American Idol

American Idol 2016 Results: Winner Revealed In Series Finale (VIDEO)

Welcome to the live blog and recap for American Idol 2016, “Winner Chosen”! Host Ryan Seacrest and judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick, Jr. continue the search for the final American Idol!

It’s the series finale of the phenomenon that shaped American reality television and provided the music industry with some truly memorable stars! It all comes down to this, as either Trent Harmon or La’Porsha Renae will be crowned the final American Idol!

But who do readers think will win Season 15?

According to our official predictions poll, 56.44% of our readers believe La’Porsha Renae will be declared the final American Idol. However, Trent Harmon is less than one hundred points behind in our poll. This is likely to be a close vote!

Keep it locked right here, as I’ll be updating with commentary and videos of the highlight performances as soon as they become available!

American Idol 2016 Results Winner Revealed In Live Series Finale (VIDEO)

Credit: FOX


-We open with a message from President Obama, who encourages us all to vote. We then go live with the Top 10 singing “One Voice” alongside a TON of former Idol alums! This is EPIC and I already have goosebumps! And then we follow it up with BRIAN DUNKELMAN! This is kind of surreal, honestly. It’s a great little back-and-forth segment in which Brian somewhat admits that it might have been a mistake to leave the show after Season 1 (I’m of the mind he probably would have been let go at some point anyway, if it makes him feel better). In a fairly heartwarming moment, Brian congratulates Ryan on all his success, and gives him a tight hug. Brian then gets to introduce the judges. Man, flashbacks all over the place.


-La’Porsha and Trent perform the song that was the first Idol finale duet, as Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson performed this song at the first season finale. I like La’Porsha and Trent, but I thought this was kind of a mess. It was more due to the song than the singers themselves though. That track is just really dated, and didn’t fit in either singer’s wheelhouse. But I’m sure things will get better as the night rolls on.

-In a video package, Steven Tyler talks about his experiences with American Idol, somehow managing to throw a “beautiful” in there, because he’s nothing if not consistent.

-Back from break with Trent and La’Porsha talking about how nervous they are, and Scott Borchetta gushing about this final two. I guess someone has to.


-Kara sings “Sober” by Pink with Jordin Sparks and somebody. Because her hair is in her face, it took me about four whole minutes to figure out that it was Tamyra Gray. Anyway, it’s not great at all, but it’s not awful either. I have no idea why Jordin is serving as a judges’ backup singer.


-Colton sings his original song “Through It All” at the piano, and then we transition to Justin and Jordin singing “No Air”. Justin’s still got it, man! We follow this up with Kimberley Locke singing “8th World Wonder,” followed by Tamyra Gray singing “Girl Crush”. This is REALLY hard to keep up with! It’s moving so fast! I kind of love it though. We quickly transition to Alison Iraheta leading the girls (Jordin, Tamyra and Pia Toscano) in a version of Meghan Trainor’s “NO” that is turned into a mash-up with surprise guest LARRY PLATT, who performs “Pants On the Ground”! THIS IS AWESOME, AND I LOVE MY LIFE RIGHT NOW! Pia closes the entire number with a version of “All By Myself” that’s exactly as awesome as you’d think it’d be. I really can’t say enough about this medley. I’m in love with it. Such a wonderful blast of nostalgia.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our very own Rickey is at the finale! I’ll be posting some of his selfies with Idol alums throughout the night. Dude is so lucky, seriously.

-Back from break with Ryan explaining that Kelly Clarkson couldn’t be here with us tonight because she’s having her baby. But she did tape a very special performance during Top 10 week to air for this finale…


-Just as you’d expect, Kelly slays it with an awesome medley of her hit songs. From “Miss Independent” to “Breakaway” to “Since U Been Gone” to “Behind These Hazel Eyes” to “Walk Away”! All the hits! We also get “My Life Would Suck Without You” and “Already Gone” before she transitions into “Don’t You Wanna Stay” and “Stronger”. She closes the medley with “Heartbeat Song” and “Invincible” before the music cuts out and we get a STUNNING a cappella rendition of “A Moment Like This”. OH DEAR GOD, I’M TEARING UP. SOMEBODY SEND TISSUES, POST-HASTE!

