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Season 15 of American Idol, prominently known as American Idol: The Farewell Season, premiered January 6, 2016 on Fox and ended April 7, 2016 with Mississippi singer Trent Harmon declared the winner of the show. Host Ryan Seacrest returned as did judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick, Jr. Big Machine Records CEO Scott Borchetta returned as the in-house mentor. Nigel Lythgoe returned as the executive producer during the finale.

This season was the last season for the show on Fox.

Auditions Edit

S15 Auditions

The final American Idol auditions.

For American Idol's last season on FOX, auditions took place in five cities across the nation and stopped in numerous other cities as a Bus Tour. This season is the first time pre-judging is shown live; pre-judging being where contestants audition before they audition in front of the official judges. The pre-judges consisted of past contestants and past winners. Alumni such as Clay Aiken, Ruben Studdard, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, and Nick Fradiani made appearances.

Audition Cities Edit

The following cities held auditions for Season 15, dates of the auditions are also shown.

  • Denver, Colorado - July 10, 2015
  • Atlanta, Georgia - July 22, 2015
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - August 2, 2015
  • Little Rock, Arkansas - August 8, 2015
  • San Francisco, California - September 15, 2015

Bus Tour Edit

The Season 15 Bus Tour stopped in the following cities between July 9-21, 2015: Seattle, Washington; Providence, Rhode Island; Baltimore, Maryland; San Diego, California; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Tucson, Arizona; Indianapolis, Indiana; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Athens, Georgia; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Oxford, Mississippi; Wilmington, North Carolina.

Extras Edit

Notable musician Kanye West made a surprise appearance at auditions in San Francisco as an auditioner where he performed "Gold Digger".

Hollywood Week Edit

S15 Hollywood Week

Contestants performing during the final Hollywood Week of the show.

During Hollywood Week, the contestants performed in front of the judges in hopes of advancing to the next round. These rounds consisted of numerous cuts while the contestants performed in solos and in groups. Only the best contestants advanced.

Judgement Round Edit

The first judgement round of Hollywood was known as "Lines of Ten". Numerous groups of contestants lined up in sets of ten to perform a song individually. After a line performed, the judges chose the best to advance on while others were cut from the competition. Those who advanced moved on to the group rounds.

Group Rounds Edit

The group rounds are the ultimate test of the stability and harmony of an artist within a group. Like previous seasons, contestants were required to assemble into gender neutral groups of three or more. Those who failed to assemble a group of three or more, were instantly disqualified due to the three person rule. Groups who gave a quality performance advanced on to the next round. However, groups or certain group members that didn't perform to a good enough extent, were cut from the competition.

Solo Round Edit

Those who advanced passed the Group Rounds had to perform a solo in front of the judges. After the performances, 51 contestants were chosen to perform in front of a live audience for their Final Judgement.

Showcase Week Edit

After the Top 51 performed in front of their first full audience, they met with the judges for their Final Judgement. Only 24 were able to advance to the next round while the rest were unfortunately cut from the season.

Top 24 Edit

After the Final Judgement, 24 contestants were chosen to move on to the Semifinals.

Males:

James VIII MacKenzie Bourg Trent Harmon Lee Jean CJ Johnson Adam Lasher
Dalton Rapattoni Jordan Sasser Thomas Stringfellow Manny Torres Kory Wheeler

Females:

Jenn Blosil Emily Brooke Amelia Eisenhauer Gianna Isabella Jeneve Rose Mitchell Tristan McIntosh Stephany Negrete
Jenna Renae La'Porsha Renae Olivia Rox Sonika Vaid Avalon Young Shelbie Z

Semifinals Edit

During the Semifinals of Season 15, the Top 24 performed in solos and in duets with Idol Alumni. The Top 24 was split into two groups, one group performing one week and the other the following week. After the combination of solos and duets were performed within a group, the judges handpicked only seven out of the twelve to continue to the next round of competition. The remaining five contestants were cut from the season. By the end of the the Top 24's performances, the Top 14 were revealed.

