Reality Check: We Pick Who Will and Should Win Idol! Plus: The Great La'Porsha 'Stay With Me' Throwdown!

Welcome to the penultimate edition of Reality Check. But please, American Idol addicts, do not get out your Kleenex just yet — there is still work to be done.

On this week’s episode, my co-host Melinda Doolittle and I get bold and opinionated, declaring who we’d like to see win Idol‘s farewell season, who’s earned said victory and who’s actually most likely to take home the crown.

Of course, before we get down to the real nitty gritty (TM Loleatta Holloway), there’s one final (and very heated) debate to be had: Did front-runner La’Porsha Renae leave a door open for her rivals Trent Harmon and Dalton Rapattoni with a subpar rendition of Lorraine Ellison’s “Stay With Me”? And did her post-performance interview do more harm than good (or the other way around)?

You know this is a topic Melinda and I could debate like Lionel Richie — which is to say, all night long — but I swear we only kinda sorta let Part 1 (of 2) sink into this messerie.

Press PLAY above for Part 1 and below for Part 2 — then hit the comments with your thoughts/hopes/predictions for the Idol finale!

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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100 Comments
  1. Rob says:

    Just wanted to say thank you so much to Michael, Melinda, and Jason for providing these incredibly entertaining videos and recaps for all these years. Idol wouldn’t have been the same without you all. I’m putting in my request for a full unedited series finale next week! Thanks for all the hard work, it doesn’t go unnoticed.

    • I agree with Rob. I will miss Michael, Melinda and Jason’s videos. I think they should do this for The Voice every week and also any other show. I would watch any show just to get to watch Michael and Melinda more. I love the videos and recaps. I love everything Michael writes but I will miss the videos….they have to keep you guys doing videos on anything!

      • JVee says:

        Why, oh why does it have to end? Can’t you guys get together and talk about The Voice? About any other reality show? About the phone book????!!! Going to miss you very much!

  2. Imagecrafters says:

    Oh am I going to miss Reality Check. Yes LaP can sing. However Trent has really grown on me. I believe both wil have careers. Hard to think about the end of an era.

    • jr. says:

      LaPorsha started out great and stayed consistent. But she became sort of the same, and nothing better from her came. While Trent started out very good and has grown every episode, and shown he has potential each week to grow and give us great surprises! I believe Trent will be the next American Idol!

  3. Gen of Montréal says:

    Scott “Bruschetta” was cruel to make La’Porsha sing Stay With Me. Makes me despise this douchey over-gelled haired man even more. Trent took the night for me since I’m not a fan of screaming divas. And Dalton, well…His best days were during Hollywood week

    • LIzzie says:

      Hard to despise Douchetta more with every show, but the guy has an amazing ability to be way worse Jimmy Iovine on his snippiest day. The show doesn’t exist to give the record company their ideal catch, the record company gets to have the winner to make a record with. Not all about you, Scott and what you want. How’s that going with Nick for last year’s winner, hmmm?.

      • Lee says:

        I know. I bet Clark could care less that he came in 2nd. It didn’t seem to matter if you won or not. And I bet Clark is proud of himself that he stood up to Scot by saying something like he’d rather do things his own way. At least he doesn’t have to deal with a lawsuit like Phillip Phillips to do what he wants to do.

  4. Kelly says:

    Can you not continue Reality Check for the Voice? Honestly I would have given up AI years ago if it wasn’t for these weekly videos. Thanks for all the critiques and laughs!

    • Idol's End says:

      Yeah, it would be great to see this comment site continue for “The Voice”, which has 20 pretty good singers starting to tee-off in the live shows.

      • Timmah says:

        Yes, and just about all 20 are more talented and entertaining than Idol’s top 3.

        • I get a laugh out of people who say how much better the singers are on The Voice. Once again this year I tried to watch that show, but just cannot find anything to like about it… But the most important question is: With the large number of superestars Idol has produced in the last 15 years in every entertainment genre, how many has The Voice produced that were even remembered after their season???

