Season 15

La’Porsha Renae

la porschaThe human chia pet is one of the weakest singers left, but she might be so dammed popular that it won’t matter for a while. I have been wrong about Idol contestants so often that I wonder why I think I can predict anything, but I’m not sure I’ve ever been as wrong about a contestant as I was about La’Porsha.

I thought having an infant to take care of would ruin her chances, costing her sleep and distracting her. The backstory the producers told us had her in a shelter, the victim of battered spouse syndrome, at the time she auditioned for the show. She is only 22, though with her short, stout body and eyes of an elder she could pass for someone much older.

La’Porsha’s showcase performance:

As it turns out she was a good bit stronger than the producers wanted us to know. She dominated Hollywood week, not with her fairly pedestrian voice but with her monstrous personality. Instead of looking haggard and distracted she was the coolest one in the room. In every room.

If she sings this song next week – and I have a feeling she might – she’s going to sail into the next round.

Now for the bad news. I was right about her voice, specifically her lack of range. Her days are numbered on the show, but she’ll be fun as long as she lasts.

Semifinal performance: “Proud Mary” – Tina Turner

Getting the pimp spot means she is about as safe as she can be, but hoo boy that was not the safest song choice and Chia Girl stood toe-to-toe with Tina Turner herself, practically copying her arrangement down to the dance moves. I know she’s safe, but if one of the less safe contestants had done that they would be in trouble. She couldn’t hit her high note at the end, either, without catching her breath and setting her feet first. That was weird and uncomfortable.

La’Porsha Renae with Fantasia Barrino “Summertime” – George Gershwin

th (5)That’s the best Chia girl has sounded on the show – I think Fantasia dialed her own performance down quite a bit to allow La’Porsha to get out in front, and show off a little.

Can she actually win? The judges would lead you to believe she is the top ranked contestant right now, so it can’t be impossible.

Top 14

Quick-passed into the top 10

Top 10

La”Porsha Renae “Diamonds” Rhianna

thBecause she is a big bodied woman with a hairdo from the Jurassic Period, La’Porsha looks older than she is. It can be a little jarring when they shine the camera right into her eyes and we can see the very young woman that isn’t so obvious from a distance.

Oh, and this was the first Moment of the season. Dalton just went from odds-on to fighting with the rest of ‘em for second place.

Judges: no words needed, but the judges all pretty much lost their minds.

And then there were 8

La’Porsha Renae “Halo” Beyoncé

Another week, another moment. This is what Idol winners do. They command the stage, the song and the crowd. La’Porsha is in complete control of the competition, while the rest struggle to find their place.

Judges: Jen, with 1% of the vote in, is calling it for Chia Girl.

And then there were 6

Duet:

3: La’Porsha with Trent, the best of the bunch by a mile

La’Porsha “Come Together” Beatles

Once somebody teaches her how to pop those high notes she’sPatty LaBelle. Can we talk her into some Lady Marmalade, or maybe get Patty on the finale to do it with her?

Judges: Gushed

Audience – went nuts

And then there were 5

La”Porsha Renae “Ready for Love” – India-Arie

Beauty queens in prom dresses don’t win Idol. Truck stop waitresses and huge dorks win Idol. La’Porsha’s blurb, I think, demonstrates that she’s got enough dorky truck stop in her – or at least not too much prom queen in her – to win.

There is just nothing to say about her performances anymore, especially her ballads. She is in complete command of the show, performing her own concert within the confines of the show much like Adam Lambert did in season eight, and Crystal Bowersox did in season nine. They both finished second, so word of caution, but Chia Girl is cruising to the finale.

Judges: gushy gush gusherson.

La’Porsha Renae “No More Drama” – Mary J. Blige

Reality shows that feed on tragedy don’t get that intense. I believe La’Porsha – the only thing about her that doesn’t seem a hundred percent real is her name – and I felt the tug of her backstory – even in the middle of a reality show that has been pulling dead people out of every angle iron.

Her moves were really wooden, until she forgot to care about her moves. La’Porsha reminds us, once in a while, that she is still an amateur. Kelly did this, and so did Carrie. David Cook and Candice Glover had backstories that emphasized their amateurism as well. Those kids were special talents, which is the point of the show, but they were also amateurs – which is also the point of the show. The best singers who didn’t win – Adam, Clay, Crystal, Daughtry, JHud, and Katherine – weren’t true amateurs. Maybe the audience was paying more attention than they were given credit for.

Judges: drowned in a pool of their own gush.

It’s hard to keep track of La’Porsha’s moments the way she keeps emoting, crying, and singing like she wants to be Aretha Franklin when she grows up, but there were  at least a couple tonight. I wish that they would take a dammed chill pill – slow the show down and savor it instead of gulping it down like the waiter is trying to take their plate – but it ain’t happening, so we better enjoy the show on the fly this year.

La’Porsha “Wanted Dead or Alive” – Bon Jovi

She forgot the words during her second chorus, but I doubt that really matters for her. It would probably be death to Trent or Dalton, maybe Mac, but I have to believe Chia Girl is safe. She couldn’t have sung this arrangement a month ago, with the big high notes. At the time she didn’t have them in her arsenal.

La’Porsha “Elastic Heart”

She missed more notes on this song than she probably missed all season, but nobody called her on it so she is probably safe from a voter backlash. Probably.

Categories: Season 15

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