; People magazine writing a glowing article about the guys hitting the high notes in the Sia songs and not even mentioning LaPorsha, etc. Which ever way it goes I want the best singer and performer to win, but that’s rarely the way it goes.

        • Nigel says:

          La’Porsha has the Candice Glover and Fantasia vibe though, so she has a really good shot at winning probably. She didnt get the Mandisa early boot, and the Black Diva image is super powerful, so I think she could be the last winner. Start with a girl, end with a girl. please.

        • Red says:

          I think Scot B. realizes that La’P isn’t marketable at all. She has a fine voice but she’s kind of a one trick pony and her true genre isn’t current with the music buying demo. Singers these days make their $$ by touring and I can’t imagine many buying concert tix to listen to her for two hours. She may do OK in small venues.

          • Em says:

            Just what I said. This is American Idol and the only person/people I can see having a successful music career and people that I’d pay to see is definitely Dalton and probably Mackenzie. Dalton has this cool rocker vibe, and Mackenzie has this Ed Sheeran vibe. I think that everybody in the top 4 are great and talented, but I can only see Trent and La’Porsha on Broadway and not going on your and selling out crowds. Their stage presence isn’t there yet. These 4 will all move on to do great things no matter what the outcome is, but Dalton and Mackezie are the only ones that I’d expect to get airplay and sold out crowds and some awards, as they have cool voices and they’re really great songwriters. La’Porsha and Trent should move on to stage productions, because they’d be great and in their zone. Dalton and Mackenzie are the most marketable and they’re going to do great things, and Trent and La’Porsha should go on Broadway because people would pay to see them there. I don’t know about concerts for a solid two hours for them.

      • Jonny Z says:

        Back in the day, Pia Toscano’s elimination shocked the idol world and even made National News. There were no shocks this year, as the Judges have controlled everything so far, and the real threats to Trent & LaPorsha were pushed-out early.

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      I think La’Porsha came in second the week Avalon sung “Earned It,” as well, but this is certainly the first time someone else bested her beyond a shadow of a doubt. That said, she was still firmly in second place. At this point, anything but a Trent-La’Porsha finale would be silly.

  16. NJIdoloonie says:

    I have been watching Idol since Season 1, and this show and the performances were so…. meh.Except , surprisingly Dalton’s last performance – not because of the vocals, but of course the genuine emotion – finally. And I liked LaPorsha’s new do.

  17. Alan Dvorkis says:

    Thought Sias advice prevented Dalton’s closer from being over the top. It was the first time he went for some power and it allowed the song to allow for real emotion. Thought her advice with all was spot on, but I only comment on the closer since Michael did not seem to like it. I did not feel manipulated at all. Agree best episode of the year singing wise. Just wish Borchetta would stay away. He rarely gives advice that works. Perhaps Clark knew what he was doing last year when he told him NO.

    • Nigel says:

      OMG Borchetta is such a monkey i swear

      • Jonny Z says:

        I think Borchetta’s involvement is another reason this show was tanking enough to cancel it,,,,,,,,,,,, along with a panel of self-indulgent Judges ,( except perhaps Keith) who are poor talent scouts and rarely give sensible advice.

    • Lizzie says:

      Clark was right when he told Borchetta no, but then Borchetta moved him to the discard pile because of it. Borchetta is so full of himself and his powers, it’s revolting. Wish Borchetta could have embraced the concept that the judges (mostly) along with the producer decisions, finalized by the limited power of the voting at the end, would give him someone to work with. Not for him to be the one to handpick a singer that he finds promotable. Winner gets a record. Let the people sing.

  18. James says:

    What is wrong with the polls? Why is Dalton even climbing? That performance was terrible? The top four should be: Chandelier, SDM, Elastic Heart, and Wanted Dead or Alive in that order. Oh, lord.

    • Lizzie says:

      Why is Dalton even climbing? It appears that you cannot hear the girls screaming after his performances. That should give you a clue. The guy has charisma, and he is captivating when he sings.

  19. Owen says:

    I am a Dalton fan. But it certainly would be a damn shame and/or crime if anybody but LaPorsha and Trent were in that finale. Oh. And B- on Dalton’s “Bird Set Free”, Slezak??? Really? Really? You’re as bad a JLo on Haley.

