The Farewell Season of American Idol is quickly coming to a close, which we would think wouldn’t be the case knowing it’s the Farewell Season. If American Idol was smart, wouldn’t they want to make things more memorable than speed up the whole process of eliminations? Although we wish the season were going at a slower pace, we are glad it is still with us for the time being.
Last night, March 17, the top 5 were revealed, Adam Lambert performed, and judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick Jr had to make yet another hard decision when it came to saving someone from the bottom two. It was an interesting night, but overall, Idol is sure to have produced one of the best group of top 5 performers the series has ever seen.
The episode kicked off with a surprise performance from Idol alum Adam Lambert. Afterward, Ryan Seacrest took the stage once more, introduced the judges, and the show began by dimming the lights to reveal the first Idol hopeful that will be going through to the next round. Sure enough, the first person to be saved was Trent Harmon. He took the stage to perform One Republic’s “Counting Stars”. It was one of his weaker performances. He didn’t seem to make the song captivating enough to connect with the audience. Let’s hope he redeemed himself the second time around.
The second hopeful safe was Dalton Rapattoni. Of course, we expected nothing less from Dalton. He gave us his all during his rendition of “Numb” by Linkin Park. Jennifer wasn’t a big fan, but we erred on the other side of agreeing with Keith and Harry. “Your team mentioned that you ‘Daltonize’ everything, that’s a good team. I like it,” Keith stated. Harry also said that he poured his heart in the lyrics. It was a creative arrangement of the song, which made the song different. Dalton is a unique performer. We would be utterly shocked if he went home next week.
La’Porsha Renae is the third to be safe from elimination. We aren’t surprised. The girl is a performer. It’s possibly she could take the reigning title. Last night was no different. She moved the audience and received a standing ovation from the judges. “About half way through that I found myself realizing I wasn’t even judging. I was just a person in the audience captivated the moment. It was beautiful,” Keith states after the spellbinding performance.
Mackenzie Bourg is the final one who is safe from elimination. We can all take a breath of fresh air now. Bourg is an artist who knows who he is. It’s rare for American Idol to have a contestant like Mackenzie. What you see is what you get with him, and we love what we see. “I always feel like you’re singing to me,” Jennifer said after the end of his performance. Bourg knows how to work with the audience to connect on a deeper level, and he does it flawlessly.
While the four contestants are gearing up for their next performance, it is time for elimination. The bottom two came down to Tristan McIntosh and Sonika Vaid. We aren’t quite sure why Sonika keeps appearing in the bottom two but we know that if this becomes a regular thing, the judges will always save her. Tristan’s voice doesn’t hold a candle to Sonika’s soulful and effortlessly flawless vocals. Although Tristan gave it her all with her peformance of Martina McBride’s “Independence Day,” Sonika trumped it with “Let It Go.” Seemingly, it appeared to be an easy decision for the judges. Sonika is safe, while Tristan is sent to pack her bags.
After the top 5 is revealed, we move on to the second round of performances, which were much more exciting. Dalton Rapattoni took the stage once again with his unique rendition of “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel. It was a great performance in which emotion was certainly felt. “That is an amazing song. I find myself spellbound by the lyrics. But, what I liked was how you put so much emphasis on them. You really do that justice, you come forward and emphasize certain parts of them. From that standpoint, I thought it was really good,” Keith states.
Next up is Louisiana heartthrob Mackenzie Bourg. He took on Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and slayed it. There is nothing he can’t do at this point of the competition. It seems as if Mackenzie could be the one to beat with his unique style of music and his true mastery of being an artist. Needless to say, it was one of the most special performances of the night. “You just showed everybody why you are still here. People have played that song over the years, but that was the most special version that we have ever seen. Great Job,” Jennifer states.
Trent Harmon is next up to take the stage, and this time around he proves himself to be the performer he always has been. His flawless vocal is a God-given talent, and is a reminder of why this show is so great. The performance as a whole reminded all of us, including Jennifer why we are going to miss American Idol so much. It’s artists like Trent that make this show what it is today. He belongs in the competition.
Sonika Vaid, the fiery force to be reckoned with is next and nails her rendition of Zedd’s “Clarity”. It was a great song choice for her. “I was drawn to this song. It was a really good song for you. Keep letting go. It’s in your nature to be in control. Don’t worry about the edges. Just be raw, be real, be you,” Keith emphasized. We think not having such controlled performances will help Sonika and we hope it works in her favor next week.
The closer of the night deserved the standing ovation it received. La’Porsha Renae is already a winner in our book. The performance of Mary J. Blige’s “No More Drama” was raw and emotional. La’Porsha poured her heart out, giving it everything she got, leading her, Jennifer, and the audience to tears. “It takes a lot of strength to overcome those things in your life. Everyone knows. We have all been through stuff like that. You are an inspiration and you don’t overdo it, you put it right there in the pot where you are supposed to,” says an emotional Jennifer. Keith and Harry are speechless, and Ryan interrupts stating that there really are no words after a performance like that. He is right indeed. La’Porsha could very well be the next American Idol.
What did you think of last night’s episode? Are you happy with the top 5? Sound off in the comments below. Don’t forget to tune in to American Idol next Thursday at 8 EST on FOX to watch the top 4 revealed.
Kara Johnson is a writer for Examiner and other social media websites. You can keep up to date with her on Twitter @AlotLikeKara