American Idol Trent Wins

American Idol Series Finale Recap: Did the Right Contestant Win? Plus: TVLine's Series Finale Awards!

Kieran, turn out the lights.

Our American Idol “journey” has come to an end, but let us not weep for what’s been cancelled, let us instead go to iTunes and download the Season 15 winner’s new single. Hey, from a songwriting vantage point, it may not be “Home,” but it definitely ranks above “No Boundaries” and “Inside Your Heaven” — and we bought those, too. And if this show can produce one more bona fide radio/touring superstar, maybe the inevitable reboot will happen sooner than expected, no?

While we’re in download mode, maybe we can all pick up an album or a song by Kimberly Caldwell, Kimberley Locke, Fantasia, J.Hud, Aloha Mischeaux, Elliot Yamin, Melinda Doolittle, Blake Lewis, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Brooke White, Carly Smithson, Alexis Grace, Kris Allen, Adam Lambert, Allison Iraheta (and her badass band Halo Circus), Megan Joy, Mishavonna Henson, Lee DeWyze, Crystal Bowersox, Didi Benami, Katelyn EpperlyHaley “The Slayer” Reinhart, Stefano Langone, Kendra Chantelle, Deanna Brown, Pia Toscano, Paul McDonald, Jessica Sanchez, Phillip Phillips, Joshua Ledet, Skylar Laine, Elise Testone, Erika Van Pelt, Candice Glover, Kree Harrison, Janelle Arthur, Jena Irene, Jessica Meuse, Nick Fradiani, Rayvon Freakin’ Owen, Joey Cook, Quentin Alexander, Savion Wright, Jax, MacKenzie Bourg, Trent Harmon, Dalton Rapattoni, La’Porsha Renae, and Michael Johns (R.I.P., buddy — and a raised middle finger to whomever decided the finale couldn’t spare five seconds to acknowledge his passing). Oh, and (not that they needs the sales boost) but you really can’t go wrong with some Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood or Chris Daughtry, either.


I’ve got jams from each and every one of those artists in my iTunes library — click those hotlinked names if you want help building your own playlist. And while it’s going to be hard to see them pave over The House That Kelly Clarkson Built and put up a parking lot (aka probably something less funny than Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life), as long as the aforementioned names are still SANGIN‘ and writing and taking home Oscars, then American Idol will never die.

The Season 15 finale went heavy on nostalgia and light on its current finalists — La’Porsha Renae and Trent Harmon, a powerhouse duo worthy of having their names etched in stone alongside Kris-Adam, Candice-Kree, Kelly-Justin and all those formidable duos from the past 14 years. (Season 15’s third-through-10th-place performers were all but locked in their dressing rooms.) And while part of me is bitter that Fox chose to pull the plug in early April rather than mid-May — fumbling the opportunity to bring back all these crazy-talented alumni for full performances rather than quick song snippets – I still found myself fighting back tears of joy over the entire two-hour telecast.

Pretty much every Idol grad who took the stage proved utterly delightful — doing proud the legacy of the show that launched them into their careers as musicians.

Let’s not talk about “Seacrest out” (too soon) or J.Lo’s “Ain’t Yo Mama” (too ridiculous). Let’s instead get to the results. Ryan, you wanna do the honors?

“After the nationwide vote, the winner of American Idol Season 15 is… Trent Harmon!”

La’Porsha is our runner-up.

Our winner is on the floor, sobbing like a baby and trying to get through his new single “Falling.” (He barely does, but that puts him in company with pretty much all the prior winners of the show, no?)

Oh and what in the actual hell? Ryan is telling us, “We say to you from Hollywood, ‘Good night, America… for now.” RYAN, YOU ALREADY UNLEASHED THE KARDASHIANS ON US — DO NOT PLAY WITH OUR EMOTIONS, MISTER!

Before I turn it over to you, let me hand out some American Idol Series Finale Awards, yes?

I wasn’t expecting President Barack Obama’s pre-taped intro — although I probably should’ve — but regardless of your political leaning, you’ve got to give POTUS credit for deftly using the end of Fox’s fan-driven as a jumping-off point to remind viewers that “voting [for elected officials, not just reality-show singers] is the most fundamental and sacred right in our democracy.”

I love Trent. I love La’Porsha. But the choice of “It Takes Two” — a nod to Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini’s Season 1 finale duet – didn’t bring out the best in either of their voices. (And shouldn’t that qualification have trumped all else when it came to choosing their ditty?)

Trent Harmon + Black Leather Pants = Alrighty, then!

OK, so his “looks like tonight, you’re out of a job” jab at Seacrest wasn’t the freshest, but let’s give a slow clap to Brian Dunkleman for not only poking a little fun at himself, but unexpectedly squeezing a tear or two from my eyes when he went in for a hug with his erstwhile co-host.

Had the telecast been the six-hour extravaganza of our dreams, maybe finale producer Nigel Lythgoe could’ve justified passing the mic to two-season judge Kara DioGuardi, the woman who wrote “No Boundaries” and droned on endlessly about “package artists.” But seeing as there were several winners, runners-up and third-place finishers who barely got a solo note (or didn’t make the stage at all), Kara’s rendition of “Sober” was as welcome as a raspberry seed in the back tooth.

Carrie Underwood kinda stole the number, but props to Keith for choosing a duet (“Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”) and choosing a preternaturally talented alum to join him!

BIGGEST FINISHING-POSITION-TO-AIRTIME DISCREPANCY | Congrats to Season 11’s 7th-place finisher Colton Dixon for scoring a slot to showcase his single “Through All of It,” but the decision seemed… perplexing, considering that actual Idol winners Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze were in the house, have fresh singles on iTunes and never got an opportunity to perform ’em during the course of the season.

MOST SATISFYING SOLO | After working all season as a background vocalist for the in-house Idol band, Season 8’s incomparable Allison Iraheta finally stepped into the spotlight during the pop-songs medley — and her vocal on Meghan Trainor’s “No” proved jaw-droppingly good. Now, here’s hoping the millions of folks who tuned in will check out her band Halo Circus when they tour the states this summer.

Tackling “All By Myself” on a live broadcast is like running upstairs in a horror movie: It never ends well. But brave, beautiful Pia Toscano ripped into the devastating ballad as easily as I just tore open a bag of Smartfood — Ugh. #LifeChoiceFail — and reminded us why her early ouster in Season 10 remains one of the greatest injustices in show history.

A pregnant Kelly Clarkson’s pre-taped medley was predictably perfect — but damn, her a cappella ending on “A Moment Like This” had me looking like I’d just taken a chainsaw to the world’s largest onion.

CRUELEST TWIST | I’m pretty sure I saw Top 5 finishers Dalton Rapattoni, MacKenzie Bourg and Sonika Vaid lurking in the shadows, but was there really no time for any of ’em to get the standard all-star duet treatment? And even if there was no way around those disses, shouldn’t Trent and La’Porsha, at least, have gotten one more performance apiece on the Idol stage — perhaps paired with current chart-toppers who could’ve helped to get ’em get a little added buzz on Friday’s morning-show express.

Bo Bice — almost unerecongnizable with buzzed hair and glasses… that is, until his trademark rocker howl kicked in on his Idol standard “Vehicle.”

No disrespect to Bo, James Durbin, Caleb Johnson, Constantine Maroulis and Chris Daughtry — who proved loud and fun and raucous on a medley of guitar-heavy hits. But how come their female counterparts Carly Smithson, Elise Testone, Jena Irene Asciutto, Amanda Overmyer (and Allison and Carrie, for that matter) weren’t invited to the party? Did Nigel not get the memo that you don’t need a penis to rock out?

I dug the country a lot — though where the heck was Janelle Arthur? — but I wish that Scotty McCreery and Kellie Pickler (if not Kree Harrison and Lauren Alaina) had been allowed to show off their own originals rather than covering other people’s hits.

Heck, if Nicki Minaj managed to tape a goodbye message to the show she judged for one season, how come Mariah Carey couldn’t take 30 seconds out of her schedule, daaahhhhlings, and do the same? Actually, scratch my righteous indignation. Had producers been forced to squeeze her in, we might not have gotten that “Pants on the Ground” dude cutting into Allison’s performance. (Sorry — I have chronic active bitch face!)

It lasted all of 30 seconds, but Carly Smithson’s “Here You Come Again” — accompanied by a simple harp — was monumentally, inarguably, life-alteringly beautiful. It made me weep — and wonder if the badass Irishwoman is going to get back in the studio — since it’s been more than a minute since her time as frontwoman for We Are the Fallen.

The juxtaposition of Jessica Sanchez’s fragile upper register and booming glory notes on “The Prayer” actually took my breath away… and then got me next-level furious, since far less talented vocalists than her are currently occupying her rightful place on Billboard’s Hot 100.

No, I still don’t think William Hung’s “She Bangs” is funny. But J.Lo’s ridiculous new single “Ain’t Yo Mama” — performed in skimpy maid drag — sure gave me a giggle. The exiting judge’s Vegas-tastic “Let’s Get Loud” was better — and also not as obviously lip-synched as the preceding track — but must all of the Shade of Blue star’s on-stage moments include that bent-over, booty-up-and-out, looking-through-my-legs-and-into-the-audience ridiculousness?

