By RODNEY HO/ email@example.com, originally filed Thursday, March 31, 2016
Singer-songwriter MacKenzie Bourg was eliminated tonight, leaving La'Porsha Renae, Trent Harmon and Dalton Rapattoni.
MacKenzie was most bracing doing his original stuff and his ability to slow it down and give it that special emotive spin worked for awhile. Unfortunately, he tended to do emote the same way with every song so it became tedious after awhile. When it came down to him and La'Porsha, he knew he was done.
He was thrilled that his original tune was featured: "I went from my room to people sending messages to me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I didn't lose tonight. I feel like I've already won."
Billboard also reported tonight that there will be no "American Idol" tour this year, the first time ever without one since the show began. I saw 12 out of 14 of the tours, missing season 12 (which meant I missed not much at all) and 14 (since they didn't come to Atlanta.)
La'Porsha and Trent are almost certain to make the finals. So it came down to battle for third place between Dalton and MacKenzie.
They are performing for the final time at their Hollywood studios before moving to the Dolby Theatre next week.
This is the holding spot to live blog where they will each sing three songs: their own pick dedicated to their hometown, Scott Borchetta's pick and a judge's pick.
MacKenzie Bourg, Lafayette, La. ("Hallelujah" Jeff Buckley/Leonard Cohen) His hometown field features a baseball game where he threw the first pitch, a crawfish boil, his grandma's house to see family, his high school and a pick-up game and the medical center including the pediatric doctor who saved his life when he was tiny. And it ends with the parade and concert. He drew a good crowd. Of course, he takes one of the over-sung songs in "Idol" history in "Hallelujah." He does a perfectly fine job but I've heard it all before. JLo: "Classic MacKenzie." HCJ: "That performance was similar to the feeling when we first saw you." Grade: B-plus
Dalton Rapattoni, Sunnyvale, Tex. ("Calling You" Blue October) He meets up with a radio station, the Fox affiliate, his grandmother at her hair salon. the School of Rock where he spent a lot of time learning music, his family home, then the parade and concert. Dalton is clearly emotional about this, no surprise. And surprise! I actually liked this song. He is finally playing something upbeat and happy and it works. This is my favorite performance he's had since the live shows began. JLo: "It all sank in and I felt that in the performance. There was a freedom here and I belong here." HCJ said he liked the way he thinks about the words and whole performance. That song and band led Dalton understand who he is as an artist. Grade: A-minus
Trent Harmon, Amory, Miss. ("Tennessee Whiskey" Chris Stapleton) He first meets his family. his family restaurant, his high school including the stage where he performed a decade earlier, a dedication from the mayor, and a parade on a tractor. Appropriately, he sings a country tune with some soulful edge. He was again in the pocket, just totally confident. HCJ: "Your voice is so unique and special, I thought it was a fantastic performance." Keith: "That was a bull's eye." JLo: "It felt so easy peezy." Grade: A/A-minus
La'Porsha Renae, McComb, Miss ("Glory" Common & John Legend) She went to church, then a domestic violence shelter since she herself has been a victim, a feast at her home and the requisite parade/concert. This is not the most compelling song but she commits to it. Keith gives her a standing ovation. And the judges said she's"critique proof." Grade: B-plus
Scott Borchetta's pick
Dalton ("Dancing in the Dark" Bruce Springsteen) - Off the wall song pick by Scott. I like this arrangement. Dalton seems much freer since he hit his hometown. It worked. HCJ noted that it's his emotions, not his vocal skills that got him here. (Oh, and his eyeliner.) Grade: B-plus/A-minus
La'Porsha ("Stay With Me" Lorraine Ellison) - Technically excellent as always but I didn't find the song nearly as compelling as Scott did. HCJ said it was the first time he felt a "slight veneer." She said she just had to act a bit. She personally would never ask a woman to beg a man to stay. "I had to beg her to sing it but I thought she did a great job," Scott said. Grade: B-plus
Trent ("Drink You Away" Justin Timberlake) - Not familar with this song but he clearly made it sound like his own. Really powerful. JLo: "You're singing to win." HCJ: "When the background singers start clapping, that's something."
Dalton ("Everybody Wants to Rule the World" Tears for Fears) - He utterly destroyed this song in so many ways. JLo said it felt too low and the brightness in his voice was lost. HCJ liked how he re-harmonized the tune. Grade: D
La'Porsha ("Hello" Adele) - Talk about setting her up to fail in comparison. She did an okay version but really, there was no way she could match or exceed Adele. She didn't. I wasn't moved. JLo noted that it stretched her range. Grade: B
Trent ("Waiting Game' Parson James) - There is no doubt Trent has become the front runner. He hasn't messed up a tune in a long while. He did it beautifully. JLo: "Goosies!" HCJ: "It's an honor to critique on this stage a guy like you who is an extraordinary talent. A beautiful performance." Grade: A/A-minus
Here's the updated summary of how things will play out next week; from Fox. Kelly will be pre-taped because of her advanced pregnancy situation.
Next week, someone's life will change forever as AMERICAN IDOL, the cultural phenomenon that changed the face of television and created some of today’s biggest music stars, will kick off a three-night Grand Finale. On Tuesday, April 5 (8:00-9:30 PM ET/PT), AMERICAN IDOL: AMERICAN DREAM, the can’t-miss, 90-minute retrospective will feature host Ryan Seacrest, current and former judges, former IDOLs and contestants and the behind-the-scenes team sharing their personal IDOL memories, as they reflect on what the show has meant to them and how it became the groundbreaking series that it is today. In addition to Seacrest, original IDOL judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson offer never-before-revealed stories about how IDOL came to be. This is a very special, inside look at the journey that IDOL has taken viewers on during its 15-season run.
The following night, America’s most crucial – and last-ever – vote will take place when the remaining finalists battle it out live from Dolby Theatre on Wednesday, April 6 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed). AMERICAN IDOL’s two-part Grand Finale will be filled with surprise appearances and star-studded performances, including winners Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, along with Jennifer Hudson, who return to the IDOL stage one last time to perform on Thursday, April 7 (8:00-10:06 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed). The farewell celebration will continue, as IDOL pays tribute to the past 15 seasons, the amazingly talented contestants and the millions of fans who called, tweeted, texted and championed their IDOLS, before the 15th AMERICAN IDOL is crowned.
In addition to superstars Clarkson and Underwood, Thursday’s final episode will have all-star performances by former IDOLs, including Ruben Studdard, Fantasia, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, Scotty McCreery, Candice Glover, Caleb Johnson, Nick Fradiani, Ace Young, Allison Iraheta, Amber Holcomb, Blake Lewis, Bo Bice, Brandon Rogers, Bucky Covington, Carly Smithson, Casey James, Chris Daughtry, Clark Beckham, Clay Aiken, Colton Dixon, Constantine Maroulis, Danny Gokey, Diana DeGarmo, Elliott Yamin, George Huff, James Durbin, Jennifer Hudson, Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet, Justin Guarini, Katharine McPhee, Kellie Pickler, Kimberley Locke, Kree Harrison, LaToya London, Lauren Alaina, Melinda Doolittle, Pia Toscano, Sanjaya, Skylar Laine, Tamyra Gray and more, before host Ryan Seacrest announces the results of America’s votes and the final IDOL is crowned.