And then there was one! After months and months of auditions, live shows and gut wrenching eliminations on ‘American Idol,’ we now have crowned our season 14 champion!
What a nail biter! On May 13, the search for the next American Idol finally came to an end. Following what was one of the competition’s strongest seasons yet, it came down to Clark Beckham and Nick Fradiani battling it out for the Idol throne, and neither one was ready to go down without a fight! Was the winner Clark, the crooner from Tennessee, or Nick, the rocker from the east? Check out a full recap of the mind blowing finale!
‘American Idol’ Finale Recap:
The show opens with our two golden boys singing– along with Fall Out Boy!– “Centuries,” and it kicks things off on the high energy note that we need on such a big night. Let’s do this.
After introducing our fab judges (who are going to sing for us later!) we get a ridiculously amazing performance by top five finalist Tyanna Jones with, oh no big deal just the Jackson Family! And they’re singing a Jackson 5 medley! Yeah, everyone is freaking out, obviously.
Next up, in a totally celebratory moment, all the top 6 ladies sing “We Are Family” with none other than Nile Rodgers! Gosh, 15 minutes in and this finale is already totally blowing me away!
Well, the next performance continues to do so: the one and only Ricky Martin takes the stage to sing “Mr. Put It Down.” Uh, what is this guy eating/doing/drinking? Because he literally looks and sounds exactly the way he did in 2001. Seriously dude? It gets so much better though: Ricky is joined on stage by the top 6 guys, singing “La Vida Loca” followed by “She Bangs” then “Cup of Life.” I am having so much fun just watching this performance, guys.
Next up, some queens take the stage: Janelle Monae featuring Jidenna, along with top 12-er Adanna Duru sing Janelle’s hit song “Yoga” and it is badass. Ten women take the stage behind them decked out in black and white (natch), and they proceed to, well, do yoga. Somehow, all these ladies look way cooler than when I try my best tree pose. Huh.
Keepin’ the big names coming, we next get a performance of “Back it Up” by Prince Royce. The performance is great– but then guess who joins him? The Idol queen herself, Jennifer Lopez! And Pitbull! Then they all go ahead and break it down and sing in spanish and it is all just freaking awesome.
Next up, Joey Cook is finally a “Cool Kid,” singing with Echosmith (yeah that’s the song title). Ugh, this just makes me wish Joey had made it further. Oh well, this song is fantastic.
Big Names, Big Night
Guess who’s singing next? Another Idol judge, Keith Urban! Sometimes, behind the judges’ table, it’s easy to forget how stinking talented this guy is behind a microphone and a guitar! And shout out to his wifey Nicole Kidman for showing up to support her hubby (and knowing all the words to his song)!
Now, in a break from singing that also happens to melt my heart, Clark and Nick get to each present their mentors with brand new Fords. Oh, and both guys themselves also get their own 2015 Fords. Alright, I’m starting to get just a little jealous of these guys.
Back to incredible performances, Vance Joy takes the stage to sing their massive hit, “Riptide,” accompanied by Quentin Alexander. This song happens to be right up Quentin’s alley. Next up, keeping the awesome flowing, Chris Brown hit the stage, along with Pitbull and Qaasim Middleton and it was all around just dope. There’s no other word for it.
Keeping the incredibly dope coming, Jax hit the stage next, with one of her personal heroes Steven Tyler! Steven kicks it off with his new country single “Love is Your Name,” then Jax joins him for a rendition of “Piece of My Heart.” Then, following that kick ass performance, Jax even takes a moment to thank the judges. So sweet.
The Home Stretch
Next, potential winner Clark gets to sing with one of his idols, Michael McDonald and, as Clark bows to him following the song, it’s yet another truly beautiful moment.
More beauty? Nick taking the stage with one of his idols, Andy Grammer. The two sing “Back Home” and it brings me right back to the first time Nick rocked the song. Nostalgia and feels all around.
Of course, the finale can’t end without a joint performance by all three judges! JLo, Keith and Harry Connick Jr. sing a medley of songs including Rihanna‘s “Diamonds” and “Locked Out of Heaven.” Um, they all seem like they’re having the best time ever– and they look incredible, particularly JLo, who is certifiably ageless.
The Winner Is…
Well, we’ve finally come to that moment. Is it Clark? Is it Nick? Are we all sweating? Dim the lights one last time and here we go.
The winner of American Idol season 14 is… Nick Fradiani!
“This is the best day of my life,” Nick says, before he is joined by all the other contestants. It’s a beautiful moment. He then sings his victory song, and sheds some very heartfelt tears. He hugs his family, streamers come down. Sobbing.
And that’s it! What do you think of the outcome? Are you stoked or did Clark deserve it? Share your thoughts in the comments and we’ll see you guys next season when we do this all over again!
— Casey Mink