I’m gonna need Season 3’s “three divas” – Fantasia, J.Hud and La Toya London — to drop everything on their schedules, go directly to the nearest recording studio and cut a 23-minute, a cappella version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” You feel me on this one, Idoloonie nation, don’tcha? The only way it could’ve been better had been if Melinda Doolittle and Candice Glover jumped in, too.

Oooh, I think Fantasia got herself a song worthy of her all-time-greatest abilities. (Yep, I’m listening to “Ugly” on repeat as I write this.)

Joshua Ledet definitely “caught the ghost,” as the saying goes, on “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.” I mean, talk about going from zero to 60 in 5 seconds. [Insert praise hands and fire emojis here.]

STRANGEST CHOICE OF MATERIAL THAT MANAGED TO WORK ANYHOW | The David Bowie medley for previous winners David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, Phillip Phillips and Nick Fradiani seemed to not quite fit any of their aesthetics, but the dudes sounded really good in spite of it.

LEAST EFFECTIVE SUPPORT OF A SPONSOR | I know they were probably fighting down nausea and sweating as they waited to hear the final results, but Trent and La’Porsha greeted the news of getting new Ford Focuses with all the excitement of my five-year-old twins finding Brussels sprouts on their dinner plates.

LEAST-SURPRISING CAMEO | Oh, come ON, we all knew Simon Cowell was going to make an appearance — so how come Ryan, Paula and a hideously bespectacled Randy dragged out the ruse for so long that he wasn’t in the building?

So you have Melinda Doolittle and Candice Glover on the stage — both of whom have to rank on any sane person’s list of the Top 5 most naturally gifted vocalists in show history — and let them literally set the stage on fire with their celebratory take on “Joy to the World.” But why, Uncle Nigel, didn’t this go on for at least three (or 30) minutes? And why did you let all those other singers jump in to the background when I WAS TRYING TO PROPERLY HAVE A MOMENT WITH MY QUEENS?! (Side note: Can we also agree my Reality Check co-host’s body looked absolutely bangin’? Melinda, get Seacrest’s digits while you’re on the west coast, mmmkay?)

Your turn. What did you think of the Idol series finale? Grade it in our poll below, then sound off in the comments with your thoughts on the telecast — and Trent’s win!

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. Jill says:

    What was with Ryan’s bad acting at the end, saying this is hard. Good night America….for now.
    So the series finale was a cliffhanger?

    • iHeart says:

      yeah I don’t get it, I thought the show was cancelled, they’re acting like it could be revived or something, that would be something new, a reality show being revived. Seriously though why For now?

      • Gailer says:

        It’s on billboard, fuller said he’s planning on bringing it back, revamped

        • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

          The operative words being “planning on.”

          • Night Owl says:

            Some type of version of it may return at some point down the road. It’s always possible, although I don’t think it will be anytime soon.

          • Gailer says:

            We can only hope :)

          • S. says:

            As long as it stars La’Porsha’s baby, I’m in.

          • James says:

            Anyone ready for American Idol Junior (not counting American Juniors)?

          • Shamu says:

            And let’s hope that “planning on” stays as the operative words. I really think Fuller should put it to bed. It went out on a high…they shouldn’t mess it up. Again.

        • Smokey says:

          Sometimes when the expenses of things such as salaries of the celebrity judges, and other insiders,,,………

          have gone past the point of what advertisers are going to pay for,,,,,,, they have to kill the whole business to get past the existing corporate culture that is rendering the business unprofitable to carry-on,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and bring it back with a new type of version in order to clean-house and start fresh, while still using the old trademark. That’s been done in big business deals many times,

          • Mick says:

            I just hope the reboot is without that phony Ryan Seacrest. I imagine someday he will get married ….. to his mirror.

          • Honestly what killed the show was including celebrity judges and excluding a level headed music executive. Artists tastes in music are never what the mainstream likes anyway and there’s no way JHo is giving up space on the pop throne to another girl -_- Also we could blame producer manipulation but I think the costly celeb salaries and their awful judging is really what did the show in… hopefully they learned their lesson for next time!

          • Joey says:

            Bingo! So much truth in what you say. I never want to see JLo again. She took but didn’t give. Bring Idol back, but start little. Let the focus be contestants, contestants, contestants.

          • JM1 says:

            +1 on JLO. Harry & Keith, too. AI was so much better with types like Randy and Simon, and even Paula since she was toward the end of her career. They weren’t always looking to BE the singing stars, they were looking to DISCOVER new stars. Huge difference for the show. Now we’ve got JLo – at 45 years old – trying to be the hot young thing.

          • HTGR says:

            They need to get rid of current mega-star judges and NOT bring back Nigel who was so disrespectful to give a final diss to Haley and Elise and not a final memoriam to Michael Johns and Joanne Borgella. Just all proves he cares about nobody and nothing other than his precious self and ‘genius’ scripts and that he’d been even more obsessed than ever with his scripts and trying to destroy people, if need be, to insure the script is followed.
            I’d like to see Ryan back though.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Good point, Smokey and I agree with what everyone else has written here. This is akin to reporters becoming the story. They are supposed to REPORT the story, not BE the story. The judges practically became the story far too often.

        • LaPorshas baby! That baby never cries. I have never seen such a happy, well behaved cute baby! She should be in baby commercials!

          • Chrissi says:

            I think your watching the wrong show its not about her baby ….its a singing contest

          • Everyone here is happy about the whole show. Why would you say a snarky remark like that? I’m also talking about the singers and singers from the past. You do not rule the roost here. Don’t rain on the American Idol parade. There always has to be someone like you trolling the blogs and sites!!!

          • Kbella says:

            Agreed! I’m obsessed with that baby!

          • Chrissi, you’ll get more jokes if you get outside your linear thinking. Besides, what people like about reality TV are the unscripted moments.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Seriously, Crissy, get a grip. It’s a REALITY program.

      • Nigel mentioned to the Hollywood Reporter about a “reboot” of the series for 2018, so I guess that’s meant to leave the door open but still – his last remarks felt way too scripted, down to huff of breath and the “gosh this is hard.”

        • Bill says:

          Want to bet it will feature 8 to 13 year olds? Bleah!!

        • The Beach says:

          Speaking of Nigel…was he even acknowledged tonight? I saw him in the audience but don’t remember Ryan talking to him (or maybe I just shut it out of my mind)

          • Lisa G says:

            No they didn’t. But it felt like old-time idol so you felt Nigel. I only wish Trent and LaPorsha had gotten some kind of traditional duet or something that showcased their talents. Otherwise it was all good. I did feel like Ryan kept standing by people to make points of some kind but when i couldn’t place the face it lost the impact.

          • The Beach says:

            Yeah, that “It Takes Two” thing at the beginning was a waste of both their talents.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Agreed. “It takes Two” was awful. There are SO many good duets that could have showcased Trent and LaPorsha’s talents. Even Garth Brooks/Trisha Yearwood’s “In Another’s Eyes” would have been an improvement.

      • tigerone12 says:

        The show is not coming back, their no major sponsors, TV ratings are the worst in the history of the show?

      • Theres an article with Nigel Lithgoe in The Hollywood Reporter and he mentions that he would like to bring some form of the show back!

        • HTGR says:

          God no. His nasty manipulations gone out of control S10 are what started it spiraling away.
          Anyone but him.
          He was disrespectful to give a final diss to Haley and Elise (everyone shown off, everyone, aside from the two who drove the bus over) and not a final memoriam to Michael Johns and Joanne Borgella. Just all proves he cares about nobody and nothing other than his precious self and ‘genius’ scripts and that he’d been even more obsessed than ever with his scripts and trying to destroy people, if need be, to insure the script is followed.
          I’d like to see Ryan back though.

      • Julie says:

        It wasn’t cancelled, they decided to end it on their own.

      • sarah t says:

        I don’t know that it was really so much as cancelled as they decided to end it when it was still on a (reasonably) high note. My guess is they’ll take 2 to 3 years off. Work out a deal with the original 3 judges and Ryan and bring it back. Especially since (original) reboots with the original cast are doing so well on Fox right now. Granted, that might change in a couple of years but this also allows “The Voice” to run it’s course some more and then they’re able to bring it back.

      • ValDare says:

        Theres talk that there would be another version of American Idol, like the Next Generation of it. Same concept, different title, I guess!

      • Observer says:

        They could staff 4 chairs with previous Idol participants that could collectively work for a fraction of what J. Lo alone was paid. From some surveys I seen, Keith was the only Judge with even a respectable rating by viewers as a plus to watch the show.

        • Jm1 says:

          Good idea

          • fastfloyd says:

            The only real musical judge in my opinion is Harry. He knows technical music like no other judge, can hear a flat or sharp pitch and definitely knows what a star needs to have in their package. J-Lo has no business even sitting on this panel but they need a female who is not a twit and its really hard finding someone.

          • JM1 says:

            But so many Idol contestants can sing circles around most of the successful pop stars. AND could use the work. i’d take the adorable Melinda Doolittle or someone like her any day.

      • Karen says:

        If I were in the business I would certainly plan on a reunion show every year. The show was dynamite entertainment and so many Idol alumni to draw on. What do you think?

    • Marilyn Painter says:

      In an interview, I think with Ellen, but not sure it was with her, he said it’s still pulling in big numbers and maybe it could go to, and he didn’t say Netflix, but maybe some other channel or network.