    • Annabel says:

      FINALLY SOMEONE WHO ISN’T HATING ON DALTON!!! I don’t care how much you hate him, “Bird Set Free” doesn’t deserve a B-. I’m so tired of people hating on him and saying he was being fake. Why is LaPorsha allowed to cry but then when Dalton also has an emotional moment everyone says it’s fake and that they’re tired of him? For me, Dalton was stellar tonight. I’m not crazy about LaPorsha, but she’s not going anywhere, and Trent definitely slayed tonight. I like Mackenzie, but I think it’s his time to go. If Dalton leaves after his performances tonight, I think I might flip out.

      • Collin says:

        Go ahead and flip out! Dalton being called stellar isn’t right. Both him and Mack have average vocal ability at best. They shouldn’t even be here right now. After Lee and Gianna. Easily the weakest vocalists. To have those two here instead of Olivia is criminal!

      • Mary says:

        The B- I suspect was because he was not in tune. Also I can see how people can think that the tears were fake. If Dalton leaves next week it will be because A) he didn’t receive enough votes and B) people realize that he is not that good of singer. If he truly was in the bottom two he will be the next one to go.

      • Nigel says:

        Ya the B- was probably for the fake crying more than anything else. I agree only because MacKenzie was the worst with Titanium, and I don’t get the B+ honestly, it was extremely underwhelming, and might have only have looked good because it was a big improvement to his trainwreck of a first performance – not a B- performance btw especially when the majority of the performance is the band and not the singing

      • A.R. Vega says:

        Because Dalton is a terrible singer and LaPorsha isnt. That’s why.

  20. Rgd says:

    I can’t believe you did not mention Kat Mcfee’s gorgeous vocals.

  21. Jane says:

    Trent certainly had the best night (maybe by any one yet this season). Those 2 performances were killer

  22. Gabby says:

    OK, so the REAL question is: How do we feel about La’Porsha’s hair makeover? While I thought the new ‘do was very becoming on her, I find myself offended that she changed (or was told to change) her image. Ultimately it’s her hair and her choice, but I thought the huge hair was kind of a cool FU to the usual music biz imagemakers.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I liked both hairstyles. I guess I’m not fussy. But when she said the new do took 14 hours, oh boy – I’m glad I don’t want one just like it. :-)

    • OTOH the dreads seem like a FU to the haters who have criticized her natural hair ceaselessly – and she looked GORGEOUS. I like her hair either way (and I like the return of the coppery medium brown color on her) – and the thing is, it’s her hair, to do with as she pleases. I’m actually sort of tickled that AI is becoming a platform for the thorny topic of black women’s hair.

    • Tahoe Mike says:

      The dreads made me miss Crystal.

    • Nigel says:

      But she didn’t say if anyone told her to change it? I dunno. But I don’t believe she ate potato chips for 14 hours. Like you can sleep while your hair is being braided right i think? I really hope she actually caught some precious sleep

  23. Brandy says:

    I still don’t get it. Dalton showed that he can really, really sing tonight and people still don’t like him. His second song was incredible and the emotion felt so genuine. Unlike laporsha crying all the time. I didn’t really like her first song at all, and she literally never takes risks or does anything creative, which is as important as singing talent. She’s boring to me for that reason. And they never critique her, which is ridiculous. Having said that, Trent sang circles around her again this evening, but it was even more obvious this time. I really enjoy him. And I love dalton and Mackenzie both, but somehow mackenzie seemed to get thrown under the bus tonight. So he will probably leave next week unfortunately. It was definitely a great show tonight, with Trent clearly winning, dalton upping his game, and laporsha doing the same old thing and getting praised endlessly for it. If she wins, it’ll be the wrong choice for sure. I think she’s the least marketable and least likely to have a long term career.

    • BeBe says:

      Sorry, but Dalton did not show that he can “really, really sing.” He was not as flat as he has been the past few weeks, but he’s still not a great singer. Neither is Mackenzie. The best singer there — as in, actual real singer — is Trent, with La’Porsha very close behind. Marketability is something different and maybe Dalton has that, but you will never be able to convince me that he is a good singer.

    • Lily says:

      Hey Brandy, we’re all entitled to our own opinions! I think we can agree to disagree (like the others). Dalton proved that he is limited tonight. Hes getting voted through because of those halfwitted teen girls. Also, La’Porsha did not cry tonight. If she ever does cry, it’s a good thing. It means that she was able to interpret the lyrics and incorporate them with her life. Genuinely, voters should be faithful to that LP-Trent finale.

      • MamaLis says:

        @ Lily. I hate to tell you this, but Dalton has a fan base other than teen girls. I’ve liked him, and I’m a grown woman. More importantly though, my son and his 2 buddies love Dalton. My son is 12! He thought Sonika was a “hottie” but he really digs Dalton’s music and vibe. That’s what I hear. So There!