Mentors Edit

The Mentors for the duet rounds of the Semifinals consisted of numerous Idol Alumni. These Alumni would mentor as well as perform with the contestant during their duet round. Alumni such as Lauren Alaina, Nick Fradiani, Ruben Studdard, Scotty McCreery, Caleb Johnson, and Fantasia Barrino were mentors in the first week and Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Constantine Maroulis, Chris Daughtry, Kellie Pickler, and Haley Reinhart were mentors for the second week.

Top 14 Edit

The following contestants advanced on to the Top 14:

Males

Females

Judges' Picks Edit

Before the Top 14 performed for America's first vote of the season, the Judges hand-picked four contestants for a designated spot within the Top 10. The judges chose Dalton Rapattoni, La'Porsha Renae, Olivia Rox, and Trent Harmon to fill the four designated spots.

Top 10 Edit

The following contestants were Season 15's Top 10:

Season 15 Top 10

The Finalists; Back Row: La'Porsha Renae, MacKenzie Bourg, Tristan McIntosh, Trent Harmon, Olivia Rox, Gianna Isabella & Sonika Vaid; Front Row: Dalton Rapattoni, Avalon Young & Lee Jean

Finals Edit

Top 10 Perform Edit


During the first round of the Finals, the contestants performed a song of their choice for a spot in the Top 8. Kelly Clarkson appeared as a guest judge during this round. On the next week's live results, the bottom three finalists would be revealed and the judges would have the option to save one of the contestants, who delivered the best performance, to advance.

Eliminated Contestants Edit

Olivia Rox

Olivia Rox was one of the two eliminated contestants, bringing the total down to 8 remaining contestants. She was eliminated on March 3, 2016.

Gianna Isabella

Gianna Isabella was one of the two eliminated contestants, bringing the total down to 8 remaining contestants. She was eliminated on March 3, 2016.

Top 8 Edit

The following contestants advanced on to the Top 8:

Performances Edit

The contestants performed in the following order:

Top 8 Perform Edit


During the Top 8, the contestants performed Idol Grammy Hits songs for a spot in the Top 7.

Eliminated Contestants Edit

Avalon Young

Avalon Young was one of the two eliminated contestants, bringing the total down to 6 remaining contestants. She was eliminated on March 10, 2016.

Lee Jean

Lee Jean was one of the two eliminated contestants, bringing the total down to 6 remaining contestants. He was eliminated on March 10, 2016.

Top 6 Edit

The following contestants advanced on to the Top 6:

Performances Edit

The contestants performed in the following order:

Group Performance:

  • "Confident" with Demi Lovato

Top 6 Perform Edit


During the Top 6, the contestants performed songs from the American Idol Songbook for a spot in the Top 5.

Eliminated Contestant Edit

Tristan McIntosh

Tristan McIntosh was the eliminated contestant bringing the total down to 5 remaining contestants. She was eliminated on March 17, 2016.

Top 4 Edit

The following contestants advanced on to the Top 5:

Performances Edit

The contestants performed in the following order:

Group Performances:

Top 5 Perform Edit


During the Top 5, the contestants performed songs from America's Twitter for a spot in the Top 4.

Eliminated Contestant Edit

Sonika Vaid

Sonika Vaid was the eliminated contestant bringing the total down to 4 remaining contestants. She was eliminated on March 24, 2016.

Top 4 Edit

The following contestants advanced on to the Top 4:

Performances Edit

The contestants performed in the following order:

Top 4 Perform Edit


During the Top 4, the contestants performed a Classic Rock song and a song from the Sia songbook for a spot in the Top 3.

Eliminated Contestant Edit

MacKenzie Bourg

MacKenzie Bourg was the eliminated contestant bringing the total down to 3 remaining contestants. He was eliminated on March 31, 2016.

Top 3 Edit

The following contestants advanced on to the Top 3:

Performances Edit

The contestants performed in the following order:

Top 3 Perform Edit


During the Top 3, the contestants performed a song of Scott Borchetta's choice, a song of the Judges' Choice, and a song dedicated to their hometown for a spot in the Top 2.

Eliminated Contestant Edit

Dalton Rapattoni

Dalton Rapattoni was the eliminated contestant bringing the total down to 2 remaining contestants. He was eliminated on April 6, 2016.