          • Timmah says:

            Idol has only produced a handful of superstars, and basically none in the last 10 years. Unless you’re counting niche successes like Scotty as “superstars”.

        • Mary says:

          Did you ever think they were more talented because 95% have already been in the business and want another shot. The premise of both shows are completely different, or at least they were. Who are the stars on The Voice, the judges not the contestants.
          Experience does count for something, and you are comparing apples to oranges.

          • Timmah says:

            I’m pretty sure Jordan Smith and Sawyer Fredericks were not nearly as experienced as Caleb Johnson and Nick Fradiani, just to take the last two winners of each show. Not as experienced, but way more talented.

        • Jean says:

          But…AI has produced many superstars over the years (and not just some of the winners); who will be around for a long time. The Voice has not produced one superstar, yet. I would hope Jordan Smith would change that…. But, haven’t heard much about/from him since his album has come out. Even Blake Shelton lamented the lack of anyone from The Voice becoming a superstar. AI takes its top finalists on tour during the summer (don’t know about this year) and keeps their names
          in the media. Most top finalists cut records within a few months of finishing out the season. AI knew Clay was the true winner of the second season. They had him as the Emcee of that year’s Xmas special; he narrated a documentary for them. He cut his first album before Kelly Clarkson did, etc. The Voice seems to forget its finalists right after the final minute at the end of the season.

    • Mary says:

      I agree keep it going with the Voice!

  5. Lisa Roberts says:

    Thank you Michael, and Melinda, and the fabulously creative Jason Averett. What other editor can go seamlessly from classic Clara Bow to Army of Darkness with Doctor Who and Buffy the Vampire Slayer in between without missing a beat?! As Dorothy would say, ” I think I will miss you most of all…” :( I know Reality Check may continue with The Voice, etc…( not my cup of tea) – but I wish the the three of you would just do a weekly show where you talk about anything and everything in the entertainment world – I would watch that :). Even when I don’t agree with your critiques ( Slezak – Melinda is right about La’Porsha ) I respect them and it makes me look at things in a different light occasionally. Thank you to all three of you for your wonderful insight, talent, and humor over the years – it will be missed.

  6. Mike says:

    Well worth the wait. Snuck it in with about 20 minutes to spare. I can’t believe next week is it for you two. Can’t you just come on and do critiques on the Voice? :) I’m sure we’d all come back and watch just to watch the two of you disagree. :) I don’t know if it’s your idea or not, but I love all the Buffy and Dr Who references.

    I think there’s no way LaPortia loses. If she does, America’s lost it’s mind. Seeing as this is the LAST Idol, let’s hope they give her a good post show push(album, promotion, etc).

  7. colton says:

    I got news for slezak a d Melinda Colton already made the finale since its the last week and he deserved it , leporsha Trent will be forgotten very soon not relevant for today music

  8. John May says:

    I am going to miss you Michael, Melinda, Jason, Kristen Baldwin (been missing her!) and everybody who has contributed to this show. American Idol holds a special place of love and hate in my heart and being able to see performances like Summertime or (insert performance here) is the reason why I watch. Here’s to 15 more years starting in 2017.

  9. B>Bell says:

    we all know this being the final show, it’s not about the best singer, because truth be told the final 3 are real good,but for me Laporsha has been the most constant in her performances, unless people get out there and vote their fav can’t win, or can they. this will not be america’s choice, this will be AI choice and they have made it known in more ways than one, they want it to be TRENT.