    • I actually thought dalton showed everything weak about his voice. It was not a good night for him at all.

      Laporsha is effortlessly good, which is probably why she gets so much praise.

    • Owen says:

      Let’s not stoop to hater’s levels when defending Dalton. LaPorsha is a great, great singer. She certainly takes risks and she doesn’t “cry all the time”. Dalton seems to be genetically programmed for the snarky and semi-snarky on this board to hate, I get it. He wears his emotions too obviously (that embarrasses people) he’s boy band cute (oh no!) vocally he’s not up to the others (though, honestly, is Mackenzie that much better?). He’s theatrical (again, embarrassing). Notice the hate has been exponentially growing since he admitted to be bi-polar (perhaps he’s now perceived as “weak”, something men especially cannot be). Anyway, the degree of hate he receives on here in never equal to how he performs. But in the age of the immense support Donald Trump receives it’s getting harder and harder to understand America’s psyche (and this tiny little microcosm of it).

      • Spynduhrella says:

        Dude, you’re really overreacting and overanalyzing. Your boy Dalton is just not a good singer, and this is a show where, ideally, a good singer wins. And please don’t even bring Donald Trump into this. Political nonsense doesn’t belong here.

        • Owen says:

          Well…we’re voting…so American Idol, by definition…is political..but I didn’t necessarily mean Trump the politician, it’s psychologically why and how some people react to outsized personality and emotions And it’s not really about Idol. It’s about this particular AI forum (other forums aren’t nearly as brutal). And if you’ve been reading this board long enough, you come to realize that “good singing” or different people’s thoughts on what “good singing” is, doesn’t always (or even mostly) go into their opinions of certain contestants.

      • Annabel says:

        Agreed. LaPorsha has talent. And this is a singing competition. But what’s the point of winning if you don’t go anywhere after that? Dalton’s already had success in the past, and he’s the most likely to make it big if he won. Or even if he doesn’t win, he’ll go somewhere. I think that the fact he’s good looking makes a lot of people automatically assume that he’s only getting as far as he is because girls are voting for him. Sure, he can’t belt it out like LaPorsha or Trent. But his voice doesn’t have to be weak because of that; you can be good without being loud. I actually really like his voice, and I love some of the songs he’s already come out with, both in his band Fly Away Hero and as a solo artist. I don’t get all the hate he’s been receiving, especially saying that his crying was fake. I mean, seriously? Dalton can’t have an emotional moment without being fake, but LaPorsha can? That’s BS.

        • Collin says:

          Tristan is the only one of this pack that will have a decent career. Producers are already showing great interest in her. She just sang with Darius Rucker at the grand ole opry. She’s only 15. Has great talent. Looks like a star. Plenty of time to grow if they let her. Skies the limit!

          • I was thinking the same thing about Tristian. I read that Scott Borshetta said to her mom “come back to me in a year or two”(that man has a way of making everything he says or does sound kind of creepy but I digress) but I’m thinking that in a year or two she won’t need Scott. She is VERY insistent on the type of artist she wants to be, and I think that bodes well for her. She only has room to grow.

      • Mary says:

        Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, music is subjective, but nobody is hating on Dalton. Don’t make him a victim when he is not. Many have pointed out his singing flaws
        which sorry he does have and it has nothing whatsoever to do with him being Bi polar. This is one case I am glad that the back story hasn’t changed people mind about him. If you enjoy his voice and music then listen to it, but don’t attack others when they voice an opinion not the same as yours.

        • marie says:

          I’m with you on this completely, Mary.

        • marie says:

          Sidebar: I’m in my sixties, as some of you may have heard before. A younger colleague has explained to me that young people sometimes use the word “hate” to mean something different than I mean if I use the word. She says it can be used more as a synonym for, say, dissing someone: “Stop hating on so-and-so” might mean something more innocuous like, “Stop putting him down.” Personally, I still find this usage repellent and won’t employ it myself, but perhaps – and I don’t know if this is the case – some commenters here who accuse others of “hating” or “hate” might mean something as simple as that.
          To be clear, I haven’t seen anything at all here suggesting that anyone on this board literally “hates” Dalton in the traditional sense of the word, but IMO, criticism of his singing is warranted.