    • JM1 says:

      For me, giving JLo that much time to sing poorly put a dent in the finale. She is the reason I stopped watching…will NOT miss all the cutaways during contestants’ songs to show her emoting, or her constant attention-seeking. I actually like her outside of Idol, but would honestly rather have watched a Mariah-Nikki cage match than watch her perform one last time.

      • Ditto says:

        My exact sentiments.

        • Emma says:

          Mine too! The constant cutaways to her were annoying beyond words. And WTF was that embarrassment she barfed up on the stage. Shameful. They could have given that time to the current season’s top 10, or anyone else for that matter. Disgusting!

          • Krys-Tyna Collins says:

            I do agree with your point, though I would use ridiculous rather than disgusting.
            Keith saved the last couple of seasons & I believe Harry was really interested in helping the singers.

      • danin says:

        Right on. They are so clueless about how annoying the Jlo kiss up is!

      • Collin says:

        I totally agree. I actually skipped past her “performance”. I’m so sick of her. She was the worst part of AI for the last few years. It would’ve been nice to hear more from this years top 10 instead of her once again stealing the spotlight. Harry was terrible too. Does he always sound that bad? Great knowing that he’s got that music school in New Orleans though! Keith and Carries duet was great. That’s what JLO should have done. Although I question if she has the chops to measure up with a past AI star! I do think JLO is a good actress though. Her new show, shades of blue, was great. Any show/movie with Ray Liotta is probably going to be good though.

        Fantasia was very annoying tonight. Just as she was in her seasons. How J Hudson didn’t win that year will always be a mystery to me. Fantasia’s voice is so screechy. I can’t stand it!

        The rest of the show was fantastic! I loved seeing most of the past Idols. Pia really stood to me. How we don’t hear more from Jessica Sanchez is mind boggling to me. That girl can flat out sing. IMO other than Carrie, hands down the best talent out there tonight! Overall I thought season 11 had a very strong showing. Phillip, Jessica, Joshua, Colton and Skylar all sounded great! I always thought that season was one of the best and they performed like it tonight!

        Overall great job tonight AI!!! It would’ve been nice to hear a little more from this seasons contestants but I realize there’s only so much time allowed. Congrats Trent!! You certainly deserved it. Good luck Laporsha on your future endeavors! Although listening to some of the other past idols, it showed me that they both have a long ways to go. To bad the judges thought Laporsha didn’t need to be critiqued. Imagine how much better she might have been! It’s a win win for those two IMO. I think it would be bad news for Laporsha to be on Scott’s label.

        Oh and congrats to Mackenzie on his single Roses being released! Big day for him also!

      • Lisa G says:

        I always record and start watching a few minutes late to avoid commercials. In this case it allowed me to FF through JLo. I went just slow enough to make sure I didn’t miss a surprise Idol appearance like Keith/Carrie, but faster as it became clear that wouldn’t happen. Right there was the time for a top 10 song.

        • Out for now says:

          This show has not been helped by keeping J. Lo the past 3 years at her huge salary, using the show to promote and perform her new songs and flit around magazine covers. She was a celebrity gamble by Fox exec’s and/or the Idol powers that be,that never really helped ratings at all.

          • Lyn says:

            She’s still better than Mariah, Nikki, Ellen or Kara.

          • Emma says:

            @Lyn ^ Disagree.

          • JM1 says:

            We’ll never know, of course, but I do wonder how Mariah would have been as a judge w/o Nikki there . . .

          • Ben says:

            Never helped?… but… what would have been the ratings without the only world wide current pop star in panel? (and no talk that she’s hot). Why do you think that she’s an “A” class celebrity?… ’cause Idol make her a favor and put her there?. Nope.. if you don’t like her.. fine.. but nobody can deny her talent and success nor take credit for it (haha… Taylor Swifted!).

            I think that the main problem with Idol have always been the fan-base/audicence… they seem to be kinda “old people” that hate/shade/dismiss everything out side the box of the traditional musician concept… that’s what explain the resignation (hype, love) for flat idols and the votes for the boring WGWG instead of voting for unique talents.

          • tealeaves says:

            The musician/singer/songwriters are the ones who are outside the box. They change up well known songs. They give performances that are completely unexpected. They tend to sing newer songs, never before used songs, and little known songs. They take risks because they are songwriters themselves who want a post-show career centered around their own music.

      • I would have rather watched Daniel Seavey or Sanjaya, than j-lo. Not even kidding. Didn’t like her performance

      • Tom22 says:

        It was great seeing so many but my biggest regrets about the show was not seeing a Crystal Bowersox.. maybe in my top 5 personal favorites… Of course Haley Reinhart (but they were generous to have her guest host earlier in the season)… Wouldn’t it have been great to see Haley and Casey singing Moanin? .. missed seing Jason Castro but can’t have everyone.
        They should have ended the show with all of the contestants singing “I am your brother, you best friend forever — william hung, not so much Renaldo Lopez.. a high point of the series.

        • AS says:

          Michael, Thanks to you and you and Melinda all these years. Seeing all the previous contestants was a treat…it was definitely time to end…Phillip Phillips season for me was the last one of merit. Too old I guess….it was so obviously a tween demographic they were after. Last night…why no Jason Castro?????

          • Shannon says:

            Jason Castro was at the show on Wednesday night with his daughter but his band Castro had gig already set for Thursday night so wasn’t able to attend the finale

          • Gailer says:

            Jason tweeted he was on way to Napa! He has another record deal with his band!

        • Amy says:

          I was hoping to see Crystal as well! Maybe instead of having Carrie sing twice, or Kara DeoGuardia sing at all, or even JLo for that matter, we could have seen more past idols. I could have done without Harry’s duet, it was boooring.

          • Gailer says:

            I agree, I’m sick of Carrie thinking her legs are the greatest, they’re not lol
            And the current judges have to earn their millions

          • Var says:

            And where were Adam Lambert, David Archuleta, Blake Lewis, etc? Maybe they were working and couldn’t make it. I was looking forward to seeing Haley and Crystal the most.

          • MamaLis says:

            @Galler. Are you kidding? Underwood’s legs are mesmerizing. They’re amazing.

          • Ryan Lang says:

            @Var: David and Blake were there. David was only in the opening number (he decided to come last minute, apparently–Nigel had asked him to sing Imagine, but he said no). Blake showed up in the opening number and the soul medley, but inexplicably he did not get a featured moment. Sanjaya, Mikalah Gordon, and Jasmine Trias also performed briefly without any focus (Mikalah in both the opening and the soul bit, I think).

            I puzzled this all out last night…

          • AGREE! Carrie, Kelly, JLo, etc….did not need more airtime. It would’ve been a better show for me if they gave more time to the alumni, especially those that we never get to see on TV. JLo’s segment was way too long and that booty ending was excruciatingly drawn out to the point of tackiness. I’m sorry, but also seeing Carrie and Kelly was painful for me because all I could think of was “ENOUGH, we’ve seen you already! You’re stealing time from the others!”

          • Jm1 says:

            Well, Carrie’s legs ARE gorgeous, but I’m tired of seeing them. Could’ve used her second-song time for other alumni. She could’ve helped introduce them or something if they wanted her to have lots of screen time. Of course, cutting all the judges’ so G’s would be my first choice. 😉

          • JM1 says:

            …cutting the judges’ SONGS….

        • Krys-Tyna Collins says:

          I would have liked to have seen Crystal😀 & Hailey too. I’m amazed they let Caleb sing a few lines.
          None of the above really fit into Idol pop style music.
          Love that Caleb win in spite of them.

      • Mr. Sunshine says:

        I agree. I still can’t help but think it was in her Idol contract.

      • Marilyn Painter says:


      • Annie S says:

        amen. it’s not about well established judges with huge careers. it’s about all the people and contestants and winners and just …

        • MamaLis says:

          I agree! Melinda could have sang an entire song.. PLUS two more people for the time they wasted on JLO! Here’s a woman that has every opportunity – ongoing – to perform and sell her stuff and yet she insisted on using precious Idol time to dance around in a french maid costume. Total narcissism.

      • Agree with you on so many points! I guess they want to appeal to the most people possible, but JLo, Carrie, and Kelly do not need more airtime. JLo got way too much airtime and yes, her booty time at the end was really too long to the point of perversion. We can see the successful Idols (and JLo) everywhere! (And YES to your comment about Kara…waste of valuable time!) I would’ve wanted to see more of the less successful, less visible Idol alumni. The programming seemed so random and unfair. For instance why did the five WINNERS have to share the spotlight in the Bowie tribute while some runners-up got to perform alone?

      • Lizzie says:

        I would have been willing to watch Nikki and Mariah go at it.

    • Sahsouha1 says:

      Simon fuller revealed that he wants to do something of Sorts online! Just cause ppl prefer the internet now! I assume that’s …

    • Now Ryan has no reason not to come out…except his Mom of course.

  2. Sad says:

    If only

  3. Tiff @ Mostly YA Lit says:

    Can’t believe it’s over. Thank you, Michael (and Melinda) for Reality Check and all this recapping. I hope RC will still exist with The Voice!

  4. Ethan says:

    Thank you Michael, for everything you did to help make this show what it was for so many people. You were the catalyst for so much excitement and laughter during this show’s run!

    • Scout says:

      Absolutely agree! Michael/Melinda/Editor-dude, you are the best!

