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American Idol – Season 15

American Idol came to the airwaves via Fox in 2002 and since then, it can be considered the granddaddy of reality/talent shows. It is one of the most successful shows of all time in any genre, and it has kicked off careers for many of its former contestants. Its 15th season will be its final campaign, so you can expect to see plenty of stars that are associated with the show. Ryan Seacrest will round out his run as host (he co-hosted with Brian Dunkleman in Season 1 before taking over himself), while the judges for Season 15 are Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. are returning as judges. However, the original panel of Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell will all be back at some point. You can also expect tons of cameos as American Idol ends its run.

The format goes as usual, with auditions in cities around the United States; this time around, they will be in Denver, Savannah/Atlanta, Philadelphia, Little Rock and San Francisco. There is also the American Idol Audition Bus Tour, which travelled to more cities such as Seattle, Indianapolis and Tulsa, just to name a few. Then the next rounds are in Hollywood and Las Vegas, and by the end of these rounds, the competition should be down to 24. Then you have the live shows in Los Angeles, and following the final round, the winner receives a record deal with Big Machine Records, although all in the Top 10 get to go on the American Idol Tour.

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Event Details

Event: American Idol – Season 15

Date: January 6th, 2016 – April 2016 (TBA)

Location: Auditions all over the United States; Rounds held in Hollywood, Las Vegas and Los Angeles

TV: Fox

Each season is different, but judges usually get one chance to save a contestant at some point. Twitter and fan voting can also play a role in saving a singer as we get deeper into the competition.

The 15th season of American Idol will be the final one as FOX has decided to end the show. At one point, Idol was a very influential part of the music industry but it has struggled to produce success stories as recent winners Nick Fradiani, Caleb Johnson and Candice Glover have struggled to break into the mainstream. Some might even say that the last successful Idol star was Jordin Sparks back in Season 6. As a result, the show is coming to an end after Season 15.

How To Bet On American Idol – Season 15

Bet on each singer's odds for American Idol – Season 15, once it gets down to the final 24. There, you will see a list of future odds for each, and most singers will have a positive sign in front of their odds. For example, odds of +500 means you would win $500 by betting $100 on that person. But you might see one or two with a negative in front of their odds, so a line of -175 means you would win $100 by betting $175.

Contestants Remaining

  • Group 2
  • Trent Harmon

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Show Recap – American Idol

The winner of Season 15 of American Idol was announced, but that was in the background as the reality-competition juggernaut is now all over. This brought all the stars out to say goodbye but even as hard as FOX tried, the show didn’t really register much in the mainstream headlines. Few people would recognize the winner.

What Happened Heading Into This Week

MacKenzie was eliminated to bring the field down to three for the final week.

What Happened This Week

First, Dalton was eliminated despite performing “Strike A Match”, his first single. You can make a career for yourself without American Idol….but winning certainly helps. The final round featured three themes: the winner's single, their favorite performance and finally, Simon Fuller's choice as the man who basically got American Idol off the ground returned. Trent's first single was “Falling”, while he then sang “If You Don't Know Me By Now” by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes (among other versions), and “Chandelier” by Sia. La'Porsha's single was called “Battles”, followed by “A House Is Not A Home” by Dionne Warwick (again, among other versions), and Rihanna's “Diamonds”. It was a close call between the top two singers over the season, but Trent surprisingly pulled out the win after La'Porsha led for most of the journey to the finale. She'll end up having a good career, but Trent is going to get the push that comes from being a winner on American Idol.

But overall, the star of the show was the show itself. You name it, and everyone came back to say goodbye to American Idol. Trent and La'Porsha did a duet, while there was also a group performance from the Season 15 singers. Jordin Sparks performed a couple of times, along with Justin Guarini. Kimberly Locke was there, Bo Bice, Chris Daughtry, Clay Aiken, Clark Beckham, Taylor Hicks and Fantasia. Jennifer Lopez did her thing, while Jennifer Hudson also performed. Even William Hung came back for those who are longtime American Idol viewers. Finally, Carrie Underwood was back and Kelly Clarkson did a pre-taped medley of all her hits. This isn't even half the names that came back for the finale; even people like Brian Dunkleman, who co-hosted the first season with Ryan Seacrest, returned to the scene. It was a really emotional time for those involved with the show.

