Already have an account?
Get back to the

‘American Idol’ Series Finale Recap: Final Winner Revealed!

Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this! The 15th winner of American Idol was crowned during the show’s Thursday, April 7, series finale — and it all came down to Trent Harmon and La’Porsha Renae. After weeks of hitting big notes, the dynamic duo took to the stage one last time so Ryan Seacrest could make their dreams come true. 

Related: PHOTOS: Love Lives of American Idol Stars!

Also, President Obama kicked off this episode by reminding everyone to vote in the general election. Which is almost as important as American Idol? Maybe?

The Return of Brian Dunkleman: Man, Myth, Legend

Brian Dunkleman took a break from doing … whatever it is he does … to wander on stage and mock Seacrest for being totally out of a job. “I just wanna stop by and congratulate the show on struggling by for another 14 seasons without me,” Dunkleman said. “You’ve done an amazing job hosting this show all these years. I congratulate you on all your success.”

Ryan seemed pretty touched, so let’s name their renewed friendship Seadunkleman, shall we?

Related: PHOTOS: American Idol Winners

A Walk Down Memory Lane

So many celebrity cameos, so little time! Aside from non-EGOT-winning performer Dunkleman, the ghosts of Idol past showed up to pay homage. We’re talking performances from the likes of Kara Dioguardi; taped appearances from Nicki Minaj, Ellen Degeneres and Steven Tyler; and IRL appearances from Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell.

But aside from a bunch of old-school judges getting their cry on, former Idol contestants such as Fantasia, Justin Guarini (of the critically acclaimed movie From Justin to Kelly), Jennifer Hudson, Scotty McCreery, Katharine McPhee, Pia Toscano and Carrie Underwood performed. But the real standout? A pre-taped Kelly Clarkson mashup show, which she couldn’t perform live due to being super-duper pregnant. 

(Actually, sorry, the real standout was aspiring politician Clay Aiken. #WereAchin #ForClayAiken)

Related: PHOTOS: American Idol's Most Heartbreaking Eliminations Ever!

Trent Harmon and La'Porsha Renae
Harmon and Renae on American Idol. Michael Becker/Fox

Ain’t Your Mama

Just in case you weren’t aware, Jennifer Lopez ain’t your mama, a fact that she reminded us during a totally mind-blowing performance. Naturally, there were three costumes changes, and you better believe Jenny From the Block busted out a few extra hits, medley-style. Pretty cool, but obviously her performance didn’t hold a candle to that of William Hung‘s. Because yes, he was invited to participate in this show. So many questions.

And the Winner Is …

Trent Harmon! After a nationwide vote, this talented singer took home the 15th and final title of American Idol, and immediately started crying. “I worked so hard,” Trent said while weeping. “[La’Porsha] pushed me to do it.”

Congrats, Trent! And FYI,  Idol might not be 100 percent over — at least judging from the fact that Seacrest closed with a sneaky goodbye “for now.” Guess he isn’t necessarily out of a job after all. 

Tell Us: Are you surprised Trent won over La’Porsha?

In this article

Got a Tip form close button
Got a tip for US?
We're All Ears for Celebrity Buzz!