Top 3 Edit

The following contestants advanced on to the Top 2:

Performances Edit

The contestants performed in the following order:

Top 2 Perform Edit


During the Top 2, the contestants performed a song of Simon Fuller's choice for a spot in the Top 2.

Runner-Up Edit

La'Porsha Renae

La'Porsha Renae was announced as the Runner-Up on April 7, 2016.

Performances Edit

The contestants performed in the following order:

Winner Edit

Trent Harmon

Trent Harmon was declared the fifteenth winner of the show on April 7, 2016.

Guest Performances Edit

  • Kelly Clarkson - "Piece by Piece" (February 25, 2016)
  • Harry Connick, Jr. - "This Is How We Do" (March 3, 2016)
  • Demi Lovato - "Stone Cold" (March 3, 2016)
  • Nick Fradiani - "Get You Home" (March 9, 2016)
  • Adam Lambert Feat. Laleh - "Welcome to the Show" (March 16, 2016)
  • Adam Lambert - "Mad World" (March 16, 2016)
  • Jussie Smollett & Yazz The Greatest - "Never Let It Die" (March 16, 2016)
  • Sia - "Cheap Thrills" (March 23, 2016)
  • Katharine McPhee - "Over the Rainbow" (March 23, 2016)
  • David Cook - "Heartbeat" (March 23, 2016)
  • Keith Urban - "Wasted Time" (March 30, 2016)

Notable Past Contestants Edit

  • Anatalia Villaranda, who made the top 51, later tried out for Season 12 of The Voice ​with Grammy Award-winning R&B superstar Alicia Keys as her mentor. She finished in the top 20.
  • Jordyn Simone, who made the top 51, later tried out for Season 14 of The Voice where she was eliminated in the Knockout Rounds. Her mentor was Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine.


Season 15
Finalists
Trent Harmon ·La'Porsha Renae ·Dalton Rapattoni ·MacKenzie Bourg ·Sonika Vaid ·Tristan McIntosh ·Lee Jean ·Avalon Young ·Gianna Isabella ·Olivia Rox
American Idol
Seasons
1  · 2  · 3  · 4 · 5  · 6  · 7  · 8  · 9  · 10  · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19
Judges
Simon Cowell (Seasons 1-9)  · Paula Abdul (Seasons 1-8) · Randy Jackson (Seasons 1-12) · Kara DioGuardi (Seasons 8-9) · Ellen DeGeneres (Season 9) · Steven Tyler (Seasons 10-11)  · Nicki Minaj (Season 12)  · Mariah Carey (Season 12) · Jennifer Lopez (Seasons 10-11,13-15)  · Keith Urban (Seasons 12-15)  · Harry Connick, Jr. (Seasons 13-15)  · Katy Perry (Seasons 16-)  · Luke Bryan (Seasons 16-)  · Lionel Richie (Seasons 16-)
Hosts
Ryan Seacrest (Seasons 1-16) · Brian Dunkleman (Season 1)
Winners
Kelly Clarkson · Ruben Studdard · Fantasia Barrino · Carrie Underwood · Taylor Hicks · Jordin Sparks · David Cook · Kris Allen · Lee DeWyze · Scotty McCreery · Phillip Phillips · Candice Glover · Caleb Johnson · Nick Fradiani · Trent Harmon · Maddie Poppe · Laine Hardy · Just Sam
Runners-up
Justin Guarini · Clay Aiken · Diana DeGarmo · Bo Bice · Katharine McPhee · Blake Lewis · David Archuleta · Adam Lambert · Crystal Bowersox · Lauren Alaina · Jessica Sanchez · Kree Harrison · Jena Irene · Clark Beckham · La'Porsha Renae · Caleb Lee Hutchinson · Alejandro Aranda · Arthur Gunn
Coronation Songs
"A Moment Like This" · "Flying Without Wings" · "I Believe" · "Inside Your Heaven" · "Do I Make You Proud" · "This Is My Now" · "The Time of My Life" · "No Boundaries" · "Beautiful Day" · "I Love You This Big" · "Home" · "I Am Beautiful" · "As Long As You Love Me" · "Beautiful Life" · "Falling" · "Going Going Gone" · "Flame"
Spin-offs
From Justin to Kelly · Juniors · Christmas
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