Whether you liked it or not, American Idol caused a shift in television as it was the first singing-competition since Star Search. It used social media to boost its profile as sites like Facebook and Twitter blew up, and not only that, American Idol gave us some really talented singers. It was a fitting tribute to a great run, but Fox can always bring it back, so keep an eye on that in the future.

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List Of All Contestants

Group 1 Group 2
MacKenzie Bourg Jenn Blosil
Jordan Sasser Amelia Eisenhauer
La'Porsha Renae Trent Harmon
James VIII Lee Jean
Sonika Vaid C.J. Johnson
Gianna Isabella Adam Lasher
Jenna Renae Tristan McIntosh
Jeneve Rose Mitchell Dalton Rappatoni
Emily Brooke Olivia Rox
Thomas Stringfellow Manny Torres
Stephany Negrete Kory Wheeler
Avalon Young Shelbie Z

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American Idol Previous Weeks Recaps

Show Recap – American Idol

The final three has been set for the farewell season of American Idol, and that means the finish line is in sight. As in other recent seasons, one favorite has been in the lead down the stretch and looks to be in good shape to win it all.

What Happened Heading Into This Week

Tristan was eliminated to take the field down to four, while Sia and Stevie Van Zandt mentored the singers as the theme of the week was songs by Sia herself, while Van Zandt helped with classic-rock songs.

What Happened This Week

La'Porsha and MacKenzie were in the bottom two following last week's performances, and MacKenzie got to perform as part of the Hometown Dedication theme as he sang “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen. However, she was eliminated as La'Porsha joined Trent and Dalton. This week's theme was Hometown Dedication/Scott Borchetta's Choice/Judges' Choice, and Borchetta was brought back one last time after being the in-house mentor in Season 14. Dalton (who is from Sunnyvale, Texas) sang “Calling You” by Blue October, “Dancing In The Dark” by Bruce Springsteen and “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” by Tears For Fears. Trent (from Amory, Mississippi) got “Tennessee Whiskey” by George Jones and “Waiting Game” by Parson James. Finally, La'Porsha (from McComb, Mississippi) performed “Glory” by John Legend, “Stay With Me” by Lorraine Ellison and “Hello” by Adele.

Elsewhere, Keith Urban performed his song, “Wasted Time”, and it was an overall emotional night for everyone involved with the show. It was the final time that it would be filmed at Stage 36 at CBS Television City in Los Angeles, which is the setting that viewers are so used to seeing. The finals will be aired from the Dolby Theatre next week, and it sounded as though Ryan Seacrest got a bit choked up as he thanked the crew.

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Who Looks In Good Position To Win It All

La'Porsha was running away with the competition before a bit of a stumble last week, and it seems like it is up in the air going into the final week. She has been the most consistent all season, but Dalton and Trent have come on near the end and it's going to be very close.

However, the actual winner won't be the biggest story over the finale, which is two episodes. The story is the history of American Idol, which you could argue is the most important franchise in the history of reality/talent shows. There will be a host of special performances, leading with Season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson and Season 4 winner Carrie Underwood, the most successful singers to come from the show. Then you have the likes of Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks, Scotty McCreey, Fantasia, Ruben Studdard,….the list literally goes on and on. Anyone who is anyone in this show's history will be there next week, which will make for a very powerful finale.

One more singer was eliminated on American Idol to narrow the field even more. A lot of people weren’t surprised by this result as this was more of an elimination that had been staved off for a week or three now.

What Happened Heading Into This Week

Sonika and Tristan ended up in the bottom two, but it was Tristan who would go home as Sonika avoided elimination for the second week in a row.

What Happened This Week

This week's theme was centered around classic-rock songs, in which the singers would be mentored by Stevie VanZant, the guitarist for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band (as well as from his role on The Sopranos). The second part of the theme was Sia, the singer/songwriter that you have heard all over the place for the last few years (“Chandelier”, just to name her biggest hit) and she was on hand to mentor the singers. There was only eight performances as Sonika and Dalton were in the bottom two after last week's showing and it was Sonika who would go home after being in the bottom two for three weeks in a row.

It was a very good week for basically all four singers. In terms of the rock songs, La'Porsha went with “Wanted Dead Or Alive” by Bon Jovi, while MacKenzie chose “I Want You To Want Me” by Cheap Trick. Trent went with “Sharp Dressed Man” by Z.Z. Top, while Dalton chose “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys. Then when it came to the Sia songs, La'Porsha sang “Elastic Heart”, MacKenzie did “Titanium”, Trent took on “Chandelier” and Dalton had “Bird Set Free”. All four singers handled themselves quitee well.