    • Lking says:

      Definitely! Had to check in with you guys to make sure I was feeling the show as I should. You too gave me a great deal of enjoyment.

    • kajo33 says:

      Yes!!! Well said! Michael/Melinda/Jason made watching Idol more interesting and exciting to watch. I always looked forward to the recaps, banter and editing after the show. Thanks for the insight and laughs every week!!! #savetherocker #singheffa

    • tealeaves says:

      Agreed. Reality Check and these articles have added tremendously to my enjoyment of this show. I also love Slezak’s interviews with the contestants.

    • Yes thank you Michael and Melinda! Please do this reality check for the voice, otherwise we will miss you.

    • Lizabeth says:

      Totally agree! Part of my sadness with the show ending is knowing I won’t be able to read your AI recap anymore, Michael! I won’t be sad if you and Melinda decide to continue RC with The Voice! ❤️

    • Brenda says:

      Yes, Michael Slezak and (later) Melinda Doolittle, you added SO much to my enjoyment of — and sometimes to my disgust with — American Idol. My most sincere thanks and kudos go to you. Side note: the Jason Averett clips/editing was instrumental. We REALLY noticed when it was misding… ;)

  5. 2Blessed says:

    Congrats, Trent! You worked HARD to beat the fan favorite of the season.

    I’m happy La’Porsha got a record deal also! All’s well that ends well. So, goodbye Idol…

    For now.

    • Night Owl says:

      I’ve never had so much of a hard time voting for one of the top 2. I believed that no matter who won, it would be an injustice to the other because they are both amazing, IMO. I’m glad to hear that La’Porsha got a record deal.

      • Scout says:

        Absolutely agree. They were so evenly-matched. It was a tough vote.

      • ann says:

        Exactly this. Very hard to cast a vote for one, and not the other.
        La’Porsha also has a deal? I have to get caught up! But that would be great.
        Obviously, I don’t know her, but I think the title, the accomplishment of winning it, was very important to her. Another point of validation. Hope she can see that the title doesn’t matter that much. So many examples of that on the show tonight.

        • Night Owl says:

          Only one of them could win the contest, but they can (and ARE) both amazing singers that can have amazing careers.

        • She said in an interview that seeing Adam Lambert was a reminder that it’s not necessary to win to have a great career. I’m not going to chide her if she feels some disappointment, she’s only human (I get disappointed when I burn my toast for goodness sake *lol*) but I don’t doubt she will move on from here and do amazing things. I can see her on Broadway, for instance.

    • I missed the episode, you know for a fact she got a record deal? (Like Kelly, I want that record when it comes out.)

      • Night Owl says:

        Yes, it’s confirmed on Billboard.

        • Thanks I just read it on Billboard. It makes sense they have each of them signed to different “arms” of the record label. Fingers crossed that Trent and Queen LaP fare better than previous winners (Philip Phillips is currently suing to get out of his contract.)

    • BeBe says:

      And, sure enough, Trent will do a country record with Borchetta/Horseshtta. Read the Billboard article. That really pisses me off. I could listen to Trent do R&B and soul forever. Country? Not my thing. I hope it’s not cheesy contemporary country, at least. Damn, Trent, I so wanted an R&B album from you. So bummed.

      • Lisa G says:

        I still remember when Trent auditioned that they thought he was going to be country and JLo kept saying, “He’s R&B!” over and over. And today we find out that no one was listening to her. So Scott B is just like us…except she was right!

      • Esther says:

        Actually Scott said in an interview that Trent would be making a “badass blues /soul/country album”. I’m intrigued.

        • marie says:

          Esther, I certainly hope that’s what comes to pass. I would be so disappointed if Trent’s album was ONLY country. I NEED more R&B from him, STAT! And some more theatrical / cabaret numbers like Chandelier. That’s where he truly shines. Check out his old YouTube covers of the acoustic arrangement of “Latch” and “Stay with Me.” They are from some time ago, I believe before he even auditioned. They make my heart soar every time I hear them.

      • Anita says:

        Borchetta fixed so that Trent gets better songs on the end, so he can make more money on Country songs. La’ porsha is much better singer They always do that on American Idol, they assign wrong songs to the artist they do not want to win the idol. It is all in the money for producers. I am glad it is over with Idol.

        • Mick says:

          I totally agree Anita. Song Choice just killed LA’Porsha in the end. She performed well but If she had been given a rump-kicking up tempo number to close it out I think she would have won. Something like “Respect” but maybe more current. I find it hard to watch Trent with his cartoon like expressions and exaggerated facial movement.

          • Maxx Dog says:

            She needs to take part of the blame for constantly choosing ballads. She’s got fast paced songs on her youtube and it would have shown some range

          • Mick says:

            You’re so right Maxx Dog. She didn’t take many risk and just wanted to settle into the power ballad lane and stay there. Trent didn’t play it so safe and it paid off.

        • Total agreement, Anita. He made comments to the Country magazine where he said outright that La’Porsha refused to do voice warm-ups (implication: lazy, difficult, etc), made her discomfort with Stay with Me public which Harry then asked her about (I’m sure Harry was told to do so), and all sorts of little things that signaled who he wanted to win – then signs La’Porsha to a record deal to this new arm of of their label partnered with Motown (and she’s the first artist signed, so no track record behind it.) And says he signed her because he loved her and she has the fanbase, etc. So now I am really confused – or maybe not. I guess this is the result the producers wanted: give the white boy the title to please middle America (which i don’t mean as a slur on Trent himself, he’s very talented), but keep Queen La’P in their pocked because they KNOW she’s a potential money-maker? IDK

      • Candy Smith says:

        This is his first album!! Once hes done, hell probably make something else. And just a suggestion here, you dont have to listen but since you said you like soul, why not give his album a listen to? It can’t hurt to try something new, can it? No, not in this case. So why not try listening to it when he releases it. You never know, maybe you’ll end up loving it!!

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

    I’m BALLING!!! But IMMENSILY happy for Trent! Hopefully laporsha gets signed and becomes very sucessful!!! Loved Melinda Doolittle, Candice Glover, Jessica Sanchez, Pia Toscano, Carrie Underwood, Caleb Johnson, and Lauren Alaina!!!

    • 'A' Revived says:

      It’s already confirmed she’s also signed with Big Machine Records! So we’ll definitely be hearing from her soon!

      • If they don’t “bury” the album, fail to release it, stuff it with crappy and poorly written songs that have no chance of hitting the charts, don’t promote the album or a tour….etc. They don’t have a great track record, so I am keeping my fingers crossed. This partnership with Motown is a new thing Scott apparently engineered so we’ll see. I want to be proven wrong.

    • darcy the slutty twin says:

      Seeing Bo Bice again with that hot new hairdo gave me goosies down there. Yes, I loved Melinda Doolittle, Allison Iraheta and the Pop alumni medley. Jessica Sanchez SLAYED! I adored the White Guys With Guitar medley of Bowie songs. Gave me a second round of goosies down there. Sad that the season 7 finalists didn’t get to pay tribute to Michael Johns. I was missing Brooke White!

  7. Andres says:

    I can’t believe it’s all over

  8. jr says:

    Surprised Adam Lambert didn’t perform! IMO his season was the best. Very glad Trent won!

    • BeBe says:

      Yeah, I wanted some Adam Lambert. He would have killed the Bowie set.

      • danin says:

        Oh yes,Adam would have,BeBe.

      • ann says:

        Exactly. I was waiting for him to come out then, and just Take Over!

      • Angela says:

        I thought the same thing! He definitely would’ve rocked that.
        I did enjoy that Bowie tribute, though. That was fun.

      • Sarah says:

        Agree that Adam should have done the Bowie tribute, but maybe he was on earlier because he couldn’t make the finale. Would have loved another solo from him. But I was happy with some unexpected solos from Kimberley, Carly, Allison and others.

        • CaliGirl says:

          Yes, Adam is busy with his tour… that’s why he performed a couple weeks ago.

          • CandyGram says:

            He’s not on tour. He’s filming his part in the remake of Rocky Horror Picture Show…I believe in Toronto

      • SoozinCA says:

        Adam is in Toronto filming Rocky Horror Picture Show, but it is for Fox so they messed up not at least mentioning it, an Idol alum is in it and it will air later this year. This was the only week he could fit in his part because he just wound up the US leg of his solo tour, starts the Euro leg next week, and then reunites with Queen May 20 for several weeks of festivals in Europe. But he was missed tonight!

      • CaliGirl says:

        Adam is out on tour. That’s why they had him perform on an earlier show.

      • carmen says:

        Adam already had two solo performances on Idol this season. It was considered by everybody to be a great medley. The five Idol winners should have had longer solos though. I really find it ridiculous that Pia what’s her name got a big solo moment and some Idol winners did not.

    • J says:

      Where was Adam Lambert!!

    • The Beach says:

      Agree…I missed Adam being there too. I was also surprised that Crystal Bowersox and David Archuleta weren’t there.

    • kryptoman68 says:

      Adam is filming the Rocky Horror Picture Show in Toronto this week before flying to Europe to continue The Original High tour next week. But he got to sing TWO songs in the same episode a few weeks back, which might have been yet another first in Idol history for guest performers.

    • CaliGirl says:

      Adam is out on tour. That’s why they had him perform on an earlier show.

  9. Davey says:

    You forgot Casey James. But then you never really appreciated him.