WATCH AND DISCUSS: Kelly Clarkson Stuns With Medley of Hits on American Idol 2016 Finale


-We get all the best-known Idol rockers onstage for a performance of a rock medley. An unrecognizable Bo Bice (in both look and voice) sings “Vehicle”, Caleb Johnson sings “Hard to Handle” and he’s joined by Constantine Maroulis and James Durbin. Speaking of James, he joins Chris Daughtry on a performance of Daughtry’s “Torches,” with the other Idol rockers joining in. James looks like Dalton’s lost brother, with a head of shaggy hair, and sliding all over the stage. They then transition into “Tobacco Road” to truly make for an epic finale. This was awesome, although I was kind of taken aback how Bo just chilled off to the side of the stage, looking like a dad in his jacket and glasses. I kind of love it.


-Keith starts out solo, but Carrie rises up from below the stage, in an awesome visual. This is much harder in the rock department than I remember this song being. But it’s awesome. It really is. I know I probably sound like a broken record right now though. Carrie Underwood looks amazing, by the way. Hell, so does Keith. Dude can ROCK a suit!

-Ryan goes into the crowd and points out Sanjaya with his faux-hawk, and then he greets John Cena in the audience while plugging the premiere of American Grit.


-Diana DeGarmo, Skylar Laine, and Kree Harrison perform “You Belong With Me,” before being backed up by Ace Young, Bucky Covington and Constantine Maroulis, who apparently is a country star now? Together, they all sing “Done” by The Band Perry, backed up by Lauren Alaina and Kellie Pickler. Scotty McCreery then joins the Idols onstage for “Papa Loved Mama” by Garth Brooks before transitioning into “Pavement Ends” by Little Big Town. I’m loving this, although it really could have used Joshua Gracin from Season 2 for that extra nostalgia boost.

-Nicki Minaj records a video greeting, wishing Idol a great finale, and then congratulating the finalists on a great season, as if she’s actually watched any of it.


-We see a video package depicting all the money Idol has raised for charity over the years, while talking about a charity close to his heart, a music school situated in the neighborhood most impacted by Hurricane Katrina. It’s a great performance, and Marley has a wonderful voice. Shame she won’t have this show to audition for when she turned 15. But hey, there’s always Team Blake, I guess.


-Casey James and Katharine McPhee, who has blonde hair to match his, sing “Need You Know” by Lady Antebellum. I LOVE the piano-based arrangement. It just might be my favorite vocal of the night so far. We then get Carly Smithson singing “Here You Come Again” by Dolly Parton and it’s an absolutely gorgeous performance, matched only by Clay Aiken singing “Annie’s Song (You Fill Up My Senses) by John Denver. Ruben Studdard and Amber Holcomb are up next, singing “Here, There and Everywhere” by the Beatles. Wouldn’t it have made more sense for Clay to sing this, since he actually did perform this song in Season 2? Ah well, this is a really cool duet. I liked it a lot. Jessica Sanchez then sings “The Prayer” by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli, and it’s already one of the most stunning things I’ve heard so far tonight. Just amazing, from front to back. All the other Idols join in, and yup, I’m crying. My sister sang this at my cousin’s funeral when I was 17, and it gets to me every time I hear it now. Still one of the most beautiful songs ever written, in my opinion. Still can’t believe it lost the Oscar to “When You Believe”.


-The performance features J-Lo and dancers dressed as housewives in cute skirts that look like 1950s housewife aprons. It’s really adorable. I’m also kind of shocked by how much I love the song. Seriously, this is her catchiest single in YEARS, and I plan on downloading this when I get the chance. Gotta support my fellow Ricans. With that said, I don’t really get the staging, with all the TV sets behind her. But it makes sense when the screens open up to reveal conga drummers/dancers who rush the stage for J-Lo’s next number, “Let’s Get Loud”! It’s a really fun performance, and it’s exactly the kind of performance you’d probably see in Vegas, which makes sense since Jennifer has a Vegas residency. It’s probably a hell of a show. Sure, she’s not the greatest singer in the world, but I can’t front on her as an entertainer. At the end, she shakes her backside after stripping down to a sequin one-piece with what looks like a body stocking over it. The crowd is going positively nuclear for this, and I can’t blame them. This is a freaking amazing performance. Seriously. GET IT, JEN! I feel like I need a cigarette after that.

We end on an explosion of fireworks as we head to commercial break. This show has really been picking up in a big way in the past half-hour. I almost forgot we still have a winner to announce.

WATCH AND DISCUSS: Jennifer Lopez Heats Things Up With ‘Ain’t Your Mama’ On American Idol 2016 Finale (VIDEO)

OFF-TOPIC: I don’t know why I’m thinking of this now, but I feel like bringing it up before I forget. It’s sad, and I know he’s basically the only one who’d be featured, but I kind of hope we get an In Memoriam just to acknowledge that Michael Johns is gone and we miss him.