          • Owen says:

            marie. Take a look at the board below, about four down. Kbella. She or he sees what they want to see, whether it’s true or untrue. Because it’s true to them. That is what is psychologically going on in a lot of the TV Line anti-Dalton posters. Kbella is a “hater”. She’s an innocent to it, but a hater nonetheless.

      • Nigel says:

        There have been other men who cried or who had emotional moments on the show, like David Cook for example. They aren’t seen as weak. Although patriarchy still exists obviously, the “hate” for Dalton doesn’t come from there as much as from his inconsistency week to week. Don’t forget that he gave really big flops like Eleanor Rigby in the past. And he’s riding on years of resentment for the WGWGs.
        It’s true tho, MacKenzie deserves the same flack, and I think MacKenzie deserves way more criticism this week than Dalton

    • kevstar says:

      We get that you’re probably a teenage girl who would probably enjoy giving a tongue bath, literally to your dreamboat, the manic/ depressive guyliner wearing Dalton, but you are in the minority here. No one will remember Dalton in three weeks. He’s not even in Colton’s league.

      • Annabel says:

        Actually, Dalton has already had some success in the past. He’s made his own songs and been in a few bands. Maybe more people should consider the fact that not everyone is voting because of his looks. Just because someone isn’t a giant LaPorsha fan doesn’t mean they have to be some dim-witted teenage girl who isn’t looking at anything other than how a guy looks.

    • Annabel says:

      FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY!!!!!! I am so happy that finally someone agrees! I hate it that so many people are saying that Dalton is fake. Why is LaPorsha allowed to cry but Dalton is fake when he cries? I agree about LaPorsha. I’m not saying her voice is bad, but she literally sounds the same every single time. And if she wins, I don’t think it’s going to go anywhere, where as Dalton has already had some success in the past. If it were up to me, Trent and Dalton would be the top 2, but I know that LaPorsha won’t be going anywhere. Sadly, I don’t think Dalton will make it past the top 3.

      • Kbella says:

        People are saying Dalton was “fake crying” because even after he spent several seconds bent over, desperately trying to squeeze out some tears, he couldn’t. It was obviously fake. LaPorsha and Trent’s tears were genuine.

        • Terry says:

          I disagree. I thought his emotion was genuine. I was surprised he was in the bottom 2 with Sonika, and Ryan made it very clear that they were the actual bottom 2. Is it so hard to believe that Dalton would be emotional about that? He probably realized that meant he would be the next to go and recognized that was maybe his last performance on the show. So what if there were no actual tears, that doesn’t make the emotion fake.

          • Kbella says:

            Did you see him bent over, shaking like he was sobbing? I was shocked when he straightened back up and his eyes were completely dry. Someone on the EW board is trying to claim that his bipolar medication makes him unable to produce tears. If that were true, that would be a very serious medical condition that he would need to seek help for.

    • Kbella says:

      Oh, please, his “emotion” was so fake and contrived. He was trying so hard to get some moisture into his eyes and it was a huge failure. I hate it when people try to manipulate me like that. It was silly. And his vocals were atrocious. Sorry, Dalton. You’re a sweet kid but maybe some voice lessons are in order?

      • Speaks Truths says:

        Ironically, he was a “vocal coach” before Idol, which I find hilarious.

      • Kelly says:

        Just because tears aren’t streaming down your face doesn’t mean you aren’t emotional. People are different. When I am upset and trying not to break down, my eyes feel like they are burning holes in my head, but there are no tears unless I completely lose it. He might have been bending over trying NOT to cry. If his emotions were fake, does that mean LaPorsha was in on it and her long, comforting embrace of him on stage at the end was staged too? Were his mother’s tears faked as she watched him? I’m sure a shocking amount of idol is staged, but his emotions seemed sincere to me. My 2 cents!

        • Kbella says:

          I saw his mom and I thought her tears looked genuine. I’m a mother of teenagers. I’m familiar with the schtick.

        • JayNC says:

          But even if tears aren’t rolling down your face, your eyes would be obviously wet. His were as dry as my grandmothers pound cake.

        • Em says:

          ^^^! If I was on American Idol and I was on the verge of completely losing it in front of MILLIONS, I would be trying my absolute best to contain my emotion, which I think Dalton was trying to do. People have been cutting Dalton no slack whatsoever. Small amount of tears? Must be fake! And not at all trying to hold it together, no because then they would have to cut Dalton some slack! I’ve even seen someone say that Dalton’s bipolar disorder is nowhere near as “real” as La’Porsha’s struggles, and I’m sorry, but Dalton wanted to DIE before he was even ten. So first of all, his struggle is real, and secondly, comparing their terrible struggles is cruel and mean. I agree with you because the poor guy could hold a puppy and smile because of it and people would say that his smile was “fake” and for “attention”.