  10. missing it already says:

    Moving forward a twice yearly idol alumni show would be great. That show was two hours (well at least an hour) too short. Loved it!

  11. BeBe says:

    Awesome finale. Great show. Congrats to Trent, my frontrunner since auditions. Can’t wait to follow his career.
    And Michael Slezak, you’ve been a very important part of Idol. Thanks for all of your amazing work.
    But I think the show’s getting picked up by another network!

  12. Morisot says:

    A-M-A-Z-I-N-G !!! Loved the numbers with the past Idol contestants and winners. So good. Great production. Okay, I cried — when Simon came out ! And at the very end. Loved how Trent included the others. Best wishes to all.

    • Gailer says:

      I loved Simon’s return, if he didn’t , awww

    • ann says:

      I found myself laughing out loud whilstmisting up during the montage of the original panel + Ryan. (That song, ‘You’ve had a bad day,” always summons something in me anyway.) Then out comes Paula & Randy, and Ryan is getting emotional, then SIMON comes on and that sure seemed to surprise them all … and then my ‘misting’ turned into some real tears. The early years, the original gang … a LOT of great, funny, ridiculous and wonderful memories.

  13. Trent says:

    No denying that Uncle Nigel knows how to put on a show. So happy seeing so many of my faves like Pia, Jessica, Allison, Carly, The 3 Divas and our girl Melinsa back! So happy for Trent (my fellow Trent) and hope he and La’Porsha all the best of success!!
    Thank you Michael and TVLine for giving us an amazing space to discuss/debate/fangirl over Idol for so many years!

    • The Beach says:

      Wow, Pia, Carly and Jessica all three looked and sounded terrific. I would like to have heard a bit more from Melinda and Candace and on a different song.
      -Dang, Bo Bice has certainly aged well. He and Ace Young looked hot.
      -I could have listened to a lot more Bowie songs in that tribute. Those guys sounded great together.

      • danin says:

        Yesss to the Bowie! And more.

      • catwoman says:

        Yes, one of my few complaints is that the Bowie segment was too short. Didn’t really get to hear much from Kris Allen or David Cook. If only they had ditched the JLo segment and given more time to the past idols.

        • I agree! It was unfair that those five WINNERS did not get more individual airtime, while Carrie and Kelly (and JLo) got so much. We always see those three on TV. I wanted to see more of the alumni that don’t get exposure. It was sweet nostalgia to see them and I wanted more!

      • Lyn says:

        I was astonished by Diana Degarmo’s appearance. She looked like the mom on That 70s Show!

    • Andrew says:

      I was very happy seeing Carly on the finale. She’s basically the reason I started watching idol. The few seasons before that I’d just watch the auditions to see the really bad contestants. Then during season 7 I really liked her voice, so I wanted to see how far she got. I watched the entire season, and watched faithfully ever since.

  14. Gailer says:

    What an incredible production! Now only if they had been doing that the last few seasons! Dump these judges and get the real ones back!

    • Don B says:

      I just finished telling someone that as much as people deride Lythgoe, he had a bit of British theatre in him and on the show. The contestants, the show, and the audience lost a lot in that sense when he left. He did tonight’s show and it showed in the production values. The number with Jessica Sanchez, McPhee, Stoddard et al on the carousel platforms was right out of 1930 musicals and was just elegant.

  15. Guy says:

    Congrats to Trent! They both deserved it, but I’m glad Trent won after his stirring “Chandelier” performance.
    Side note: why wasn’t Haley Reinhart included in the finale? But they included William Hung and “pants on the ground?” I wouldn’t think it had to do with availability since she was in the audience last night.
    Another side note: why isn’t Jessica Sanchez ridiculously successful? Good lord, that vocal she gave tonight was outstanding.

    • Night Owl says:

      Jessica and Carly were both breathtaking.

      • ann says:

        They were. So glad to see Carly again, and how great she got an extended solo.
        My husband said of Jennifer Sanchez … ‘she just stole the show.’

        And Jennifer Hudson. She is a singular force / talent and such a supremely strong WOMAN. Hats off to her, always. Love and respect her so much.

        And Carrie. Will save my love for her, and both her performances, especially the big finish, for a later post …

        And Kelly. Words fail. Her montage was an unexpected extra treat for sure.

        But man, oh man, from a dinky little TV talent show … all these amazing people burst forth and flourished. Grateful!!!

    • BeBe says:

      Haley was in the audience tonight, too. And yeah, Jessica Sanchez was kind of mind-blowing tonight.

      • Mike says:

        In the audience and not on stage…wtf?

      • Guy says:

        I didn’t notice her in the audience. That’s even more upsetting. Seriously?! How could they leave her out? I blame JLo. Ugh.

        • Emma says:

          She wasn’t in the audience Thursday night. She was in the audience Wednesday night, with Paul McDonald. You might not have noticed her because she was right behind LP’s cute little baby. After the show Wednesday the season 10 contestants got together for a reunion. Scotty, Lauren, Haley, James, Jacob, Stefano, Paul, Naima and Thia were all there. Thursday night Haley had a prior commitment which she probably booked before knowing when the finale would be. Remember it was way earlier this year than prior years. She did tweet that she was asked to participate, even though she couldn’t, so there’s that.

          • HTGR says:

            Yeah I saw her for a second the night before next to Paul McDonald.
            As for the ask, I guess there is that then. I wonder how far ahead they asked her? It seems a bit odd 99% of everyone else had time to schedule set. I think once before Nigel asked her, but he gave her only like 3 days notice or something crazy.
            Considering all Nigel had done to trash her her season, I still feel, since they literally covered basically every single other person, just about, he could’ve tossed her a quick live video appearance or a little video bit, heck at least even in the retrospective a couple days earlier. The other producers finally made right by her earlier in the season, but it would’ve really meant something and been nice had he gone the extra mile to make it up to her and offer her some way to get an appearance in the finale despite her schedule and finally set that 100% to bed. Especially if he wants to bring Idol back again himself. Why not show he is above his old games and willing to do right?
            With everything (just about) else done right, why not have fully put that to bed and let it end 100% high note?
            (and why didn’t he bother with Elise either, the other one he totally brought the Greyhound fleet out for).
            I mean he literally did not put the text of her name up on screen or mention it once the entire week.
            I do give the other producers credit though for making right earlier in the season. That was great. I forgive the overall show, heck, even JLo I guess. But I’m still not sold on Nigel at all.
            It was a great show though pretty much otherwise.

      • Bill says:

        Haley wasn’t there at all tonight – she had a scheduled performance in Denver.

    • Mike says:

      As good as Jessica was, that song really should have been Katharine’s. She only sings it with Bocelli in concert. No big deal. :)

      • ME says:

        Thank you!!!! I’m not a Jessica fan. Katharine actually has done more than Jessica and has an incredibly beautiful voice. Hated to see that she didn’t get that song.

        • I was surprised that Jessica got that spotlight, too. Then again, I’ve been saying multiple times that the more successful/visible alumni get enough exposure (i.e. Carrie, Kelly, Katherine, Chris, etc.) so I would prefer to give more time to the less successful (such as Jessica). When do we ever get to see them and they certainly could use the promotion.

          • carmen says:

            Nigel showcased people from the seasons he produced, way more than from the seasons when he was not a producer.

      • Jessica sang the exact same version in Season 11. Thus it belongs to her. And Jessica is more vocally talented than Kat.

  16. Gailer says:

    Simon fuller said idol is coming back, it’s on billboard

  17. analythinker says:

    Historically speaking, people just don’t like an “obvious” winner, and end up voting for the other one, specially if they show growth and greatness along the way. Kelly and not Justin, Ruben and not Clay, Cook and not Archie.

    • S. says:

      On no planet was Justin an obvious winner. Kelly was the clear champ. That wasn’t a rebellion vote. She earned that and built through the season.

      • tealeaves says:

        It is that The Chosen One One never wins. The winners earn their wins during the live rounds. They are never the person the judges and producers started pushing before the voting rounds even started. The Chosen One often performs well and ends up in second place.
        I think it is more because they tend to stay in their lanes and give solid performances, while the eventual winner has an arc and ends up giving more surprisingly awesome performances.
        Sometimes I think surely the producers and judges know this and know they are setting up these contestants to end in second at best. But then I realize their egos are so big they are shocked every time by this phenomenon.

        • Lyn says:

          Your analysis falls apart with season 8. No way did Kris build an arc over time. The deep south Bible thumpers voted against Adam due to his orientation.

          • Rico says:

            You could be right about the Bible thumpers (though I think it was more about the teeny bopper girls voting), but you’re definitely wrong about Kris not building an arc over the season. While Adam is the better singer, Kris was more creative, changing up several of his songs, David Cook-style, with the pinnacle being “Heartless”. He was just as deserving as Adam to win.

          • amy says:

            Kris definitely had a growtrh arc over the course mof the show. Why is it so hard to give him some respect instead of trying to claim the only reason he won was because voters were homophobic? Kris had amazing performances on Idol — Ain’t No Sunshine, Falling Slowly, She Works Hard for the Money and Heartless have all been named by various media types as some of the best performances in the show’s history. Adam is amazing, and I’m happy he has had so much success over the years but I am really sick and tired of people constantly putting Kris down instead of giving him credit for being a talented artist in his own right.