There were also three guest performances, starting of course with Sia, who did “Cheap Thrills”. Seasin 5 runner-up Katherine McPhee came through to sing “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”, while Season 7 winner David Cook did “Heartbeat”.

Who Looks In Good Position To Win It All

It was probably the biggest win for Trent, who nailed both of his songs and as tough as “Chandelier” is for anyone to sing (even Sia herself), he did an excellent job. MacKenzie was also excellent on both of her song choices, but these two did was close the gap a little bit on La'Porsha, who didn't have her best week, but she was still very good and is still the favorite to win the final season of American Idol. On the other end of the spectrum, Dalton was fine; he wasn't terrible. But he didn't do enough to be above La'Porsha, MacKenzie or Trent and he is going to need a little help to avoid getting eliminated next week. There isn't much time left, so if these singers get another chance, they have to leave it all on the table. At least this week made it a competition as La'Porsha was running away with it. Now, there is a little bit of drama over the last few weeks of American Idol.

American Idol is down to their final five as the show winds down its incredible run. However, it doesn’t look like it will be a very competitive finish yet again as the favorite seems to be running away with it.

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What Happened Heading Into This Week

Lee, Avalon and Gianna were eliminated in the last episode, leaving six remaining singers.

What Happened This Week

This week's special musical guests started with Adam Lambert, who finished second to Kris Allen in the eighth season. He returned to perform “Mad World” by Tears For Fears, and it seemed to go over well as Lambert is obviously a favorite of American Idol fans. The other came from Jussie Smollett and Yazz from Empire (another Fox show), and they performed “Never Let It Die” from the show, which returns at the end of March.

Sonika and Tristan were in the bottom two based off the Top 6 performances, which was the American Idol All-Time Song Book. Tristan, who also sang “Independence Day” by Martina McBride as part of the Top 5, was eliminated. Then it was on to the Top 5, which was America's Twitter Song Choice and each singer had two songs. Trent struggled with “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic, but he roared back with “Simple Man” by Lynard Skynard. Dalton made a weird choice with “Numb” by Linkin Park, but did well with “The Sound Of Silence” by Simon and Garkfunkel. MacKenzie was just average on “Wild World” by Cat Stevens, but did surprisingly well with “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson. Sonika was solid on “Let It Go” from Frozen, and wasn't much better on “Clarity” by Zedd.

The night belonged to La'Porsha Renae once again as she did “Ready For Love” by India Arie. However, she won the night with “No More Drama” by Mary J. Blige, and it was revealed that the song was special to her as she had to escape an abusive relationship. Jennifer Lopez was in tears by the end of the performance and it was a good thing that she went last on the show because none of the other singers would have been able to match it.

Who Looks In Good Position To Win It All

Again, this is La'Porsha's season to lose and really, only she could stumble enough to hand it to someone else. Only one other person has made a judge shed a tear this season, and that was Keith Urban during Kelly Clarkson's performance. She should easily roll through to the Top 4, which is going to be headlined by Sia as the singers will be performing her songs. There is also a Classic Rock Song Choice, and the mentor will be Stevie Van Zandt of Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band, although you might also know him from The Sopranos.

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Show Recap – American Idol

Only six singers remain on the final season of American Idol but the show still isn’t generating much national attention. The finish line is in sight with five episodes left and the contest is becoming clearer from a betting perspective.

What Happened Heading Into This Week

Olivia and Gianna were eliminated, and the Top 8 had their performances, along with a group performance with Demi Lovato.

What Happened This Week

This week's theme was the American Idol All-Time Song Book, so, the songs that you've heard the most over the last 15 seasons. There were also four duets, the best of which was La'Porsha and Trent, who did “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth. However, Sonika and Avalon weren't far behind with their rendition of “Rise Up” by Andra Day. MacKenzie and Dalton didn't fare too well with “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys, while Tristan and Lee weren't much better with “I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing” by Aerosmith.

There was the bottom three as well, as Avalon, Lee and Sonika were singing for their American Idol lives. Avalon chose “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” by Michael Jackson, while Lee went with “Let It Be” by the Beatles and Sonika sang “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston. Sonika saved herself with her showing, which meant it was exit time for Avalon and Lee.