  10. Idol's End says:

    Last report on Digital Track Sales by American Idol Contestants that have reached one million or more sales, just a memento – the first number is the season they were in, then how they placed in parentheses —-
    1 Carrie Underwood 4 (1st) 34,863,000[1]c
    2 Kelly Clarkson 1 (1st) 30,158,000[1]c
    3 Daughtry 5 (4th) 13,720,000[1]c
    4 Jordin Sparks 6 (1st) 10,585,000[1]c
    5 Phillip Phillips 11 (1st) 7,472,000[1]c
    6 Adam Lambert 8 (2nd) 5,235,000[1]c
    7 David Cook 7 (1st) 4,571,000[1]c
    8 Kellie Pickler 5 (6th) 4,189,000[1]c
    9 David Archuleta 7 (2nd) 3,497,000[1]c
    10 Kris Allen 8 (1st) 3,317,000[1]c
    11 Scotty McCreery 10 (1st) 2,738,000[1]c
    12 Jennifer Hudson 3 (7th) 2,605,000[1]c
    13 Fantasia 3 (1st) 1,856,000[1]
    14 Elliott Yamin 5 (3rd) 1,615,000d[2]
    15 Katharine McPhee 5 (2nd) 1,612,000[1]
    16 Josh Gracin 2 (4th) 1,432,000[1]

    • Ryan Lang says:

      Nice info. I know this is far from the complete story of post-Idol success, but it’s nice to see Kris so high after tonight’s retrospective made it seem like he went back to selling shoes in Arkansas while his unjustly defeated opponent went on to become the reincarnation of the “great Michael Jackson.”

      • karenb says:

        My thoughts exactly, Ryan. He was on some periscope thing with Melinda during the show. I was multi-tasking and watching that at the same time as Idol.

        • Mary says:

          I agree. It was so disrespectful. This business is tough and to be honest his opponent got a break being able to sing with Queen. Grant you he has the voice for it, but he was struggling in America just as much until that gig came around.

          • AuntCammy says:

            The music industry is just one big break for everyone, glad I am not trying to make a living in it. Lol

    • Linda says:

      Can you define what this data represents? Is it just sales of singles? I’m assuming it doesn’t include albums. Does it include streaming? Is this just U.S. or is it worldwide?

      • Smokey says:

        it’s on Wiki – and what I listed were “digital” sales as shown – I would assume it’s worldwide – and up to the point they last updated. Album sales would be different.

    • Jean says:

      Clay Aiken certainly sold at least in the 4,000,000 plus range for his CDs. His 1st Christmas album was the biggest Holiday album seller in more than 30 years! That alone sold more than a million copies. He went on and recorded at least 8 albums over 10 years.
      I am shocked, shocked, that LaPorsha wasn’t crowned the winner. But I do predict her career will go further than Trent’s; fine singer that he is.

  11. mamamitzvah says:

    Why can’t you continue Reality Check for The Voice? I am as sad about this as I am about Idol going away. More so.

  12. Becky says:

    Michael I agree with you on La’Porsha’s second song, I think she left the door a bit open for someone to take this win from her. Afterall, It is hers to lose. On a related note, the first winner of the Voice in Austrailia did that song at the finale and it was perfect. Ironically Keith was one of the coaches.
    Hello was a horrible choice. It was overplayed when Lionel did it, and overplayed when Adele did it.
    I look forward to the finale, all three get to sing all the way through, before they announce the top 2.
    I look forward to y’all’s last critique! Have fun at the finale Melinda! Don’t cry too much:(!

    • Lisa G says:

      You do realize that Lionel’s Hello is completely different from Adele’s?

    • LIzzie says:

      No one should sing Adele on these competition shows, just really should not. What does Lionel have to do with Adele, except that they each had a big hit song with the word “Hello” in it?

  13. Sam Lim says:

    La Porsha hair is like a rug.

  14. Lking says:

    Ah end of an era! it’s been fun, maddening, perfect, imperfect , but consistent I all of the above. The Realty Checks made this show even more if a stand out. I hope this years winner does not get lost in the celebration! Looking forward to seeing Melinda back on the stage. Cheers to you both. Your contribution to this one time juggernaut was worthy.

  15. Yes La Porsha can sing. But so can Trent. I would give Trent the win because a) I prefer his type of swampy voice to La Porsha’s loud voice b) I hate that AI has been foreshadowing her as the winner from the start of the season. I think with the right type of couching Sonika could have been a contender. Such a waste of such a pretty voice.

