American Idol 15, episode 22: The Finale, part 1

Their work is done. Judges Harry Connick Jr, Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban can finally sit back and enjoy the show. Their three prodigies take the stage in the first half of the final finale of American Idol.

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Falling Battles Match
It’s another hour long show, with three rounds. In the first one, Trent Harmon, Dalton Rapattoni and La’Porsha Renae sing their brand new songs. Only the Idol winner’s song will be released as a single. Trent gives us ‘Falling’, a sort of gospel-esque Barry Manilow song. It does suit his voice very well. He’s a pop- and opera singer and crooner in one, Mr. Harmon. Dalton has a poppier, jump across the stage-ier, Fall Out Boy-ish song, called ‘Strike A Match’. The lyrics kind of get lost because of his gasping for air. La’Porsha comes out with ‘Battles’. Alright, musically, but the song’s filled with open doors, which is a shame. I was hoping for something a little more personal. The writing team of Idol has just put a bunch of generalisations in a basket and thought they’d get away with it. Come on, Miss Renae deserves so much better.

Elimination
The three contestants sing their songs on a big dark stage, without the band visible. It’s a pretty big stage to fill, on your own. It feels way too empty. Less is more? Not this time. After the performances, it’s time for the elimination. First one to go through to part 2 of the final: La’Porsha Renae. Second one: Trent Harmon. It’s hardly a surprise, Dalton Rapattoni’s run ends here. The guy who rose to fame with his personal, daltonization of songs, but hasn’t really done that in weeks, has come up short.

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If You Don’t Know A Chandelier Is Not A Diamond
Simon Fuller, the big man behind American Idol, picked the songs for Round 2. He gave Trent ‘If You Don’t Know Me By Now’ by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, and La’Porsha ‘A House Is Not A Home’ by Dionne Warwick. Both excellent choices. In Round 3, Mr. Harmon and Miss Renae picked a song they’d sung before on the show. Trent is really outdoing himself tonight. He’s giving La’Porsha a run for her money tonight; he’s an extremely strong contender. He’s singing a pitch perfect version of Sia’s ‘Chandelier’. La’Porsha’s not far behind, though, with Rihanna’s ‘Diamonds’. Judging by their performances in part 1, I’d say Trent deserves it the most. However, we’ve been following these two amazing talents for weeks, of course, and there’s never been anyone who’s made me cry as many times as La’Porsha. Whoever will win, it’s clear this has been one of the strongest Idol seasons in history.

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