Finally, there was the performances to decide who would be eliminated next week, starting with La'Porsha and her version of “Come Together” by the Beatles. Next was MacKenzie, who did “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker (among others), and Trent did “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King. Tristan chose “A Broken Wing” by Martina McBride, while Dalton chose another Beatles song, “Eleanor Rigby”. Sonika stood by her Whitney Houston cover.

Who Looks In Good Position To Win It All

It should come as no surprise that La'Porsha is being tipped to go through as she floated through “Come Together”, and it is still her season for the taking. Trent and MacKenzie are probably next, and it was a very good week for Trent, who held his own with La'Porsha when they did their duet, which bodes well for him. Sonika stayed alive and Tristan did well, but Dalton didn't do much with “Eleanor Rigby” and probably should be the most nervous one of the bunch when it comes to next week. There are five episodes left, so that means each performance means the world to these singers. That being said, it is going to take a lot for someone to get past La'Porsha, who has dominated this season and as of right now, it looks like the only person who can beat her is her. Stay tuned for next week's vote on American Idol.

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Show Recap – American Idol

Two singers were eliminated this week on American Idol as the action is starting to heat. It’s still not getting the national attention that previous seasons used to but the contest should be entertaining down the stretch.

What Happened Heading Into This Week

Last week was the Top 10 performances, but really, it was the Kelly Clarkson show as her guest performance might go down as the highlight of the final season of American Idol.

What Happened This Week

The real drama this week came as the contestants went from ten to eight, and three singers had to battle head-to-head to stay in the competition. First was Avalong Young, who went with “Earned It” by the Weeknd, while Olivia Rox chose “Trouble” by Pink, and Gianna Isabella sang “If I Ain't Got You” by Alicia Keys. Avalon managed to stay on the show, while Olivia and Gianna were eliminated, which meant Avalon went to the Top 8.

The remaining singers sang “Confident” with Demi Lovato, then it was on to the Top 8 performances. Sonika Vaid took a risk by going with “Since You've Been Gone” by Clarkson, who destroyed last week's show and of course, is the first winner in American Idol history. However, Sonika did a very good job with a difficult song. La'Porsha Renae followed up a brilliant last performance with “Halo” by Beyonce, and it was typically great. Tristan McIntosh chose “Go Rest High On That Mountain” by Vince Gill and he was good, along with Trent Harmon, who sang “When A Man Loves A Woman” by Percy Sledge. MacKenzie Bourg chose the uptempo “I Wanna Dance With Someboy” by Whitney Houston, and she actually pulled it off, while Lee Jean chose “Use Somebody” by Kings Of Leon and it was just average. Finally, Dalton Rapattoni kicked off the proceedings with “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons and it was a fine performance; not star-making, but it was fine enough.

Who Looks In Good Position To Win It All

La'Porsha didn't hurt her chances with her showing this week, although it is going to be tough for her to live up to last week. Sonika and MacKenzie did very good with their songs, and Sonika in particular might have closed the gap a little bit on La'Porsha. At the other end of the spectrum, Lee's song choice was interesting and he didn't really nail it as much as he needed to. The results will be rolled out next week as the field gets taken down, but right now, it looks like it is La'Porsha's season to lose and it is going to take Sonika and MacKenzie raising their game even more to stop her reign. That being said, stranger things have happened on American idol and all it takes is one bad week.

American Idol is down to its ten finalists in their last season, but the show is still struggling to get the traction in the main stream. Regardless, this week was the Kelly Clarkson show as the Season 1 winner made her grand return.

What Happened Heading Into This Week

The second group of semifinalists went last week, bringing the field down to the ten that would compete this week in the final round.

What Happened This Week

La'Porsha Renae stepped up to the plate with Rihanna's “Diamonds” and knocked it out of the park, and it was a solid return for some who thought she struggled with Tina Turner's “Proud Mary” last week. Sonika Vaid also did an excellent job with “Bring Me To Life” by Evanescence, and MacKenzie Bourg continued a strong run with “I See Fire” by Ed Sheeran. At the other end of the spectrum, Lee Jean did “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver, and it looked like the young man's nerves got to him at the wrong time, but that will happen to a teenager. Gianna Isabella sang “Listen” by Beyonce, and if you're going to do a Beyonce song, you have to kill it and she didn't. Trent Harmon had trouble with “Like I Can” by Sam Smith, and this song choice could leave him out in the cold.