    • Nigel says:

      HELLO WHAT?!?! La’Porsha crying ALL THE TIME?! How about you observe when she’s actually crying. Thank the lord we have a real artist who has been through struggles in her life, real struggles, as compared to some kid who is using the puppy eyes EVERY SINGLE TIME. Of course, Bipolar disorder is really terrible, and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody, but that’s still no reason to push the distressed for no reason look constantly. His performances were decent this week i thought

      • M says:

        I’m sorry, but can we freaking not compare bipolar disorder to being abused? They’re two TERRIBLE things, and you’re discrediting Dalton’s troubles throughout his life (ie: wanting to die at age 9) because his struggle isn’t as hard? This should be about American Idol, not comparing deeply personal things and saying that another person’s problems aren’t that hard because they aren’t as bad as the others. That’s really mean. “Real struggles”. I’m not sure I understand you saying that bipolar disorder is bad but then you say it’s not a real struggle? I think that we should all not compare their (terrible, terrible, terrible) struggles because that’s petty, rude, and pretty cruel. My heart absolutely breaks for them, but we cannot compare the two and if we do, it would be mean. So mean. I understand you probably don’t like Dalton, (i hope not as a person, because you don’t know him enough to draw that conclusion.), but this is not something pretty unjustifiable when you say that his lifelong struggles aren’t real because you don’t like the way he looks in the camera. (The poor guy wanted to DIE when he was younger than 10.) That’s sad and you can’t escape your mind. What I’m trying to say is you should not be comparing their terrible struggles and discrediting Dalton’s as not a “real” struggle. That’s pretty (very) mean.

        • Collin says:

          I completely agree with u about not making this competition about who’s struggles are worse. I could honestly care less about there struggles! Is it sad? Of course. But everyone has issues of some sort. I’m so sick of these singing competitions making a big fuss about every contestants “struggles” or hardships. The voice does the same thing. They’re singing competitions. Not who has had the worst life show! I really don’t feel sorry for anyone who gets a multi week vacation in sunny California and a chance to follow there dreams. Yeah that’s really sad! Shut up and let’s make this crap about singing and not a who’s had the hardest life contest! It really pissed me off when they did those cover stories the other week and we had to sit thru every contestants sob story. They must have been very low in ratings! I don’t care! Sing or leave!

  24. Lking says:

    Bringing in Steve Van Zant genius as Rick seems to be an unknown to
    Most of these contestants. Like LPs new do, very becoming, her attempt as R&R not so much. Still on the Dalton train and won’t have any one to root for if he’s eliminated.

  25. MyFavoriteSong says:

    Can someone PLEASE tell me what Scott Borchetta’s role is on AI….other than to show off some new facial rejuvenation? Worthless IMO. Just worthless..,and for some reason, he gives me the creeps. I wish Olivia Rox has been in the top four, at least the top 5, in place of Sonika whose scope is limited at her very young age. The finale cannot get here soon enough so I can open up space on my DVR to record other things.

    • Helen says:

      Scott Borchetta is basically the wolf hanging out in the chicken coop, licking his chops and waiting to pounce. He’s a music company exec/record producer who may try to come across as genuinely caring about these kids’ careers, but when it comes down to it, it’s all about who he can sign to his label who will make him the most bank. It was never going to be Sonika–I’ll tell you that right now.

    • Nigel says:

      And to attempt to become a TV personality by doing a bad wiseguy impression

    • Lking says:

      I’m sure Broschetta waiting to find the next big star… I think he dropped the ball on Nick regardless of all the sound bites about how well Nick doing.

  26. tealeaves says:

    I agree with Michael that this was “the single best episode of the show’s Farewell Season run.” I enjoyed this episode from beginning to end. It was like the old days of Idol.
    Steven Van Zandt is awesome and he was a great mentor. He took the time to pay attention and give some interesting insight to the contestants. David Cook sounded gorgeous. He looked gorgeous too. I also appreciated the Idol montage during his performance. I have so many fond memories from this show. Sia was endearing. She seemed very genuine with the contestants and I thoroughly enjoyed her own performance and her dancers. As for the contestants, they are all very different, they made some unexpected choices, and I enjoyed every performance. A+ Idol.