  16. Timmah says:

    If LaP can’t connect to songs about heartbreak and vulnerability (which I think was even more evident in Hello than in Stay With Me) then good luck to her with having a career in the music biz. Not that I think the guys are any better. Trent is a face-pulling carny act and Dalton (who will probably end up winning) can’t sing his way out of a paper bag. Not quite the Kelly Clarkson bookend they were looking for IMHO. That said, I will greatly miss Reality Check as well as Michael’s recaps, which have maintained their high quality throughout.

  17. Autumn says:

    I clicked on this to see if the person on the right was a guy or a girl…still don’t know. I regret my decision.

  18. you two are so bias towards Dalton, I do agree his last song wasn’t his best but the judges gave him that crappy song which isn’t who Dalton is anyways, and I think they did that on purpose. But Dalton has a lot of fans who love him and I think he is the most marketable of the three, I have listened to other songs his has written and recorded and they are beautiful and his does have a great recording voice, but to me the you, the judges and AI have pushed for a Trent and Laporsha final but that is okay because Dalton has a lot of fans who will support him and I cannot wait to hear more great music from him and there is always that possibility because of the amount of fans he does have that he could sneak through to the final, you never know!!!!!!

    • Mary says:

      Most people based their opinion on what they see on the show, not his previous work. AUTO TUNE is great for many of the pop singers who cannot really sing, so yes you are probably correct on being the most marketable. The whole premise of this show was to find a singer that needed a chance, not a previous performer planted there by Simon Fuller. So you might be right about him sneaking in the finale, but his work on this show does not warrant that.

    • Cassie Urban says:

      THANK YOU!!! FINALLY SOMEONE WHO UNDERSTANDS

    • Claire Iris says:

      Love Dalton—–he is the most deserving–all around entertainer—-I’m hoping he might come in 2nd—if not, he will/should have a great career—Perhaps Adam Lambert will take him under his wing—-

  19. Alan Dvorkis says:

    What was not mentioned was that in fact the person hurt most by the songs picked for them, was Dalton. Dalton does best with lyric that trigger emotion. Although the Tears for Fears song gets props for being in the great Real Genius, it is an absolute bore. Dancing in the Dark is not in Dalton’s alley either. They absolutely sabotaged the kid. I am in no way saying he deserves to be final 2. I am saying the insured that he would not with song choices that he obviously would struggle to do much with. True, I am not a Trent fan. I think his vocal gymnastics are done with little purpose. He sings great, yet I feel absolutely nothing. I think LaP has evolved well. She was too much of the same for a while, but now she is becoming an artist. I do hope she wins, but I would not be upset if Dalton pulled the upset. Of all the auditions, I remember his creative Phantom most. Also, I thought his Rebel Yell was both the most creative and most memorable song sung this season. Yes, I take outside the box over hitting every note without meaning, so although it is not happening, I am rooting for Lap and Dalton in final as Trent week after week, does nothing for me.

    • LIzzie says:

      The judges deliberately tried to sabotage Scotty McCreery with their pick during his season, but the voters see through this sort of nonsense. I believe that Makenzie’s votes will be split between Trent and Dalton in some fashion, and the last one to leave is the key to all of this in the next voting round, who went home and where their votes go this week. That and the people who just show up at the end and add their uneducated votes to the mix, decide who wins.

  20. Epazote says:

    I can’t wait til Allison wins tomorrow night!

  21. Mary says:

    You know I am going to miss coming here for Reality Check, even when I didn’t agree with one of you, I was always guarantee a smile. The final should be LaPorsha and Trent but this is AI and I think Dalton will be in the finale with the other guy. To tell you the truth I wouldn’t be surprise to see Dalton win due to his previous following and the fact that he has connections with Simon Fuller. You two will be missed, but in all honestly I am ready for the show to end, or at least take a break for a few years. After watching the retrospect last night I realize it is time. I found it ironic how they spun a few things and in all honestly the shades they threw was a little too much. The downfall of this show is when they stop making it about the contestants and made it about the judges. As much as I love Keith I do not want to see him or the other judges performing at the finale. I want, not going to get, just past and present Alums. Many of the contestants have new albums out, even if they are not “superstars” and give them a shot to present their work. Show America that the real premise of this show was about the contestants not the already established artist.