However, the night belonged to Clarkson, the original American Idol and she was a guest judge for the evening. But the main event was when Clarkson, who is eight months pregnant, performed her song “Piece By Piece”, which is itself an emotional ballad. But the memories of getting her start on American Idol came back and Clarkson barely got through the song while in tears, and she wasn't the only one as Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban also cried. By the end of it, the studio audience was chanting her name, and it wouldn't be a stretch to say that Clarkson is the most-loved winner in the history of the show, and she appreciates what chances she has gotten by winning it.

Who Looks In Good Position To Win It All

The winner of the night was Clarkson, whose performance seems like it is the peak of the season and everything else might be a letdown, so the remaining singers have to step up their game. La'Porsha Renae did her thing, of course, but Sonika Vaid showed that she is going to be a force and MacKenzie Bourg also had a great week. Next week is a double elimination, so two singers will go home to bring the field down to eight as the final season of American Idol comes to a close. Also, any guest performers: Kelly Clarkson set a high bar, so bring your A-game.

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Show Recap – American Idol

The semifinals are underway for American Idol, and the first group was cut in half from 12 to 6. Even though it’s the final season of the show, it’s not generating a ton of buzz.

What Happened Heading Into This Week

The field continued to be whittled down, this time from 51 to 24, and those 24 were split into two group for the semifinals.

What Happened This Week

Each performer got a solo song to show what they could do, but then they also got a duet with either a former winner or runner-up on American Idol. It was probably no surprise that the best duet came from La'Porsha Renae and Season 3 winner Fantasia, who sang “Summertime” by George Gershwin. La'Porsha was probably already through with her version of “Proud Mary” by Credence Clearwater Revival, but that clinched it. They even let her go last as the anchor of the group. But overall, the rest of the group wasn't bad, it is just that no one stood out and the judges had some tough cuts to make. However, Gianna Isabella made the cut after singing “I Put A Spell On You” by Jay Hawkins, and then “Beautiful Life”, which was actually sang by Season 14 winner Nick Fradiani. It was a small upset that she made it over Stephany Negrete, who sang “Mamma Knows Best” by Jessie J, and then Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard's “Superstar” with the man himself. Jordan Sasser was eliminated after doing “All By Myself” by Eric Carmen, and then she tried a duet for “I Believe”, which was Fantasia's song. It didn't work out so well for Sasser, who will watch the rest of the season from the sidelines.

Who Looks In Good Position To Win It All

La'Porsha came in as the favorite from the first group and she didn't hurt her chances with two stellar performances, and you could definitely argue that she held her own with Fantasia. Everyone else in the group was just singing for second place, and it seems like it'll take a mistake of her own doing to stop La'Porsha from making some real noise on the final season of American Idol.

Next week is the second group, which has 12 more singers lined up. You also have the all-stars, which will consist of the following: Season 4 finalist Constantine Maroulis, Season 5 finalists Chris Daughtry and Kellie Pickler, Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks, Season 7 winner David Cook and Season 10 finalist Haley Reinhart. La'Porsha set a very high bar for the second group and we will get a real idea as to whether anyone can challenge her this season. However, there is still a long way to go on American Idol.

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Show Recap – American Idol

The American Idol Top 24 has been decided, which means the show is really going to get started as the field was cut down from 51. Now we’re going to start to a little more familiar with the contestants as well as their level of talent.

What Happened Heading Into This Week

The field was still getting cut down to the initial 51 performers, and they spent most of last week singing in groups. There was one exception: Trent Harmon, who was the first American Idol contestant to sing by himself as he had mono and doctors didn't want him to spread it.

What Happened This Week

The biggest story of Hollywood Week seems to be the omission of Jessica Cabral, who rolled through the first section of the season, but she was eliminated. You should feel bad for her as she was sick for most of the week, and there were a few that thought Jessica had the chops to go all the way, or at least make some noise. Kayce Haynes and Lindita were two more surprising cuts, along with Sara Strum and Jon Klaasen.

At the other end of the spectrum, there was Harmon, along with La'Porsha Renae and Manny Torres, while Shelbie Z and Sonika Vaid were also advanced to the Top 24. There were a few that were on the fence, but they made it in: Jenna Renae is one of them, along with Adam Lasher. Emily Brook and Amelia Eisenhauer were allowed to go through, but they need some work if they're going to challenge the best of the best.

Who Looks In Good Position To Win It All

There are four singers that stand head and shoulders above the rest, and that would be Harmon, La'Porsha Renae, Torres and maybe Avalon Young. The top three are definitely there, and you could tell that Harmon was good if the judges let him sing by himself even though he had mono. La'Porsha Renae did her thing in the auditions and she was always going to go to the next level. Torres is a favorite of the judges, and these are the three that the other 21 singers have to live up to.