  27. Phan says:

    Uh-oh. Slezak’s handing out A+s. Better watch out for Melinda y’all!

  28. Leola J says:

    TRENT IS FREAKING AMAZING!!! Loved him from jump and he doesn’t disappoint! I love LaPorsha too…but that damn Trent Mississippi roots and “swampy” soul GIVES ME LIFE!!!

  29. ewolfgirl says:

    totally agree! who came up with this idea? They spend all week rehearsing a song, choosing their outfit, etc. then get kicked to the curb before they can perform. Lame

  30. kevstar says:

    I’m with the judges on Mac’s first song. If you’re going to do a rock song, at least make it rock. Don’t make us fall asleep on it. Definitely up there with his duet with Dalton as his worst performance, ever.

  31. joeymeana says:

    I was finally convinced that Dalton could perform with true emotion at the end of bird set free, until his crocodile tears act at the end. Came across as fake and as a ploy to get votes. Chandelier was the best of the night although I didn’t agree with the hype of sharped dressed man. I like laporsha but she hasn’t impressed me since diamonds. Mackenzie was kind of boring on both but titanium was better than his first performance. I wish he would do more in the style he sang Billie Jean, with more grit and a bit of soul, show them Louisiana roots more. I was hoping someone would sing sia’s my love or heart’s alone. I know it doesn’t suite anyone there, but a part of me was wanting to hear some whitesnake. A little disappointed with their classic rock song choices. P.s. not to be man, but I am ready for Dalton to go.

    • tealeaves says:

      Dalton might have thought he was in 4th place because he was the 4th person announced as safe. They might not have been crocodile tears. He might have been thinking of it as his last performance of the season. I think he is an emotional person.

      • joeymeana says:

        I can see your point and I don’t think he is not emotional, but to me, it seemed like he was trying to make it seem like he was crying when he wasn’t. If he really was crying, I couldn’t tell.

    • Annabel says:

      So lemme get this straight. LaPorsha cries when she sings “No More Drama”. People understand that it’s because of how the lyrics connect to her personally. The performance is good, and people think so. Everything fine.

      But then Dalton cries at the end of HIS performance, and everyone starts saying it’s super fake. WHY?! Why is Dalton not allowed to have an emotional moment after an emotional song? I don’t get it.

      • An says:

        Thank you!! There’s such a double standard when it comes to Dalton and for example, La’Porsha. She can do no wrong but everything Dalton does is “fake” and terrible. I don’t get it, he has a pleasant voice and he’s the whole package, yet he has some bandwagon haters here. Idk

        • nelly says:

          I can’t believe no one has mentioned that he almost cracked up laughing after the fake emotion thing!
          He quickly shakes himself as if he was shaking off the emotion, but he is actually shaking off almost breaking character by lusting out laughing.
          Please people, watch this bit again and you will notice it. Its totally clear he is acting.

      • Shazza says:

        Um, cos Dalton’s eyes were dry??

      • Nigel says:

        It’s probably the frustration with his approach to portraying himself. There is the puppy/distressed look ALL THE TIME, which can get very annoying. If he wasn’t doing that all time, i bet people would’ve found that moment more believable.
        But’s he still young though, so he probably doesn’t know how to express himself properly. But you can’t say that he does actions which really are so contrived. like last week, sitting on the floor after sound of silence. All this criticism is a spillover reaction

      • joeymeana says:

        The thing is, I have seen laporsha, Trent, Jennifer, Kelly and Keith all cry this season. The thing Dalton lacked that the did not was tears. No moisture in his eyes, no red eyes or nose or any other sign of real crying that one would expect to see. So to me, he seemed to be putting on an act after his performance of crying. I did feel emotion from him in the last part of the song but everything after his singing performance was just an acting performance. And it didn’t convince me.

    • Nigel says:

      You weren’t impressed by Come Together??? Oh dear :(

      • joeymeana says:

        Don’t get me wrong, I think she is talented and deserves to be top 2 with Trent, but diamonds is the only song that has made me watch the entire performance with full attention. Come together was fun and entertaining but I think diamonds was meant for her to sing. :)

  32. Harryette says:

    Trent is extremely talented, not only voice but performance he always gives 200% and is so versatile with any type of music .

  33. John says:

    Trent picked the right time to peak. Chandelier was amazing, and his vocal on SDM was killer. Dalton finally lived up to his potential, and LaPorsha had a good but not great night. I understand the love for Mackenzie, but his songs all sound the same to me. He’ll probably be going home next week.