    • Observer says:

      If Idol was really all about the contestants only, and not at all about the Judges – I have to wonder why the insider powers that be, brought in Judges such as Mariah, Nikki, Steven Tyler, Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, etc. — that have carried-out 10 to 18 million dollar contract salaries out of a show that sites expenses vs ad revenue as one of the major reasons it is cancelling. ………………….once the show became successful, it was progressively used by the insider network of celebrities, their agents, and those with vested interest and control over who sits in the chairs — as a cash cow to milk while the milking was good.

      the Judges also use the show for their new song releases and related promos getting mention. They very rarely, if at all, invest any money or time in helping artists they “cast” into the top 24 or 12 or 10, and claimed were special. The Voice coaches sometimes do help some of their teams members get songs pro recorded and promoted.

    • marie says:

      Those are some very good points, Mary. You and I know – not going to happen. Sigh. But on the other hand, I do enjoy the superstar duets with the top 5 or 8 or however many. Wonder if they’re on the agenda this time.

  22. Lauren says:

    I just want to watch you guys talk about something. I don’t care what it is, pick a topic! I’ve only watched the last three episodes of AI this season but I have not missed a single Reality Check! I love you guys. And thank you Jason for your wonderful editing, your efforts do not go unnoticed.

  23. London McBride says:

    While LaPorsha has a good voice, she has gotten a little lax, singing all her songs the same; too many runs and too much gospel. I wouldn’t buy her music. I might buy Trent’s since I don’t have to watch him sing, which is still sometimes a little painful. Think it could be close, but Dalton’s best days were early on. Don’t care that much who wins…

  24. Cynthia Brown says:

    La’Porsha is a winner all the way around…I just hope that she’s smart enough not to sign with Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records after he gave her Stay With Me to sing, especially at such a very crucial time…just goes to show, he doesn’t understand her and would not move her career forward. Trent, for me, is a good singer, but falls short of becoming the next Idol, and ends up somewhere down the middle of the road for me. Dalton…well, if we really want to be honest, that guy is one gooooooooood looking dude, but he’s not “the” American Idol…but still hope he gets a record deal!

  25. La’Porsha is a winner all the way around…I just hope that she’s smart enough not to sign with Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records after he gave her Stay With Me to sing, especially at such a very crucial time…just goes to show, he doesn’t understand her and would not move her career forward. Trent, for me, is a good singer, but falls short of becoming the next Idol, and ends up somewhere down the middle of the road for me. Dalton…well, if we really want to be honest, that guy is one gooooooooood looking dude, but he’s not “the” American Idol…but still hope he gets a record deal!

  26. L Lawrence says:

    Thanks Melinda and Michael for another great Idollonies. I took this screen shot to remember you by.

    file:///Users/lisaloucraig1/Desktop/Screen%20Shot%202016-04-06%20at%208.01.11%20AM.png

  27. William Stroh says:

    I’m adult enough and because he’s the only true performer up there he had one bad song out of many but that will pass I think Dalton should be the winner

  28. Kate says:

    Epic editing. Awesome as always M&M. Going to mis Reatlity Check even more than Idol and a shout out to Kristin Baldwin back in the day as well. Good times.

  29. Joy_NYC (@joynyc1) says:

    Trent will win. Yes, Laporshe can sing but she is is full of drama. She is not as marketable as Trent. I won’t be surprised if Dalton wins. He is a total performer.

    • LIzzie says:

      Trent should win, but weirdly enough, I think that LaPorsha will go home because of fanbase and marketability. So the last two standing will be Dalton and Trent, with Dalton headed for a career with a lot of music sold, and Trent the consummate musician left standing. Trent is a bluesy guy, he will tilt that direction more than country, and he’s going to be around a long time. I can see Trent winning a Grammy or two.

  30. Scudder says:

    Can Michael and Melinda please come and do weekly commentary of my life? But seriously, would love it if you two found a way to continue this in some form. Even if it is just over “The Voice” which I only sporadically hate-watch. But “Reality Check” has been the best thing about Idol the past few years (special thanks to Jason for his wonderfully witty editing which takes it to the next level). I will honestly miss these recaps much more than the show itself.