There wasn't an even split as 13 females made the cut to 11 males, and the Top 24 were split into two groups. Next week, the singers will perform a duet for the first part of the semifinals, and their partner will be a former Idol singer. Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard will be there, along with Season 3 winner Fantasia Barrino, Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery and that season's runner-up, Lauren Alicia. Season 13 Caleb Johnson and Season 14 Nick Fradiani round out the former Idols who return for the final season of the show.

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Now that the audition episodes are in the books, American Idol can start to get serious. This week's episodes were the group rounds, which is interesting because it takes people who came in singing on their own, and now they have to figure out how to work in a group with other singers that they haven't met before. They don't call it “Hell Week” for no reason, although the Wednesday episode featured a little more drama than the Thursday episode.

What Happened This Week

The best part of the week might have been the trio of Manny Torres, Maile Delgado and Christian Eason, who named themselves “Rebirth”. They did a rendition of “Too Close” by Next that sounded completely natural, like the three had been in a group for years. They were up there with La'Porscha Renae, who did “Stayin' Alive” by the Bee Gees, and let's just say that she owned the song. Everything from her vocals to the charisma that she oozed from the very beginning, she might be a favorite to go all the way. Coincidentally, she had been in a group with Manny, Maile (who was losing her voice) and Christian, but she bounced back in a big way.

On the other end of the spectrum, Tristian McIntosh, Lee Jean and Amelia Eisenhaur also did a version of “Too Close”, which seems to be all the rage now. It didn't work half as well as it did with aforementioned trio, and all three might be in serious danger of being eliminated from going to the next round. Lindsey Carrier, Shelbie Z., Ashley Lusk and Michelle Marie tried their hands at “Singing Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran. Lindsey was the only one in the group not to make it to the next round. Then there were singers that were getting bossed around by their mother, which is how Anatalia Villaranda managed to get out of her group, and end up in another one. Her mother wanted them to do a different song, and her groupmates weren't feeling it. You get the idea that American Idol could do a segment on this every season. But she ended up in a group with Dalton Rapattoni and Kassy Levels, named Chicken Noodle Soup. Also, there was a segment on Eliz Camacho, who won't be going on to the next round, but she says that she is a model and will end up famous eventually. So keep your eye out for her, apparently.

We are still sifting through the talent on American Idol and anybody who has been watching the show has noticed that there have been some hits but also plenty of misses. We are probably still a few weeks away from getting to the good stuff. Many of these singers didn't factor in the group round when they were coming up with their auditions, and they appear to be more comfortable on their own, which makes total sense. Next week is the conclusion of the group-round stage, along with the final 24, which is when the action will really start to heat up on American Idol.

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Show Recap – American Idol

American Idol continued with their audition episodes with two this week, one on Wednesday in Philadelphia, and then on Thursday with Denver and Little Rock. It was an event-filled week with all sorts of quirky contestants trying to make their way.

What Happened This Week

Over the two episodes, the stars seemed to have came from Denver, namely Amber Lynn, and James VIII (that's right, the Roman numeral). They're a duo and James played guitar while Amber sang “Unaware” by Allen Stone, and James got chided for his playing while Amber got plenty of love for her singing. Then James sung “Sun Comes Up” by John Legend and all seemed to be forgotten as both are going to go to Hollywood. Then there was Chris Johnson, who did “You Make My Dreams” by Hall and Oates and the judges ate it up, so he'll follow Amber and James to Hollywood.

Then it was back to Little Rock, which is where the second episode was held. The most intriguing act was Ethan Kuntz, who sang “Stormy Monday” by the Allman Brothers, which is a blues song. However, Ethan is 15 and it sounded weird coming from someone his age. He got two out of three from the judges, which means he is going to Hollywood, but it doesn't look promising for him going forward. Mary Williams also got two out of three as she sang “Til I Can Make It On My Own” by Tammy Wynette, and that seems to be a theme so far throughout the auditions. A lot of the singers are getting two out of three, which means they're not terrible, but they're not great.

