But it’s worth coming back for a final viewing, because one of the three “Idol” finalists is a truly thrilling singer with a compelling backstory. And as the blogosphere has noted, “Idol” has done a far better job turning unknowns into stars than the glitzy “Voice.”
The singer in question is La’Porsha Renae. She’s all of 22, a call center representative in McComb, Miss., and the mother of a 1-year-old (whom she nonchalantly asked judge J-Lo to hold when she sang Radiohead’s “Creep” at her audition). She says she is a survivor of domestic abuse and had to seek refuge at a women’s shelter.
This young woman is a singer of extraordinary strength. Her voice is rich and sultry, powerful and poignant, and never pitchy! With her soulful brown eyes, tower of hair and confident stance, she commands the “Idol” stage. Judge Harry Connick Jr., talking about how sometimes you’re in the passenger seat next to a new driver and “you’re terrified,” said that when La’Porsha sings, “I feel like I’m in the passenger seat of a NASCAR driver.”
And she isn’t afraid to speak her mind. After last week’s heartfelt performance of the obscure 1966 soul song “Stay With Me,” she confessed she didn’t want to sing it in the first place because “she’s begging her man to stay. I didn’t like the message. I would never tell a woman to beg.”
Just about everyone thinks La’Porsha Renae should win, including Season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson, who tweeted that if she loses, “there’s something seriously wrong [with] America.” The other two finalists, Trent Harmon and Dalton Rapattoni, are talented, but can’t begin to touch the hem of La’Porsha’s sparkling garments. Win or lose, she seems assured of a bright showbiz future.
And who knows, “Idol” could have a future, too. TV has a hard time saying goodbye to classic shows. Earlier this year, another iconic reality competition, “America’s Next Top Model,” bid a fierce farewell. A few months later, the announcement came: “ANTM” is getting a reboot on VH1. If “Idol” keeps finding talent like La’Porsha, maybe it deserves a reprieve from TV’s graveyard.