    And Jason is right with his comments in the editing today. As much as I like La’Porsha the most, believe Portia is the best this season and deserves to win, I think the final two will be Trent and Dalton. A woman has won only once in the past NINE years. And cute young guys always have a huge edge over others in the voting as we’ve seen time and time again. I think Dalton, despite being inconsistent and not as vocally gifted as the others, is almost a lock because he is the cute, young, straight, white guy that always gets vote (and often wins over better contestants) on this show. Thus the “Idol” part I guess. And Trent has been polished and scrubbed to compete with that as well. And he presses all the Idol voting buttons (humble backstory, overcoming odds – laryngitis – without complaint, humility, seemingly improved vocals, taking judges advice, and now even venturing into country territory) to maximize his changes of winning. Dalton gets by on looks and judges fawning over him despite middling talent (a la The Voice). La’Porsha, on the other hand, is doomed. She’s hasn’t improved because she came in already pretty great. She is painted as ungrateful now because she dared to be honest about not liking a song forced upon her (which I believe is rather disgusting and cruel given her background – sorry Slezak I’m with Melinda here all the way). And she’s a large, black, woman. Sure that last part shouldn’t matter but you know for many people, sadly it still does. I don’t even really like the type of music La’Porsha sings but I like her and her voice and her way of singing so much, I’ve been captivated by nearly all of her performances. I hope America proves me wrong and makes her the winner. Even Kelly Clarkson knows she should win!

  31. marie says:

    I have no doubt that unfortunately Jason is correct. Either La’Porsha (who, ridiculously, got the second lowest number of votes last week) or Trent will be eliminated on tonight’s show. Dalton goes on to the finale, and goes on to win. I think he doesn’t deserve it – I completely agree with Melinda and Michael’s assessment of his very stilted performance of the Tears for Fears song, but I disagree on the Springsteen song, which I think Dalton also completely messed up – but his win is in the cards.
    But as I’ve said before, that might actually work to Trent and La’Porsha’s advantage in that they have hopefully built up word of mouth and won’t be saddled with Borchetta (who does seem intent on pushing soulful Trent into the country lane, the tin-eared dodo).
    Best of luck to all of them, but the most talented contestant won’t win; the least talented one will.

  32. John says:

    I promised myself I wasn’t going to cry!

    I know there’s one more episode coming, but I feel like this really is the end, and I’m not ready for it. I was hoping for a cage match (not really, but how fun would that be), but I can see both side of the La’Porsha debate. At the end of the day, Bruschetta (he will called this going forward) has been bad for the franchise and him choosing that song despite her strong feelings about it shows he’s more driven by image than artistic development. Here’s to one more amazing Reality Check, followed by season one of Wall of Shade (seriously…this needs to happen).

  33. suz in Atlanta says:

    Hey can’t you two guys keep up your video show with The Voice, come on, I love you guys, seriously, you rule, we need your snark. Don’t stop, just do it weekly when The Voice is on, please please please????

  34. Jaclyn says:

    I agree with Michael that La’Porsha could have worked that song out. She could have been singing “stay with me” to God while having a dark time, or a lover that was dying or going to war etc. It doesn’t have to be literal to every lyric, find an emotion and dig in. I can’t help but think this shows that she lacks some creativity. I hope she gets a good team behind her because that voice needs to be heard!

  35. Thank you for all of your years that you invested in the series. It’s made the show so much better. Can’t wait to hear next weeks final recap.

  36. Zac says:

    Oh Melinda. I love you so much. Thank you for voicing what I could not about La’Porsha’s performances, her feelings on The Song, etc. I will miss watching both of you immensely.

    I am so nervous about what’s going to happen. I agree with body of work, I want La’Porsha to win, and feel she should. I don’t know that is the best thing for her career, though, given the label. I don’t know. Trent maybe fits that bill better but I simply prefer LP, while acknowledging that Trent is hugely talented. A Trent/LP finale is what most have been wanting since Top 8, 10, or maybe even a good deal earlier.

