We are only one week away until itâ€™s the end of American Idol as we know it. If recent television trends have taught us anything, the show is bound to return in some form at some point in time, but for this incarnation, the end is nigh. Â We begin with our final four for the traditional hometown visit episode. The night will unfold in three rounds, with the first being a hometown dedication. After the first round, we will be whittled down to the top three, who will continue to round two with Scott Borchettaâ€™s song choice. Finally, each will sing a number chosen by one of the judges. This episode also marks the final show from the Hollywood stage, as the finale will come to us from the Dolby theater next week.
ROUND ONE: HOMETOWN DEDICATIONS
MacKENZIE BOURG- MacKenzie returns to Lafayette, where we get to see him visit his former high school as well as the pediatric wing at the hospital where he was once a patient. I love this episode each year, because we get to see the Idols in all of their hometown glory, where they are now kind of a big deal. MacKenzie dedicates â€œHallelujahâ€ to his hometown, and itâ€™s a throwback to his original audition. I think this is when he shines the brightest, on songs such as this. Jennifer thinks itâ€™s a â€œreally strong performanceâ€ and declares it â€œclassic MacKenzieâ€, while Harry feels that he has come completely â€œfull circle.â€ Keith calls it, simply put, â€œsuperb.â€
DALTON RAPATTONI- Daltonâ€™s return to Dallas paints a picture that makes me like and appreciate him as a person even more. Iâ€™ve enjoyed his performances throughout the season, but seeing him among the people back home warms my heart. I feel like he is a genuinely good guy with a humble heart, and I hope others can relate to him as easily as I do. (He gets his highlights from having his hair pulled through a cap at his grandmaâ€™s salon, hello?) Dalton dedicates â€œCalling Youâ€ by Blue October to his hometown of Sunnyvale (the Buffy the Vampire Slayer geek in me got excited when at first I thought he said â€˜Sunnydaleâ€™), and delivers my favorite performance of his thus far. I donâ€™t know anything about the band Green Day, but I get a Green Day vibe from him for the entire number. Â J.Lo says she â€œfelt a differenceâ€ with this song, and believes he delivered it with a new â€œfreedom.â€ Keith believes it to be the best â€œDaltonization of that songâ€ and Harry raves about the lyrics. (Iâ€™ve often wondered if Harry is aware that this isnâ€™t a lyric competition this season?)
TRENT HARMON- The good news is that I havenâ€™t had any haters sneak into my Facebook inbox blasting me for my opinions on Trent this season. (The bad news is I still have a few more of these to write, and thereâ€™s always time for that.) *insert scared eyes emoji here* The highlight of Trentâ€™s hometown visit to Amory, Mississippi, to me is the little girl from his church who ends her little scene with a dramatic Dab. (I love her.) While I donâ€™t care for Trent much at all as an American Idol contestant, I canâ€™t help but appreciate the love he gets from the people who do love him. I love that. His dedication song is â€œTennessee Whiskeyâ€, and for me, itâ€™s just more of the same. Itâ€™s a love-fest from all three judges, and Trent is surprised by having his family (dog included) appear on stage, which is a sweet moment.
LAâ€™PORSHA RENAE- The queen of the season returns to McComb, Mississippi, with a hometown visit that is the stuff hometown visits should be made of. Laâ€™Porsha pays a visit to a domestic violence shelter, and itâ€™s inspiring to see her inspire so many. I feel like win or lose, she is the true American Idol of season fifteen. She dedicates â€œGloryâ€ by John Legend to her hometown, and itâ€™s nothing short of glorious. Sheâ€™s in a league of her own here, and makes it seem the other three are playing in the minors. (Whoah, I think I just dropped a sports term??) Her performance leaves Keith feeling like he â€œjust had a baptismâ€, and Jennifer comments how â€œmusic heals the spiritâ€ and â€œtakes people to a better place.â€ Harry decides the number is in a â€œcritique-proof categoryâ€ and raves how Laâ€™Porsha continually brings â€œincredible elegance and graceâ€ to the stage.
After Round One, our top three are revealedâ€¦ and MacKenzie Bourg is axed. He handles his exit like a good sport with a good spirit, and I hope we hear more from him, soon.
ROUND TWO AND ROUND THREE
DALTON– Daltonâ€™s second song is Bruce Springsteenâ€™s â€œDancinâ€™ in the Darkâ€ by Tears for Fears, chosen by Scott Borchetta. Â Jennifer, having apparently turned her chair into a trampoline, likes that he made the song feel â€œfreshâ€ and â€œnew.â€ Harry thinks itâ€™s a â€œsmart arrangementâ€, and I donâ€™t know what Keith says, because I am so distracted by his random thumb ring. For his third song, Dalton delivers his weakest performance of the night with â€œEverybody Wants to Rule the World.â€ Itâ€™s a theatrical number that finds him beginning the song among the crowd, making his way to the stage. Jennifer feels that due to the low key of the song, â€œsome of the brightness was lost.â€ Keith thinks itâ€™s good heâ€™s already had â€œtwo killerâ€ performances, and thinks had he kept this one in the original key, he wouldâ€™ve nailed it.
LAâ€™PORSHA- Scottâ€™s song choice for Laâ€™Porsha is â€œStay with Meâ€, a song sheâ€™s not too passionate about. I wouldnâ€™t have guessed that by the performance, because I feel that she nails it. The judges feel that for the first time, they could tell she didnâ€™t believe the lyrics she was singing. (And Laâ€™Porsha makes it clear thatâ€™s because she doesnâ€™t.) For the judgeâ€™s choice, Laâ€™Porsha covers Adeleâ€™s â€œHelloâ€ with a rendition to rival the original. Jennifer thinks it â€œstretched her rangeâ€ and the guys love it.
TRENT- For the first time in Idolâ€™s 15 seasons, Justin Timberlake has given the clear for one of his songs to be used, and Scott chooses his â€œDrink You Awayâ€ for Trent. Jennifer says â€œthatâ€™s singing to win!â€ and Harry notes that when the backup singers stand and clap, thatâ€™s a good performance. (side note: I just recently discovered Allison Iraheta, from season eight is one of the backup singers.) For the judgeâ€™s choice, Trent gets â€œWaiting Game.â€ Keith thinks itâ€™s â€œtailor madeâ€ for him, and Jennifer believes he â€œkilled it,â€ and gets a little emotional as itâ€™s the last time sheâ€™ll get the â€œgoosiesâ€ in that theater. Harry delivers his final critique for that Idol stage, and seems confused as to how many contestants remain in the competition. (Paula Abdulâ€™s Coke cup may have returned, again.)
Next week itâ€™s goodbye time, as we get a three night farewell. Who do YOU want to take the final Idol crown?? Comment below or tweet me @jimbob90210 and letâ€™s talk the end of Idol as we know it!!
American Idol Season 15 Episode 21 Review: "Top 3 Perform"
The top three performers are revealed.