  34. ewolfgirl says:

    Boo hiss, Michael on giving Dalton a B- on Bird Set Free. I agree that oftentimes his performances are premeditated/theatrical (like sitting on stage last week). However that’s what was so amazing about ‘Bird’. He finally tapped into his core and sang with emotional abandon. It was beautiful!
    Trent also so did a gorgeous job with Chandelier

  35. Jen Johnson says:

    I can’t even remotely understand how “God Only Knows” got a B+ from you. It was an F for me. A complete and utter failure. Flat, contrived, ugh…

  36. Davey says:

    Trent sings well but I just don’t like watching his facial expressions for the most part. I wish I didn’t care, but I do.

  37. Jo says:

    Dare I say….Trent….is in it to win it! He’s just giving it all he’s got….so he deserves to be in the finale….so he could were his family:-) . I’d love for Trent to win final AI season.

  38. guest says:

    Trent had a great night tonight. From the beginning, I never thought 3 out of the final 4 would
    be guys. I thought the women dominated at the beginning of the season. I would eliminate Mackenzie and keep Trent, LaP, and Dalton. Dalton may not have the best voice, but there is something about him (maybe Simon would call it the X Factor) that gives him an edge. The judges often talk about developing the entertainment factor in Idol contestants to make a singer appealing. Dalton always had that going for him.

  39. Ronnie says:

    Trent bounced back this week. Nothing other than a LaPorsha/Trent finale will do. It will all come done to song choices for both. But I think they will both have careers as long as they can each have a breakthrough single.

  40. JMay says:

    I’m on the verge of a panic attack, what with realizing it’s almost the end of AI. I’ve watched this infuriating and delightful show for 13 years (I missed the first two seasons). Trent should win the whole thing, IMHO. If he or LP don’t win, it’ll be unfortunate.

  41. thisismenow says:

    If only La’Porsha can dumb down her talent, grow a penis, and learn to semi play the guitar she could still win this!!

  42. danin says:

    Loved LA,Po’s Cowboy, did not like Mac’s Want, Trent was effing stellar on SharpDressed, Dalton sucked on BeachBoys, La’Po was back to her old self on Sia-she took it easy and that was good enough,she didn’t need to soar, Mac was not so great on Sia,Either I had too great expectations for Trent on Sia or was so uptight wanting him to hit it out of the park that maybe I wasn’t hearing him clearly, but I would like to hear his lower/fuller voice too.I watched every one of his YouTube’s and he is in that voice more often than the one he uses on AI. Trent has been one of my 2 faces from the beginning so I’m being critical out of love,but no Chandilier didn’t sweep me off my feet.It is a complex song and it was too chopped up for me within the time he had to sing it in. Dalton was better on his last song in that he was pushing himself into it.

    • danin says:

      And I hope Trent didn’t peak tonight,it would be too soon.

      • danin says:

        Wow! I take back what I said about Trent&Chandelier.. I listened on my phone& the sound on my phone & my now relaxed ability to listen to him were much better. That WAS beautiful.Even though I could not make out all the lyrics.

        • kevstar says:

          Yes, anybody with good ears and common sense thinks Trent slayed tonight. So, I’m not mad at you for not getting it. Sometimes the sound on your TV just isn’t optimal for live performances.

  43. Trent has been awesome since day 1 – so has LaPorsha. The competition has always been between these two amazing artists!

  44. Becky says:

    I had a boss that coached me to ask his boss during corporate visits if I can do my job better. Sadly both coaches tonight feel La’Porsha needs no coaching and the judges do not feel she does not need to be judged just enjoyed. Trent is always receptive and probably asked and in both instances look what happened.

    • tealeaves says:

      To me, the person who is pimped the most all season NEVER, EVER, wins. This season, that person is La’Porsha.

      • Timmah says:

        Trent has been pimped pretty heavily too, just on a more subtle level.

        • tealeaves says:

          True. Trent has also been pimped. But La’Porsha has had comments made like she is the presumed winner and that she is already a star beyond this show.

  45. Steve F. says:

    Wow, Trent really stepped it up this week! Both his performances were better than front runner LaPorsha’s (sorry, but Daughtry’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” from Season 4 was much better). Dalton… dude, what happened?

    Nice seeing David Cook, Katherine McPhee, and Sia perform tonight also. (Even if McPhee wasn’t performing something from her new album…)

  46. darcy's evil twin says:

    I haven’t read the other comments but Trent was amazing. “Chandelier” should go down in Idol History as a top performance and “Sharp Dressed Man” was great. I agree, this was the best show of the season, hands down. I even enjoyed Dalton’s “God Only Knows”. I love that song, and it wasn’t perfect, but he did a respectable job.
    Just wish Sonika had been able to sing as well.