    I don’t dislike Dalton, but all I can do is judge on his performances. This is a singing competition, not a cute-face-usually-good-stage-presence-maybe-a-nice-guy competition. His body of work pales in comparison to Trent and LP. For all I know, Dalton is usually able to hit every note and stay on key and sing musically in his everyday life… but I can think of too many instances during this season when that wasn’t the case. He did OK on Thursday but how anyone can judge by one night, I just don’t know.

    Which I guess brings me around to why I am still rooting for La’Porsha. When she has been in control of her song choices, it has been so good. No one is infallible. I am not pretending she did not falter once. There are few idol contestants who made it to F3 and never had a bad song or night. Diamonds did set the bar very high very early, and I think it would have been hard for anyone to maintain that level the entire way through. I’ll be damned if she didn’t try, though, and IMO spun out some truly impressive performances along the way. I have seen many legitimate criticisms lodged at LP which she then proceeded to prove wrong the following week. I just don’t buy Trent’s purely upward trajectory that some have claimed. I think he has given some absolutely beautiful performances and some that were very questionable, his missteps larger than LP’s since Top 10, for me. I am also not comparing LP (or Trent, or Dalton) to any other contestant, past or present. For myself, each season’s contestants can really only be judged against each other until it’s over, at least in terms of the decision-making process.

    I have given the most votes to LP over time, but I have voted for Trent and others, too.

    Realistically I understand that Dalton is likely to weasel his way in to F2. In that case, I really can probably only vote for the other unless Dalton does something absolutely surprising. For the next few hours, I will continue to hope against hope for the Trent/LP finale that so many [on the boards etc.] have been wanting, and should we get it, I’ll be happy to make an ultimate decision on where my votes go from there.

    • Zac says:

      I should also say that if LP finishes in third, I think it’s highly possible that the show’s legacy will forever be a bit tarnished by the general feeling that it was consistently an uphill battle for female contestants, and even more so if they happened to be black. Yes, I know there have been black female winners. That doesn’t change the criticism, which may very well be true.

      • LIzzie says:

        Show isn’t about race, diversity, gender. It’s about a forced set of singers that the judges and producers provide, and then the PEOPLE take over (well, except for the stupid judge’s save that just keeps people on longer than anyone wants to hear them. LaPorsha is a really good singer, but she is not fully connecting across a range of emotions, with the audience. Trent had a big moment with Smart Dressed Man and Chandelier, and secured a fan base that he didn’t have before that week. Dalton has charisma, and a whole lot of fans. The female contestants may or may not show as well in this sort of a competition, but then how do you explain Kelly and Carrie winning it all? I think that the show is about music and performance, but also about who the audience falls in love with. LaPorsha is liked, but not loved, by the audience. She goes home tonight. Dalton doesn’t meet the standard”white guy with guitar” definition, BTW, because he’s more School of Rock than anything else, and his fans love the way he sings and connects on the stage.

        • Zac says:

          You are delusional if you think race and gender has absolutely nothing to do with how AI fans vote. I’ll just leave it at that.

          • Count me delusional then – playing the race card is so yesterday. Ditto gender card.

          • Zac says:

            I will, and do, consider you both delusional and incredibly immature if you are unable to recognize the role that race and gender play in a contest like this. This has been a constant problem with American Idol. Fortunately, it did not prevent the best singer from reaching the final this time.

            Perhaps it’s just as well that you are so willing to dismiss real concerns as “cards” to be played. Let the adults talk about adult problems.

  37. Ronnie says:

    If the worst nightmare comes true and Dalton is in the finale, then the light that was American Idol goes out with a flicker and as an embarrassment of what it was. No way that a show that showcased some of the talent like Kelly, Fantasia, Daughtry, Lambert, JHud, just to name a few, should end with a subpar performer as a finalist when 2 clearly superior musical artists should be in the final 2. I truly hope Trent and La’Porsha’s base that started with them voted last week, because you know all those tweens who thought Dalton was cute did. Hoping for the best. And I hope Melinda gets to tell us all about her LaPorsha meeting up and hopeful talking about doing a duet, cuz that could be great!

