‘American Idol’ chooses its final two

It will be the battle of the Mississippi residents for the championship of the final “American Idol.”

La’Porsha Renae and Trent Harmon were announced Wednesday night as the show’s final two contestants to battle in Thursday’s series finale. The pair and second runner-up Dalton Rapattoni took to the stage Wednesday night at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles for what was part of a three-day bonanza for “Idol.”

Season 15 has been a big one as it’s the swan song for the reality competition that was once the biggest thing on television and has launched the careers of some major stars, including Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.

Harmon of Amory, Mississippi, and Renae of McComb, Mississippi, have been long touted by fans all season as the two expected to be the last ones standing.

Wednesday night’s show consisted of three rounds: the song that would be the contestant’s first single if they were crowned the winner; a selection chosen by “American Idol” creator Simon Fuller; and a song of the contestant’s choice.

First up was Harmon, who sang his tune, “Falling,” followed by Rapattoni with “Strike a Match” and Renae with “Battles.” The trio — who were all discovered during the show’s auditions in Little Rock, Arkansas — were not judged on their first performances.

Host Ryan Seacrest reminded the audience that someone would be “making ‘Idol’ history” as the last pair of contestants ever.

The first to be declared safe was Renae, who has consistently been hailed by the judges and fans as the one to beat. Rapattoni yelled “Yes” a few times when Harmon was announced as the other half of the final top 2.

Fuller selected some throwback soul for both contestants to perform. Harmon sang “If You Don’t Know Me by Now” while Renae offered her interpretation of “A House Is Not a Home.”

“It’s going to be the closest race in ‘Idol’ history I think,” judge Keith Urban said after Harmon performed.

“They both did incredible jobs with the songs,” judge Jennifer Lopez said after Renae’s performance. “But If I had to edge out one over the other, I would have to say La’Porsha.”

For their personal selections, both singers selected songs they had earlier performed this season. Harmon chose Sia’s “Chandelier” and Renae sang Rihanna’s hit “Diamonds.”

“We have two great singers in this competition,” offered judge Harry Connick Jr.

Harmon and Renae both welled up with emotion at the end of the show and thanked their fans. Twitter lit up Wednesday night with the battle between Team Trent and Team La’Porsha.

The “American Idol” finale will air Thursday night on Fox.

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