          • rnlang says:

            Oh, this nonsense again? Kris building an arc over the front-runners Adam and Gokey (and, once upon a time, Lil Rounds–remember how the producers set each up in the “pimp” spot of the three semifinal rounds?) is probably the prime example of this phenomenon. Adam made his biggest impact early on in the competition, when Kris was still an unknown. Kris steadily improved, giving solid performances almost every week and extraordinary ones every so often–including Heartless, which may be the single most important performance on the show in terms of how it changed the competition. (I’d love to see the vote totals to really know for sure.) Meanwhile, Adam had nowhere to go but down. I loved him at the beginning but thought some of his later performances (like “One”) were unimpressive.

            And if Adam couldn’t get enough votes to beat out a collection of “deep south Bible thumpers,” did he deserve to win this show? Note that this has nothing to do with how many people buy his singles in 2016 or are fans of Queen. It’s not like Adam was running away with the votes before the homophobes showed up for the finale–he was bottom 2 in top 5 week.

          • Lyn says:

            Kris is still relatively unknown. Everyone knows who Adam is.

      • analythinker says:

        Speak all you want, but during that season, all I heard was “Justin is a star” over and over and over. As far as I can recall, Kelly’s audition wasn’t even shown during the audition episodes (but later in the finale segment). Simon didn’t have his eyes opened until Natural Woman.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      I didn’t watch this season at all, but I did watch last night’s performances. I’m surprised LaPorsha didn’t win. Do you know why? Based on those performances I thought she had it locked.

      • Because not enough people voted for her?

      • tvlover44 says:

        angie, la’porsha was phenomenal throughout, but the winner trent had an arc of ‘growth’. to be fair, he did really take off in the past few weeks. i’m not super-bummed about the results, but i voted in every way possible for la’porsha – i was pulling from her from the start. both LP and trent are from mississippi, btw (which as a memphian i appreciate). and according to other commenters, there is news that la’porsha has a record deal as well, which is so cool. if you liked la’porsha’s performances that you saw, you should check out her other ones from this season on youtube. ‘no more drama’ and ‘glory’ and her first performance of ‘diamonds’ are personal favorites, but all of them are great – even the ubiquitous ‘proud mary’! also if you’re a fan of ‘reality check’, this season’s have been excellent, with the ones from the last few weeks particularly entertaining, especially the disagreements between slezak and melinda over the few times he rated la’porsha’s performances lower than melinda would’ve liked (i agreed with her every time).

      • analythinker says:

        Idol viewers love their share of WGWGs. That is all. And Trent’s humility (he said “was it okay?” about his audition performance which made the judges laugh) during his audition might have sealed his fate before the show even began. Oh plus… a farm boy singing R&B versus a diva? The “nonconformity” is too interesting.

      • analythinker says:

        Oh.. and some said Trent & Dalton are good buddies, so when Dalton’s eliminated, the votes (I imagine quite a lot since Idol tweens also love their cute emo “rocker” boys) went to Trent instead of LaPorsha.

        • F says:

          Someone sounds awfully salty for no reason. First of all, not all of Daltons voters are tweens. That’s like saying all of Trents voters are from the south. That’s not correct. Its actually quite ignorant to make a generalization like such. Also, I can assure you, Daltons voters weren’t all going for Trent in the way you’re implying. That’s like saying that all of Mackenzies voters went to Dalton, meaning that he could’ve had double the amount of votes and made it into the finale because of the surge in votes, but that obviously didn’t happen. Bitter, much? Finally, just because Daltons style may be different than yours, that does not mean that you should be condescending like you were. If I was into a completely different genre than you were and I acted self righteous and typed in a tone where what I implied was that that type was inferior, I would understand if you were like “hey man, not cool, not nice, not chill”. And he’s actually not really a rocker, American Idol painted him out to be the rocker of the season, but he’s more into “alternative pop with rock undertones”, which is fine. Live and let live, yeah?

          • Lizzie says:

            Dalton’s votes went somewhere, and it’s not crazy to think that the next most likely contestant to receive them would be Trent, not LaPorsha.

          • analythinker says:

            You have to read my comments from the previous reply to understand the context, dear. Nobody’s saying Dalton’s voters are tweens alone.

    • Don’t forget Kris, not Adam. I agree that Justin Guarini was the front runner early on because he was so polished compared to the others. Kelly improved as the season progressed.

  18. WHAT DOES FOR NOW MEAN!? And I only said It was good because Trent won.

  19. ShinGoonMin says:

    American Idol…you FAILED me big time!!! No ADAM LAMBERT performance??? He may be on the road, but you could have taped him like Kelly Clarkson’s number. After 15 years, this is what GLAMBERTS get…nada??? It hurtssss a lot.

  20. Scout says:

    Amazing show. I smiled the entire time, except when JLo performed. I usually enjoy her fun performances, but interrupting past American Idol vocalists to watch her, um, not-sing and shake her bum for 1 minute was irritating. I just had to get the off my chest. But my heart melted every time a past Idol got on that stage. It was so wonderful :) Congrats, Trent! I honestly couldn’t decide between the 2 finalists – I love them both SO much. Glad I taped this show.

    • ShinGoonMin says:

      JLo was sashaying and twerking like Charo. She fancies these weird songs that don’t really become big hits.

    • Morisot says:

      LOL. Um, exactly !

    • JM says:

      Yes, JLo was a big waste of time. Thank god for the FF button.

    • Ani says:

      J Lo had to have been on way longer than 1 minute, right? It seemed like forever–and no one else got that much airtime (even for actual, good performances)

    • BeBe says:

      I thought J Lo’s bit was embarrassing. Does she really need to do THAT at this stage of her career? Cheap, tasteless, and actually kind of heartbreaking. I felt like I was watching her get p*mped out. She looked no better to me than a trashy town chick working the pole.

    • Ditto says:

      Yes the lipsincing was a travesty–especially tonight! But I guess she gets winded, which is the only way you’d know she is her age. I spent the whole performance watching how expertly she kept her mouth covered with the mic and other props.

      • catwoman says:

        And be “whole performance” you mean the 3 minutes or more they devoted to her montage? I fast-forwarded throughout but it seemed to last forever. What a waste of valuable screen time.

    • Sarah says:

      The whole JLO/Vegas act was completely out of place with all the segments that really focused on the music and the joy of performing, and was borderline lewd. So sad that such a talent chose to do something so tasteless.

      • Absolutely. Imagine if she had been gracious enough to say “Oh, my segment is too long. Give the time to the alumni.” But nooooooooo, she just wanted to line her pockets even more. Makes me so angry that such greed exists.

  21. A. D. says:

    Thank God it’s over! This crap show took up the space of so many good shows and got too many quality scripted shows cancelled…Be gone for good! Crap TV!

  22. Brigette says:

    Um why didn’t the season 15 contestants get ANY medleys? That was so so weird to me.

    • Dysturbed says:

      If this had been a typical finale they likely would have, since that is the norm, but being the final episode ever (“for now”) they made it more about the overall history than this particular season.

    • Ditto says:

      Yeah all they got to do was delivery the American Idol sign to Ryan. They were all kind of shortshrifted by the truncated season really. But they looked happy enough to be part of such an awesome event

    • Kevin Houtz says:

      They don’t get an Idols Tour to help their careers either. Leaving them out of the finale was kinda par for the course this year.

  23. TK says:

    Typo with the Americn in the page title lol

  24. Eurydice says:

    I even cried during the Ford commercial (I mean, video). I wish there could have been a tie because La’Porsha was so awesome, but Trent worked hard and he worked smart, so it’s all good.

  25. Lauren says:

    Did anyone else feel bad for the current season’s Idols? They barely were on stage. Kind of a bummer especially since there’s no tour.

    • Yeah, at least the tour provided a source of revenue for the summer and a way to keep performing and connecting with fans (and one another.) This year it seems like the contestants themselves were little more than an afterthought.

    • Night Owl says:

      Yes, it was one thing that really bothered me. I mentioned it in a previous post, but I think the show should have been 3 hours. Two hours devoted to all alumni and 1 hour to focus on the final season’s contestants.

    • tealeaves says:

      They probably had to cut their number so JLo could shake her booty at us for 5 minutes.

      • Collin says:

        My thoughts exactly! It’s the only problem I had with tonight’s show. Those poor kids got shoved right out all season. And after the shortened season they decided to give JLo all that time. Another instance of her stealing the spotlight!

      • lws says:

        I don’t think we really needed that endless Kelly medley either, much as she deserves attention. One song, maybe. Considering she wasn’t even there.

        • HTGR says:

          @tealeaves – wow, I totally disagree. Kelly made Idol. Of course she deserved that entire medley! That was great! How could the final Idol show not have had that?
          They actually needed a bit more of stuff from those who could not make it. Although he did get lots of show earlier in the week, still shoulda snuck in at least a partial clip of an Adam video taped song. And Nigel, after all he did against them, now that he took over control again for the final week, shoulda tossed Haley and Elise (although for all I know Elise wants nothing to do with them anymore, if that was the case, and I don’t know, then that would be that) a video song each. Get everyone into the final show.

    • Corey says:

      Why did they even cancel the tour? Did the last few not do so well? Why is idol being too lazy to organize a tour.

      • They claim money issues. I guess they needed the money for the judges’ bottled water.