    • LIzzie says:

      I am not a tween, and I definitely think that Dalton is cute. He is endearing and charismatic, and he sings himself out on that stage. Dalton is a lot about hope and youth and a desire to perform and connect with the audience, as much as he is about the song. I like him in the show, and I like him more than I like LaPorsha; I like his music more for buying than I do LaPorsha’s. I think Trent should win, but it could be Dalton.

  38. Kameron says:

    I legitimately would love for this NOT to end. Just do Voice commentary please :D

    But really, thank you Melinda, Jason, and Michael for amazing shows week after week! As much as I hope you’re back, I’m glad that this show existed :D

  39. You three made AI worth watching! Too bad the Republican debates are over….Reality Check would have made those sooo much better!

    That said, I don’t think LaP’s post “Stay with me” reflection hurt her at all…quite the contrary, I think a lot of people (including me) thought to themselves, “Right on sistah!” She has an amazing voice, no doubt, and I’m sure she will have a career. I just find Trents voice more interesting. But you know, whether it is Bernie and Trent or Hillaryand LaP, I’m happy with either…..anything but Drumpf and Dalton!

  40. karenb says:

    What a great episode! Loved the first part-watched it twice. Jason and the editing is so dang funny. Jerk off! Haha. I can’t even imagine a world without Idol recaps and Reality Check. I just can’t go there. Not yet. Still have a few more nights left in denial!

  41. Blondage says:

    I’m fine with AI ending. I am NOT fine with Reality Check ending! Why can’t you guys at least talk about The Voice?!?!?!?

  42. Observer says:

    Remember Idol is on tonight and the grand finale and winner announcement is tomorrow, Thursday night, form what I can tell.

  43. suebrody says:

    Such a great episode! We’ll miss you, Michael, Melinda, and Jason!

    Go, La’Porsha and Trent! Need them both in the finale!

  44. I want to thank you for remembering Elliot Yamin, he was perhaps too low-key to win, but I loved him.

  45. How depressing is this? The end of American idol. I was watching It last night and they were showing the beginning with Kelly and all of the others. I guess Phil Phillips wont be attending this week, I heard he has been suing idol. As we all lose the best thing, American Idol, where we can forget our problems and watch the contestants grow and win. We lose this show and at the same time, have this HORRIBLE election in front of us. Not looking forward to it. It absolutely makes losing American idol even worse. I like Bernie, he makes me feel hopeful.

  46. marie says:

    LA’PORSHA AND TRENT!!!! I really thought Dalton would steal a place in the final 2. I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO HAPPY TO BE WRONG!!!!!

    • Em says:

      Dude, chill. He’s gone home, and you’re acting like you just had a baby. His future will be bright, and you need to take a chill pill. He’s an amazing performer with connection to the lyrics and he’s got the look, he’ll be successful. So while he’s living his life and putting this behind him, maybe you should find a hobby instead of being so passionately happy about a 20 year old guys final place in a competition show. All I’m saying is chill and lay off the caps and exclamation points, because he’s a good guy and you make it seem like Trump dropped out of the race.

  47. Marga says:

    WHY CANT REALITY CHECK CONTINUE WITH THE VOICE???? Yes I am shouting because I LOVE MICHAEL AND MELINDA!!!!!

  48. Jo Sumpter says:

    In my opinion, whoever of the three wins AI will be forgotten soon after it’s all over. I would not go and buy any of the three’s music. The one song Trent Harmon sang that I liked was Tennessee Whiskey. And I can’t even download it from iTunes for some reason. The two guys sound like anybody else, and I simply cannot stand the screaming, deep voice of LaPorshe or whatever her name is. I changed my loyalty to The Voice long ago. Sorry, AI!

  49. cb says:

    Jason, I love you as much as I do Melinda and Michael. Thank you to all three of you.

  50. Thank goodness Jason is back to form! Please do it up big next week

    Love you guys