-Back from break with Ryan talking to Trent and his family, who feel blessed to be here.


-This is one of the coolest of all the medleys yet, as Jennifer Hudson teams up with LaToya London and Fantasia Barrino for a cover of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” before J-Hud performs her Empire song, “Remember the Music”. We then get the soul guys in on this medley, as Elliott Yamin, Brandon Rogers, Danny Gokey, George Huff and Clark Beckham sing “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg”! Fantasia follows it up with a solo performance before LaToya London and Taylor Hicks come out for a duet of “Knew You Were Waiting For Me”. Joshua Ledet then shows up for “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World,” looking hype as hell. He sings that song to pieces, man. So cool. We then get Candice Glover and MELINDA DOOLITTLE, MY QUEEN! They sing “Joy to the World” with this season’s Top 10 as well as the other Idols featured in this medley. Melinda and Candice head up over to the judges’ table, and there’s a great little moment where Melinda and Harry share a nod. I loved this so much. I know, I’m repeating myself, but I can’t get over any of this!

WATCH AND DISCUSS: Fantasia Barrino, Jennifer Hudson, More Rule Stage on American Idol 2016 Finale (VIDEO)


-It’s a WGWG medley! And hey, they got Phillip Phillips to come back for it, despite the unpleasantness with the 19 Management lawsuit! Phillip is joined by Kris Allen, David Cook, Lee DeWyze and Nick Fradiani. It’s not a showstopper, but it’s a fun performance. I wish we’d gotten some of Bowie’s more dreamy, ethereal songs in there somewhere like “Life on Mars” or “Space Oddity”. But I was totally cool with what we got here.

-Ryan then talks to La’Porsha’s family in the audience, and her daughter takes the microphone from him. ADORABLE!

-We then get a hilarious video package detailing some of the funniest moments over 15 seasons, set to “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter. This was a lovely blast from the past. Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul then join Ryan onstage to present him with the American Idol sign from the set. He seems genuinely touched. The Top 10 come out to present the sign to Ryan, since there’s apparently nothing else for them to do tonight. We then get a surprise appearance from Simon Cowell, which takes Randy and Paula off-guard. They totally weren’t expecting it! Simon apologizes for being so mean to all the contestants — on behalf of Paula. He then thanks America for inviting them into their homes, the contestants, the network and Randy and Paula for being his best friends. SO TOUCHING. We then get a deliriously entertaining segment, as William Hung surprises Ryan by rushing the stage and performing “She Bangs”! And Ryan gets in on it too! We then cut to Sanjaya in the crowd, with yet another ridiculous wig on, this time a Mozart wig. We also get a video package from Ellen, who lets us know her life would suck without Idol.

-Back from break with a video as we see how the Ford music videos have helped the Idols grow as music video artists. If they were going to do a package like this, they really should have done some proper Ford music videos this season. I love the flashback to the video that featured the Idols playing soccer with some cars, indirectly giving birth to Rocket League. Back in the studio, Trent and La’Porsha are gifted a 2017 Ford Fusion!


-Carrie sounds pretty good to start, but it sounds like her emotions get the better of her, as she goes sharp during the chorus. But hey, even a sharp Carrie Underwood is better than most singers could ever hope to be, myself included. (Hell, myself ESPECIALLY) Always happy to see Carrie, regardless.


-It’s time for the result…



Trent is a MESS of tears. He talks about how hard he worked to earn this title, and La’Porsha agrees. Sh eembraces him, and all the judges give him a standing ovation. Trent then sings his winner’s single, “Falling,” and the rest of the Top 10 comes out and sings with him while his family joins the judges and just BAWL their eyes out. SUCH a great winning moment! Ryan then signs off with a touching farewell message, thanking the audience. He fights back tears as he says goodnight for the final time as the lights go out and Ryan adds…”for now”! OOOOOooo, ending on a cliffhanger! Everyone is getting in on that Walking Dead vibe, I guess. Anyway, congratulations, Trent! And farewell, American Idol!

-And that’s a wrap on American Idol! I just want to say what an honor it’s been to cover the show for you all these past four seasons, and how much I’ve enjoyed hanging out and interacting with you all. I’m going to miss Idol like crazy, and ya’ll are part of the reason why. Goodbye, American Idol. I hope you get rebooted in ten years!


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