It was back to Denver for Terrian, who sang “Happy” by Pharrell Williams and got a perfect three out of three, although it wasn't very convincing. Also, Thomas Stringfellow did “Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran and earned his ticket to Hollywood. They were followed by Tywan “Tank” Jackson, who does Luther Vandross' “Superstar” and he shows off his weight-loss program, Tankercise, which helped him to lose 40 pounds. But apparently the judges buy it and he is through. Also through is John Wayne Schultz, a Marine who auditioned in Season 10, but he was passed over for Scotty McCreery, who would go on to win. His mother passed away of cancer and there was a photo of John holding her casket, and then he sang “The Dance” by Garth Brooks. There was no way he wasn't going to Hollywood. Keep an eye on him: if he gets to the live shows, John could be a problem.

Jordyn Simone sings “Who's Lovin' You” by the Jackson 5 and the 15-year-old (there seems to be a younger crowd this season) belts it out like she is much older, and gets her ticket. Finally, Ashley Lilinoe sings “Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles to get to Hollywood, and she is joined by Elvie Shane, who sings the Animals' staple, “House Of The Rising Sun”.

Next week features more auditions, so get ready for another city of action in American Idol.

The final season of American Idol kicked off on Wednesday and continued on Thursday, with auditions in Atlanta and Denver, followed by Little Rock and San Francisco. Sure, American Idol has suffered in recent years, and the ratings for the premiere were its lowest ever, but it still managed to win the nights as it heads off into the sunset.

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What Happened This Week

As usual, the season starts with the auditions, which can be the most entertaining parts of the season. We start with a flashback of Ryan Seacrest hosting with Brian Dunkleman, who left after the first season. Then in Atlanta, Michelle Marie does a great rendition of “Blue” by LeAnn Rimes, and she does enough to get a ticket to Hollywood. She'll be joined by Josiah from Georgia, and the 18-year-old shocked the judges with his version of “Ghost Riders In The Sky” by Johnny Cash. The judges fell over themselves trying to give him his ticket to Hollywood. Lindita from Kosovo also made her mark, as she is not only from Kosovo, but she lost 150 pounds for the auditions. Then she sang “It's A Man's World” by James Brown, and she was off to Hollywood.

Jeneve was one of the highlights of the Denver auditions, as the 15-year-old sang “Chainsaw” by the Band Perry. 20-year-old Sonica did “Look at Me”, which was sung originally by former American Idol winner Carrie Underwood, and she did a good enough job that she'll be in Hollywood as well. But the show ended with the audition of a man you may have heard before: Kanye West, who showed up with wife Kim Kardashian, because that's what they do. There will be many more surprises and stars on the final season of American Idol. Back in Atlanta, we had already seen former winners Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken helping with the judging.

Then it was off to Little Rock, where Daniel from Memphis came to the show to meet Jennifer Lopez, and he actually did really well to sing “Untitled” by D'Angelo. He did enough to make it to the next round, and that's all you can ask. Jennifer seemed to like it. There was also Cameron, who is 15 and sang Ed Sheeran's “Give Me Love” right through his braces. But the star of Little Rock was probably La'Porsha, who sang “Creep” by Radiohead and she has a real shot of going all the way, not just going to Hollywood. She also has a backstory that will pull in votes and Jennifer held her baby, so keep an eye on her.  Then in San Francisco, there was 15-year-old Tristan, who destroyed “Why Baby Why” by Mickey Guyton and she'll be going to Hollywood.

It was a solid beginning to the final season of American Idol, but there are still lots of auditions to go through. The stars will be out, along with former winners of American Idol, so get ready for lots of cameos over the next few weeks.

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Past Winners

Season Winner Hometown
14 Nick Fradiani Guilford, CT
13 Caleb Johnson Asheville, NC
12 Candice Glover St. Helena Island, SC
11 Philip Phillips Leesburg, GA
10 Scotty McCreery Garner, NC
9 Lee DeWyze Mount Prospect, IL
8 Kris Allen Conway, AR
7 David Cook Blue Springs, MO
6 Jordin Sparks Glendale, AZ
5 Taylor Hicks Birmingham, AL
4 Carrie Underwood Checotah, OK
3 Fantasia Barrino High Point, NC
2 Ruben Studdard Birmingham, AL
1 Kelly Clarkson Burleson, TX

Champion Season 14th

The Season 14 winner was Nick Fradiani of Guilford, CT, who beat out Clark Beckham of White House, TN. Fradiani, then 29, was never really in danger of being eliminated, while Beckham was also one of the favorites to go through as well. The story of the season might have been Rayvon Owen, who was in the bottom two/three for seven shows in a row before being eliminated in the final four.

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