  47. Sarah says:

    I’m worried about La’Porsha this week. She was great as usual, but Trent may have overshadowed her with his moment. Then Dalton was in the bottom 2 and cried so that probably gave him a boost with fans panic voting. MacKenzie had the most negative judging comments of the night, so that may have also sent fans into panic voting. Everybody needs to vote extra hard for her tonight!

    • tealeaves says:

      You make a good point. I am presuming MacKenzie will go home after the lack luster judge’s comments for both his performances. Plus I do think that while is his good he might be too much the same from week to week. But it could be someone else and it might not be Dalton after his final performance.

  48. tealeaves says:

    Every time I see Dalton perform I think Boy Band. But that’s OK. It’s not a dis. The world needs Boy Bands too. In fact it is very marketable.

  49. Trevor says:

    I swear, if La’Porsha doesn’t win then this show deserves to end. She has been killing it every week and now that Trent has two good performances in one week he’s dubbed the next winner. How many white male winners do we need? Seriously, if Trent wins he will be the tenth male winner with only five female winners. Just let La’Porsha, who has been the best the entire season, win.

    • tealeaves says:

      I don’t think it is fair to Trent to say he should not win because of his gender.

      • Trevor says:

        I don’t think it’s fair for male contestants to be showered in praises by the judges all the time and make it harder for the female contestants to win. It just gets old having similar looking and sounding winners all the time.

        • tealeaves says:

          I think females are less likely to win in later seasons because the judges want the females to be either divas or country singers. Solely. That’s not Trent’s fault and it has nothing to do with him.

          • “the judges want the females to be either divas or country singers”

            As does the American public apparently, and then if they do fit that mold it still doesn’t necessarily lead to a win. (Jessica Sanchez, etc) So I can’t put all the blame on judges.

    • Collin says:

      Trent was a lot better tonight. To me the best singer should win and that’s Trent right now. Laporsha peaked to soon in my opinion. She’s still very good though. And regardless of who wins, this show is ending! It’s time. These judges are terrible! This top 4-10 could’ve been so much better! Dalton and Mack in the top 4? Are u kidding me!

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      Yeah, but Trent didn’t just give two good performances–he gave two REALLY good performances. “Chandelier” was as good as La’Porsha’s “Diamonds,” and “Sharp Dressed Man” was outstanding. If he keeps performing on that level and if La’Porsha doesn’t pick things up a bit (which I’m sure she’s entirely capable of doing), I can’t be mad if Trent wins, although I agree the male-female spread among the winners is lame.
      With any luck, Trent’s dominance tonight will just push La’Porsha to be amazing next week. MacKenzie and Dalton can watch from the audience. I don’t much care at this point.

    • I’m totally new to the AI experience (and in it’s shortest and weakest season? Jokes on me *lol* ) and I’m a little weirded out by the presumption all over the internet that Trent should win because he gave two great performances. Ok, but what about body of work? I want a LaP / Trent finale and I am on LaPorsha’s train all the way but I can also see the patterns of past seasons that you mention being repeated here. Which only makes me vote a little more urgently for LaPorsha. (And this is leaving out the assertion by Jax and others that the whole thing is rigged anyway.)

      I can also see how personality and identity politics play into voting patterns, which is something that Michael and Melinda really don’t discuss.

    • guest says:

      On some TV reality singing shows, LaP would be criticized for “screaming” because she has a
      big voice. She does have a loud voice, but on Idol I don’t remember that criticism being an issue in any season. Funny how some shows use thought control to influence voting for some contestants, but, now, that does make me think about anyone who sings loud consistently on every show as being possibly too loud and wonder how it would be to listen to a concert of one loud song after another. And, gender should not determine who wins the last Idol show. Let’s keep it about singing.

      • Kbella says:

        It’s about maintaining control of the melody and the notes while you’re belting it out. LaPorsha is able to do that which is why no one criticizes her for “screaming.” ALthough that last big note on “Dead or Alive” was god-awful, and she knew it which is why she tried to salvage the end by doing that last run.

        I have been critical of other singers (usually female) who do get “screechy” when they start trying to belt out the high notes. Celeste Betton is a great example of that. She is a great singer but has a tendency to get “screechy.” I don’t enjoy listening to that.