The Final. This is it. The last ever American Idol show. Either Trent or La'Porsha will be crowned the winner and neither will be heard of a great deal outside the States. We will, however, celebrate the stars that have emerged, often not the winners, over the years. I am not sure we'll hear much of any of this year's crop but, if anyone, it will be Dalton who stands the best chance of lasting fame.
The start is a terrible white suit affair and best forgotten! As should be the attempt by Trent and La'Porsha to make It Takes Two interesting.
What was quite entertaining, apart from a walk on part for the very first host, was the lengthy performance by lots of finalists from the past 15 years. I expect we were all looking out for our favourites. I wonder how many more we'll see throughout the evening.
I had to smile at Pants On The Ground or whatever the title was of the crazy track some guy who didn't get far at all but had a great appeal a few seasons ago! No real stand-outs amongst the oldies, though, to be honest, with many just trying a bit too hard to be noticed or remembered.
The producers really have got their mileage out of Kelly Clarkson, their first winner and one of the major successes of course. She recorded a sort of compilation of her big numbers which gets shown tonight.
A pile of rockers next and nearly all had finished far higher than the balladeers we saw earlier. Chris Daughtry, Caleb Johnson, Constantine, Bo Dice and Josh Durbin stood out,
Keith Urban gets the hot ticket in AI history with the lovely Carrie Underwood doing Stop Dragging My Heart Around.
Next we get the Country boys and girls. Scotty McCririck, of course, leading way there. Lauren Alaina was doing a fine job too, I was looking for the cutely amusing one who was in Season 5 and went on to become pretty famous, the delightful Kellie Pickler.
Katherine MacPhee is another spectacular singer who was runner-up in an early edition and has since done very well in an acting career. She gets a star spot as do several other talented finalists of old. Clay Aitken is looking old but still has a voice and fans. Ruben Stoddard, who beat Clay is teamed up with Amber who I think I remember from last year and expected to do far better than she did. Jessica Sanchez is very impressive and gets a good length solo spot which was well-deserved. I have to say that she was easily the most memorable of all in that segment.
Prior to the these, Harry Connick Jnr had taken the stage with a young girl. They sang Wonderful World but, oddly for Harry, it was not good. I don't know who the young girl was and wonder whether there was a particular reason for his performing with her that might excuse the very off key singing that she produced. He has always been the one seeking precision and that amazed me that he should even allow that to happen. presumably they had had a rehearsal or two so he'd have known what to expect. I shall assume that she was not someone expected to sing well and this was more a statement or sympathy thing than a singing performance.
I am quite relieved that we're not getting one song after another from the two finalists. I suppose we'll have to get something from them sooner or later as finals are usually inundated with the protagonists' efforts.
The girl was Marlie, by the way.
Jennnifer Lopez gets her spot now. She'll be good. She works very hard and runs two numbers energetically on stage in possibly the most professional performance of the evening. Full of her Latin American verve and she ends with a remarkable (but not very good) climax. The cameraman had to zoom out or focus elsewhere a few times with so many teens in America watching who aren't supposed to be aware of certain things.
The three divas, Jennifer Hudson, Latoya and Fantasia perform.
Then we get some Motown. Nice but I didn't catch any of the names. I'm wondering of one was Philip Phillips who I haven't seen so far elsewhere. Nor Kris Allen or David Cooke, other winners. No Crystal Bowersox yet, a runner-up, and where is Adam Lambert? I'm pretty sure he'll be along soon enough. I have also missed the very talented and delightful Didi Benami.
Fantasia gets a solo. Nice job. Latoya London gets Taylor Hicks, the weird winner. Joshua Ledet gets a good solo spot with A Man's World. Then it's big sing-a-long quite badly time with Candice Glover and Melinda Dolittle. God, that was awful. How did Candice win?
I have managed to avoid all social media that might give away the winner of this last Season. I have a feeling, though, that it will be Trent Harmon. I reckon he will have the broader appeal across the mass that is America. La'Porsha will feel hard done by if that happens but should still pick up a contract. She has been the one to beat throughout the Season, although coming in the Bottom Three at least once makes me wonder just how far her fans were, in fact, spread.
Before we find out it's a tribute to David Bowie. That's where Phillip Phillips comes in! With Lee Dewyze, David Cook, Kris Allena nd Nick Fradiani - all winners and the ones I had been missing as it happens. It's a bit average, though. One would have worked better.
Where's Hayley Reinhart?
Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson return to acknowledge Ryan Seacrest as being the one person who has lasted throughout the 15 Seasons. He gets a huge American Idol sign as a gift! As Randy and Paula remember old times, Simon Cowell appears and they are all genuinely surprised!
Carrie gets another slot. Performing Something In The Water, she is looking and sounding marvellous. She has a totally meaningless and quite annoying light show going on all around which we could definitely do without.
Time to make the announcement. Yes, I'd guessed right. It's Trent. He seems pretty shocked at first but actually holds himself together very well and puts on a good performance bearing in mind the circumstances. Ryan does the farewell and struggles with the words.
So that is it. Once and for all.
I have enjoyed the ride and will miss this chance to see talent across The Pond. In a week when X Factor USA's Fifth Harmony are in the Top 3 in the UK charts it will be interesting to see who makes it next.
That... was American Idol.