American Idol runner-up La’Porsha Renae opened up about her stunning loss to Trent Harmon in the series finale. She was long favored to win and become the winner in the iconic show’s final season and in the aftermath she has spoken out on the loss and on her musical future and the kind of artist she intends to become.
It was quite a stunner, as Ryan Seacrest made that final announcement in the usual “dim-the-lights” manner. That the 22-year-old Mississippi native La’Porsha Renae would become the 15th American Idol seemed as much a sure bet as that this was, in fact, the last night of the series. But the final winner crowned was instead the fellow Mississippi native 25-year-old Trent Harmon.
Now of course, we’ve seen throughout the show some surprising results. Who can forget Adam Lambert losing to Kris Allen? And Allen himself was just as shocked as any of the rest of us, famously saying that night, “Adam deserves this. I’m sorry.”
And, as we watch the crowning moment (video below), it’s unmistakable that La’Porsha Renae is just as shocked, and indeed devastated. In the aftermath, she’s given interviews to a variety of outlets including HollywoodLife.com who asked her if she were angry about the results.
La’Porsha Renae said, ““I am not angry at all! I am not surprised at all, this is the way American Idol is and something that always happens! The person everyone thinks is going to win usually doesn’t, so that is why I hated good critiques all the time!”
While yes, the ending was a shocker, there had been hints in the final weeks that this might be the outcome. Notably as Billboard, points out the show’s mentor Scott Borchetta, president of Big Machine Records, had said she did not “push herself” enough when she performed the original single “Battles.”
However, there is, in the midst of this winner-versus-runner up lamenting, a potentially happy ending as Borchetta announced after the show that he has signed them both to his record label.
The publication goes on to note what she told reporters that night. She said, “It was about what America wanted, and my kind of singing is not really popular, you know, here, so it’s understandable why they would prefer Trent….That’s completely fine.”
Continuing, she went on to address the criticism that she had not worked hard, and said, But do I feel like I didn’t win the competition because I didn’t put my best food forward or I didn’t deserve it? I don’t think that’s the case.”
She also spoke about her musical style and her artistic vision, and said, “The kind of artist I would like to be is definitely versatile. I don’t like being boxed in or put into a genre, so to speak.”
Elaborating, she added, “I have a lot of written material and all of it’s different. Some records that I have are country, some pop, some alternative rock. I just write what I feel, so I can’t specifically say. I just want to be an artist of truth, and an artist that stays true to herself.”
She was also asked about Kelly Clarkson and possibly working with her and she said, “I hope that I get to collaborate with her…Kelly Clarkson definitely reminds me of Motown. She’s pop, but she’s also very, very soulful. She can just about sing anything she wants, so… that would be a huge blessing.”
And not least for music fans. She didn’t name check any other music superstars in the interview, but one can easily imagine many other such stellar pairings. As a competitor on the show, for instance, her cover of Adele’s ‘Hello’ deservedly went viral as she put quite a haunting and soulful spin on it.
Yes, the future can indeed be quite bright for Renae as it has been for so many others who didn’t quite seize the Idol crown. After all, one of the most successful of them all, Jennifer Hudson — who nabbed both Grammy and Oscar Awards — was a seventh place finisher.
You can see some of the highlights of La’Porsha Renae’s American Idol journey below!