MacKenzie Bourg travelled to Layfette, Louisiana. The song he chose was “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen. I thought it was beautiful but it didn’t give me goosebumps at all as some who sang this song in the past have done. Keith said it was such a great song for him. It was superb. Jennifer said it was a really strong performance. Classic MacKenzie. Harry agrees. It was a singular and powerful performance that shows how he has really grown.
Dalton Rapattoni returned to Dallas, Texas. First a stop at his grandmother’s salon, and then to Rockwell where he works at School of Rock. He reminds me so much of the Adam Lambert star quality. Adam didn’t win, and look how far he has gone. Dalton needs to remember that in case he doesn’t get to the final 2. He might. He certainly has the fan base. But Trent and La’Porsha are hard vocalists to beat. He chose “Calling You” by Blue October. I really enjoyed it. It was really unique. I wasn’t familiar with the song, but I really liked it. Jennifer said watching his hometown visit it finally sank in. She felt like there was a change in his performance because he realized he could possibly win. She felt a freedom in this song. Harry said he liked the arrangement that he picked. He likes the way he thinks about the words and he thinks about the whole performance. Keith said he is so in his zone and the best Daltonization he could have done with that song.
The next hometown visit was Trent Harmon to Amory, Mississippi. He had everyone sit so he could be their server in their family’s restaurant. Then on to his high school and the auditorium where he did a lot of musical theater. That was followed by a tractor ride down Main Street. There were a lot of people who showed up. The song he is dedicating to his hometown is “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton. I definitely got goosebumps with this song. Trent has such an amazing instrument and knows how to manipulate it. Just a reminder, I don’t like country music, and this gave me goosebumps. So there you go. Harry said what he is best at is arcing the performances. He thought it was a fantastic performance. Keith said it was a bulls-eye. Jennifer said he is getting his stride right now at the right time.
La’Porsha Renae went back to McComb, Mississippi. I just love that the final four are from Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. She went to her church and the kids singing touched her heart. She next went to Wings Domestic Violence Center where she touched these women’s hearts and lift them up. And finally to her mom’s home to see her family and her child. Then the parade where her daughter was on her lap and waving at the crowd. Her daughter is a star in the making like her mama. The song dedicated to her hometown is “Glory” by Common & John Legend. I know she is going to slay it. MAJOR goosebumps. Keith was on his feet. Keith said it was so strong and pure. He had tears in his eyes. Jennifer said she is picking great songs. It was a great performance. Harry said many of her performances are in the critique-proof categories. He said there is an incredible elegance and grace which is important to see in a young woman like herself.
Final 3 Revealed
Trent Harmon is the first name to be called. The second is Dalton Rapattoni. Which leaves MacKenzie and La’Porsha. At that point, MacKenzie already concedes and La’Porsha tells him to stop it. But MacKenzie is right. Daughtry came in fourth, MacKenzie. Work as hard as he did, and you’ll go far. Thank you for your music and I have always loved your original song.
Scott Borchetta’s Choices
For Dalton, Scott chose “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen because Dalton’s strengths have a rock edge. He started the song slow and then it turned into some kind of alternate rock high-octane thing. I think I would have liked for him to pull someone up to dance with him just as a kind of nod to Bruce’s video. Keith mentioned Courtney Cox thing. Jennifer said his gift is taking lyrics and really making them feel them. It sounded fresh and new to her all over again. Harry said it sounded like some English new wave. It was an interesting arrangement. Harry loved it. His ability to take a lyric and make it his own trumps any lack of vocal ability he may have. Keith agrees. He did really good tonight.
Scott picked “Stay With Me” by Lorraine Ellison for La’Porsha. This song is kind of ironic for her. I don’t ever see her begging a man to stay with her after all she has been through. She blew it out of the water, but there was an emotional wall there. I don’t think I’m imagining it either. Harry said she slowed down her vibrato again. Harry asked her why she didn’t like the song when Scott recommended it. And I was right. She told Harry she wasn’t going to sing a song where a woman was begging a man to stay. Harry said it was the first time he saw a slight veneer over it. Keith said the vocal killed it. Jennifer said she could see why they recommended it because she sang the heck out of it.
Justin Timberlake for the first time in Idol history gave permission to use one of his songs and Scott chose “Drink You Away” for Trent. It was FABULOUS!!!! Jennifer was on her feet for that one. Keith said “what was the guitar for” because he didn’t need it. Jennifer said that was singing to win. Harry said when the background singers start standing up and clapping, that says something.
Keith Urban performed his new song “Wasted Time.” This man can make me a country music fan. I enjoyed that.
For Dalton, the judges chose Tears for Fears “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” He started out in the audience and that created a lot of happy smiles from the audience. It was decent. I have a hard time listening to this song done by anyone but the original artists. Jennifer asked if he went lower on the key because at times she felt it was too low and it lost some of the brightness in that rendition of it. Harry liked how he reharmonized the tune. He had two strong performances tonight and he could go into why this one wasn’t, but he won’t. Keith feels the same. Keith said he would have taken up the key a little bit more just because there is a buzz thing that happens when it is in the key it was meant to be in. When you take it down, and people who don’t know anything about music know that something is wrong but all they know is that the energy has dropped somehow. He felt he could have kept it in the key it was in.
La’Porsha was given a huge challenge to see what she could do with “Hello” by Adele to make it different. I had goosebumps. I worried at the beginning when it sounded like it might be a little too low for her, but it was just a temporary place and she sang it. Harry said he can imagine what a great performance that was but he was so distracted by the beautiful baby in his arms (her daughter). He said it was beautiful. Jennifer said it stretched her range a bit but it is nice to hear her kind of reach a bit. Keith said it was beautiful.
Trent closed out the show with “Waiting Game” by Parson James. Yep goosebumps. He has an amazing falsetto. I loved it. Keith said it was tailor made for him. Jennifer got goosies. He killed it. Harry said nice job. He isn’t sure if this is the last critique on American Idol – he thinks so – and if so it is an honor to critique a guy like him who is an extraordinary talent. He thought it was a beautiful performance. He added that it was an extraordinary night for everyone and he has to remind everyone that if they love one of these four [I think he means three] vote because they are not going to make it if they do. Jennifer said they were three very strong performances tonight. And Harry corrected himself about three not four.
Ryan congratulated everyone who has worked on the show the past 15 years. Next week is a show retrospective, the final 2 artists perform and then Thursday is the final American Idol winner with lots of surprises.