      • Jessamine says:

        I went to one of last summer’s concerts and while it was awesome, it was also very disappointing how poorly attended it was. The venue has about 3,500 seats and I’d say there were only about 2,000 people there. And of those, many seemed to be senior citizens who had no idea who the Idols were. They seemed to be season ticket holders just out for the evening. Only about 1,000 of the folks there seemed to know who the singers were. It broke my heart because the kids put on a terrific show.

        • ninergrl6 says:

          I had the same experience at the tour last summer (maybe we were at the same show?). It really was a great concert — a solid 2+ hours of singing and storytelling. I feel really bad that there isn’t a tour for this year’s contestants. Heck, after that finale, I want ALL of the Idol alums to go on tour together! Or have a rotating group that performs in different cities, like near their hometowns or something. I know most of them tour/play/act in some capacity on their own, but I’d totally ge down for some reunion concerts.

  26. Guy says:

    I have to add that I feel pretty bad for this season’s contestants. In past seasons, they got to perform duets and group numbers on the finale with some of the biggest names in the music business. This year, they were a total afterthought and barely appeared aside from the opening group number with…former contestants.

    • Eurydice says:

      Trent and La’Portia were so many miles ahead of the rest that I didn’t even notice the other contestants weren’t involved. But I think they were lurking in the background in a few numbers during the show. At least I remember seeing Olivia (?), the tall blonde (was she even on this season?) anyway, that one, and thinking “Who is that? She’s really awkward and has no rhythm.”

      • Guy says:

        True, I didn’t care much for the contestants this season anyway, so it wasn’t a loss for me as a viewer. I just felt kinda bad for them. Then again, all Trent and La’Porsha go to do was sing one duet (a cheesy one on top of it) together. And I really enjoy both of them as performers. Would have been nice to see a little more from them.

    • HTGR says:

      Yeah good point. They needed to extend this 30 minutes to an hour. Give taped appearances to the few on tour and then let the current season contestants a chance.

  27. cmsfl says:

    I missed the show. Hope for video of Clay, Ruben and Kimberly.

  28. Thank you Michael and Melinda for taking us through this season and for seasons past (I’ve watched every ep of Reality Check and Idology I could find on YouTube at least twice)!

    Congratulations to Trent! Am I the only person here who is disappointed that LaPorsha didn’t win? I will continue to follow and support her career – for my first and only Idol experience she is MY American Idol.

    • Night Owl says:

      In my opinion, even if LaPorsha won, I would have been disappointed. Both of them were amazing, which made it especially difficult when I was voting. I just couldn’t help feeling wrong no matter which one I chose. I couldn’t help but to think that the other deserved it just as much.

      Thankfully, they DO both have record deals with 19, and I think it was well said in the following quote:

      The deals were orchestrated by 19 Entertainment executive vp/worldwide head of music Jason Morey, who adds, “American Idol has always been about the search for a superstar. This season, America helped us find two. We’re ecstatic to welcome these world-class artists to the 19 Entertainment family.”

      This year, they certainly DID find 2 superstars.

  29. Bryan says:

    Melinda slayed. Actually all the aidol alumni slayed. Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet, the 3 divas, the WGWG. That was just perfect. If only they couldve sprinkled the finalists from season 15 in some of the performances.

    I saw Archuleta pics but dint see him onstage

    • elizabeth3613431 says:

      Crystal Bowersox wasn’t there, either.

    • Corey says:

      I was hoping they would have a WGWG theme, and they actually did. It did seem sort of weird to have five people playing guitars in a line though. Where else would you see that?

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      Dude. Joshua Ledet had, like, six seconds of solo time, and he had me on the edge of my seat. Even in the talent-fest that was Season 11, he was a standout, and tonight made me wonder anew how he didn’t make it into the finale.
      This was a terrific finale, though. Yes, they didn’t pay enough attention to this season’s contestants, but they had a lot of history to pay homage to, so I’ll get over it.
      Notable absences (or maybe I just missed them): Blake Lewis, Adam Lambert, Crystal Bowersox, Casey Abrams, Haley Reinhart, Elise Testone, Hollie Cavanagh, Jena Irene, Jax.

      • DreamRose311 says:

        Blake Lewis was there, but that makes it all the more ridiculous that he didn’t have a featured line in a song somewhere. But hew as in the background. Or he coulda beat-boxed with someone else’s line. *sigh*

        So amazing to see so many of the faces of such talented people that have gone through… that was quite a rush.

        • Becky says:

          My son and I saw Blake on the escalators after the show :-) He’s so adorable and def one of the most original contestants, ever. He was really a game changer. He took the show from karaoke to originality. Then Adam Lambert broke the show lol. I’ve been a luke warm fan ever since. But La’Porsha made this season for me. She is uber talented. I think she’s gonna make good things happen.

      • The Beach says:

        Yep, it seemed odd that several of the finalists like Crystal and Blake weren’t there (and Archuleta didn’t get a solo) when others that went out a lot earlier got their time in the sun. I would have loved hearing Elise tonight. She was always a favorite of mine.

        • Bryan says:

          AMBER HOLCOMB! Hers was the most surprising for me.

          • Miscellaneopolan says:

            Yeah, I was surprised by that, too! Pleasantly. But then why not bring Angie Miller in for something? I didn’t see her–did I miss her?

        • Miscellaneopolan says:

          Haley, Casey, and Elise could have done a quick jazz trio or something. Maybe throw Joey Cook in there and make it a foursome?

        • Mary says:

          Archie was asked and said no, changed his mind at the last minute so they put him in the group. Crystal is on tour. Most of the top 3 of all seasons were asked but some had prior commitments and or said no. I realized that not all alums were going to be asked back but I think Nigel did a good job grabbing some of the more notable ones. Oh well great show.

      • Bryan says:

        I dont expect Jax to come back after her La La Land music video which painted Idol in a negative light. Also worth noting that Clark Beckham gave an interview and said he didnt believe in what Jax was pertaining to in her music video.

        • Mary says:

          Jax was a spoiled child who believed she was better than she was. Although I didn’t appreciate how they eliminated her that year, I believe she let the hype go to her head. Oh well, some day she will mature and realize that she should be grateful. She must not of learn the old saying don’t burn bridges.

      • HTGR says:

        Yeah they badly needed to give all of those you mentioned (although I think Blake was there) at least little taped bits, something. They did show Adam a lot earlier in the week at least and he got a full solo the week before. But still a bit weird to not get a clip or something of him into the final itself.
        Especially though Haley and Elise, who Nigel had personally tried to destroy as a ratings game and more to keep his script going. No mention the entire week was sad on his part. The producers earlier in the season had tried to right the wrong and then he let it down at the very end.

  30. That was one amazing Finale The best!

  31. kelly says:

    Loved it, but I felt the absence of Michael Johns too. I can’t believe that the show didn’t once acknowledge his passing. Still, amazing to see all the alumni. They should put together a rotating idol alum tour!

  32. Lking says:

    For me the best moments were seeing Paula, Randy, Simon and Ryan on stage again! I’m a sucker for that type nostalgia.

    • Marie says:

      Yes! I loved seeing them all together again too! My most favorite part. It felt like closure, but a good closure.

  33. Liz says:

    Best finale ever. They should have done this type of show the past five years at least. The talent from Idol is deep and wide. Amazing!!!

    • Ditto says:

      It really puts The Voice to shame. But everyone preferred the new kid on the block.
      Now I won’t be watching the Voice ever again either because Miley and Alisha. No more singing shows for me now :(

  34. Letha Morgenstern says:

    Great show! My only criticism is that it was a little heavy on the J Lo performance for my taste. I voted for Trent, but it wouldn’t have mattered which of the two finalists won, they were both deserving. Thanks for so many hours of genuine entertainment FOX and Americsn Idol!

    • Smokey says:

      Agree, it was Way too heavy on the J. Lo performance, otherwise a pretty good show with lots of memories and some good stuff, way too short, of the former contestants and winners.

      • Ditto says:

        From the moment she became a judge JLO hijacked the show for her own aims. And it really worked–her entire career was revived. Then she goes and releases a new song on the DAY of the finale (RLRY?) and then hijacks the show again. I actually like her but her scene-chomping ambition is too much for me.

        • Keith Urban also released a new single (the one he performed yesterday), I noticed links to purchase it on the AI videos of La’Porsha’s performances on you tube. (which is kind of tacky but that’s like saying the sky is blue I guess. Duh. AI was a great big creaky promotional machine – and yet it failed to promote the contestants themselves most of the time.)

        • Ditto that. I like her performances, too, but it should’ve been all about the alumni and this season’s contestants. To give her that much airtime was inappropriate.

          • carmen says:

            What we really need to ask is, what did the viewers want to see? People who have been watching the whole idol season would want to see the finalists come back and perform. And they certainly should have. They could have performed with the alums, the judges, anything. Idol ignoring them was ridiculous. Idol’s whole mindset is screwy and that’s why they finally alienated their viewers. Kelly Clarkson is beloved but she wasn’t there, did we actually need a taped performance that went on for days? One short song would have been enough. And did Carrie need her own showcase? Just because she’s famous? And the judges? Couldn’t they have stepped aside and let the ex idols and this year’s idols have the spotlight. One thing about Simon, Randy and Paula – they got out of the way and let the kids have the spotlight. And every winner should have been honored and highlighted, even briefly. And they all should have gotten to sing.

    • Eurydice says:

      Yes, that last bit of bum shaking went on much too long (even for her, because she seemed pretty tired). But, at the same time, I had to admire her. Whatever it was she was doing on that stage, she was working it and 100% committed to it – and that’s the kind of attitude that sells a performance.

  35. HeyZeus says:

    Unbelievable!! All the angry Dalton fangirls went and voted for Trent to spite us all with musical taste.
    What a horrible way to end this series.

  36. Peachy says:

    Did America get it right? There’s no way they could have gotten it wrong. La’Porsha and Trent are both incredible vocalists and I would have been happy with either choice. Great job on the finale American Idol, and thanks for the memories!

    • Brenda says:

      Well put! I’m in total agreement. I had voted only for Trent the last 4 weeks after barely noticing him at first. But for once, I wouldn’t have been upset if La’Porsha had won. She was also quite deserving of it.

  37. ShinGoonMin says:

    JLo vs Kara Dioguardi???

  38. Sarah says:

    The finale of Idol showcased many excellent performances, Clay Aikan’s and Carrie Underwood’s among my favs, BUT where was Adam Lambert, my all time favorite Idol performer??? His Mad World performance is still my favorite of all performances. He’s been wonderfully successful after Idol, and his live performances are the best of the hundreds I’ve ever seen. Where was he on this finale?

    • 'A' Revived says:

      He was on the road which is why he already did an entire performance like 5 weeks ago. That was the only time they could squeeze him in.

    • Becky says:

      He’s in Toronto filming a part for the Rocky Horror Picture Show that will air on Fox this fall!!! Can’t wait for that :-) Next week he starts the Europe-leg of his tour, then starts touring with Queen in May. He’s a busy guy!!! Love him to death.

  39. renoblondee says:

    Great show. I teared up seeing all the past contestants.

  40. La porsha. Is the true winner. She will be right up there with Kelly, Carrie and Jennifer.

    The women have done so much better then the men. Trent won’t make it as a singer. He will be another wash out.

    • BeBe says:

      Yer outta yer mind regarding Trent.

    • Lyn says:

      What color is the sky in your world? La’P is Candace Glover 2.0. Her genre doesn’t sell music or concert tickets. Good voice, not marketable.

      • Mary says:

        Sorry I disagree with you completely. Will she be on the top 40 probably not, but she is marketable if done probably. Hopefully Motown will do that. Trent I think will be a harder sell because Scott is pushing him toward Country which sorry he is not. Time will tell, but good luck to both.

  41. Mark says:

    Over the years with the help of the Slezak/Doolittle Team I learned a lot about how to appreciate professional quality music…with plenty of humor and fun thrown in for good measure….Sincere Thanks….Won’t be forgotten. :-)

  42. Rob says:

    It’s been nearly 3 hrs and I still haven’t recovered from the WTF performance of Kara DioGuardi…

  43. Timmah says:

    I believe Trent will be every bit as successful as previous winners such as Nick Fradiani and Caleb Johnson. Next time I see him I’ll toss a few bucks into his guitar case.

  44. ann says:

    Wow. Still processing the result. Tho I knew, felt it in the audience reaction tonight.
    And did L’P and Trent kinda know, or at least intuit somehow … La’Porsha was so uptight and looked so sad all night, and Trent was way looser. But at the end, he seemed truly surprised.
    (I did feel last night, that once Dalton was dispatched last night, many of his votes might move to Trent.)
    Candice remains the last woman to win. There’s that.
    Seeing Candice and Melinda solo-duet together … THAT was something wonderful.
    Tonight’s show — so many awesome moments! Many emotional turns.
    Result … still processing.

    • Puchinsmom says:

      Yes, loved SEEING Candice and Melinda together. But it was too short, and I could barely HEAR them.
      Loved the rockers. They were so good. And Jessica blew me away. Just wish Melinda and Candice had more air time.
      Random observation….. why are half the women blond all of a sudden? Pia, and several others.

  45. Shel says:

    I thought they did a mostly great job on the finale. FOX should have given them at least 2.5 hours. I loved the nostalgia, but felt this season’s singers got short shrift. LaPorsha and Trent should have each had at least one song. It could’ve been duets with another Idol if they didn’t want to invite other stars on a packed show. One song featuring the Top Ten. I am sure everyone will have a fave they missed, but where was Adam Lambert?? Haley? Otherwise, they included a lot of past Idols in a 2 hour show.

    Thanks to You, Michael – I think Idol owes you a big thank you, too.

    • Becky says:

      Adam is filming a part for the Rocky Horror Picture Show that’s airing on Fox this fall :-) He’s gonna be Eddie- the part that Meatloaf did in the original. Should be awesome! He’s starting the Europe leg of his tour next week, then joining Queen in May.
      I saw someone else reply that Haley had a show last night so couldn’t be there.

  46. Rr says:

    Why did Kara dioguardi sing, she was terrible and her stance was so off. I’d also like to see a “where are they now” summary. Like crystal bowesox.

    • ann says:

      Kara D’g was quite awful. Precious finale airtime wasted there. But she did/does write some great songs if memory serves (yes?) so maybe that was just being both considerate of her show history and strategic at the same time.
      Crystal is touring, doing small gigs it seems (has a website, etc.) … she just passed through my state of WI, tho I missed her! I wish she had been on tonight. Lee Dewyze, nice guy I’m sure, has had some songwriting success I’ve heard, but man, weakest of the 5 WGWG group by a mile.
      A “where are they now’ summary / look back to the present is a great idea!

    • Crystal Bowersox is on tour right now, which may be why she couldn’t make it (assuming she was invited) – she played the Iron Horse in Northampton, Mass on the 4th, so I assume it was just a schedule conflict.

  47. Corey says:

    Siobhan Magnus is missing from the list of notable idol finalists whose music can be found online. I’m sure others are missing too; there must be more than 52 singers to listen to.

    • Tim says:

      I still blame Kara DioGuardio for Siobhan not making it farther. Kara kept saying, “I don’t know where you fit in the industry” or some such thing, though it felt clear to me that Siobhan fit in the same way Kelly fits: the ordinary girl with an extraordinary voice.

      But, Michael! You’ve managed to thrill me one final time. I cheered when I saw Carly Smithson, and I also loved her performance. Thank you for having such great taste (i.e., agreeing with me).

      And one million thanks to both Melinda and you for always making Idol even more fun than it already was. (I’m now experiencing post-show depression.)

      • Lyn says:

        Siobhan’s “Across The Universe” is still one of my top 10 Idol performances of all time. Right up there with Cookie’s “Music Of The Night”, Adam’s “Mad World”, Clay’s “Solitaire” and Kimberley Locke’s “Over The Rainbow”. Love Siobhan..

  48. Robin Sims says:

    I can’t believe La’porcha didn’t win. I felt she was the better singer and she seemed like she was already a star when she would perform. Hopefully she will make it like Jennifer Hudson. Trent sung well and congrats to him.

  49. JM says:

    Great show. Would have liked less JLo and more Melinda. I couldn’t even really hear her! So nice that they gave Alison Iraheta a chance to really sing (finally). And yes, Michael, they really should have spared a few moments for Michael Johns. I’m very happy for both Trent and La’Porsha–they both deserve careers. Thank you, Michael, for all the recaps and RC!!

    • wax says:

      Why would they give Allison a chance to sing while two guys from her season, who finished higher, Danny and Kris (who’s an Idol winner), and have actually sold music and been on the radio, were barely allowed to sing one line? And runner up Jessica Sanchez gets a huge, syrupy pageant-bot solo?? It should occur to Idol that people who won got huge amounts of votes, and actually sold actual records, and there are people out there who want to see them return and sing. Clay got a big solo (even if it kinda sucked), and he should have, he was a big Idol star back in the day. But Ruben had to sing a duet with freakin Amber Holcolm. Why not just have Lazaro Arbos come back to sing a medley of his greatest Idol moments, while five or six Idol winners sing backup?
      Idol is idiotic, always has been. It’s a mystery it blundered into success.

  50. Ember says:

    I’m not really sure how La’Porsha lost. She was obviously the best from the very beginning.. :(

    • Other than the fact that she wasn’t a white guy? I shouldn’t be bummed, she got a record deal out of this too, and they haven’t given the runner up a record deal in the past few years (too bad for Jena Irene and Clark Beckham). And yet I am – La’Porsha was the TOTAL package to me. I know that she has fans around the world and I can imagine her doing a world tour and being quite successful. But it would have been lovely to have her bookend Kelly. I just never connected with Trent emotionally at all. He seems a nice guy.

      • tvlover44 says:

        word to your entire post!

        • Thank you! (the morning after I’m more confused than ever, but I guess the producers got to “have their cake and eat it too” – make subtle digs at La’Porsha through the process, give the title to Trent to keep middle America happy then sign them both to record deals so they can say “it’s all good!” ? Scott’s saying in interviews he signed her because he “loves” La’Porsha. Really? No, he did it because he saw money there. Whatever, I hope they give her the support she deserves and she has a killer career.

      • Kris says:

        I actually felt the opposite. Something about LaPorsha’s performance, to me, felt very disconnected. Meanwhile, I really felt connected to Trent. And I wasn’t that keen on him at first, but not only did he grow on me, I felt he really grew and improved.

      • Becky says:

        Same! A career is what you make of it, and I feel like La’Porsha is gonna fight like hell for it! She’s a winner for sure!!!