An all-star group of artists assemble for the “American Idol XIV” finale

Clark Beckham and Nick Fradiani American Idol finale

Clark Beckham and Nick Fradiani delivered some impeccable performances over the season. But who won and became the second-to-last member of the “American Idol” pantheon? (Photo property of FOX, FremantleMedia North America & 19 Entertainment)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Last night, Clark Beckham and Nick Fradiani went note-to-note on the American Idol XIV finale!

But, before Ryan Seacrest gave us the crucial result, the audience was treated to a smorgasbord of performances between this year’s finalists and guest performers.

Did the collaborations live up to the epic moments from previous Idol finales such as Adam Lambert and KISS, Haley Reinhart and Tony Bennett, Jessica Sanchez and Jennifer Holliday or Candice Glover and Jennifer Hudson? Read on to find out…

The guys kicked off the night with by teaming up Fall Out Boy on their hit: “Centuries.” While Nick went toe-to-toe with Pete Wentz, Clark had a hard time getting up to his upper register. As the guys left the stage, Tyanna Jones received the opportunity to perform with the Jacksons. Tyanna outshined the superstars vocally throughout “ABC,” “Stop the Love You Save, “I Want You Back” and “Shake Your Body Down to the Ground,” but the trio showcased that they still have “Moves Like Jagger.” B+

Up next, the Idol ladies reunited and joined forces with Chic and Nile Rodgers. While they sang beautifully on “We Are Family,” “Le Freak” and “Good Times.” it was hard to believe that impeccable performers such as Sarina-Joi, Adanna and Joey were eliminated so early in the competition. The performance just entered one of the best group performances in Idol history! A

The current Voice Australia coach made his American Idol debut with his explosive single: “Mr. Put It Down.” The vocals were amazing and the choreography was out of this world! However, the best part of the segment was when the guys joined Ricky on “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” “She Bangs” and “The Cup of Life.” A-

Kansas City’s own Janelle Monae teamed up with one of my favorite belters: Adanna Duru on her new single: “Yoga.” Ms. Monae continues to showcase that she is one of the Midwest’s best R&B/Soul artists with her beautiful vocals. It was nice to see Adanna and Janelle’s camaraderie with their performance, even though it was brief. B

Latin superstar Prince Royce teamed up with Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull for the premiere of “Back It Up.” While J.Lo and Prince Royce had great chemistry together, it was very odd seeing Keith Urban enjoying the performance since the judges’ desk was removed for the performance. C+

After original winner and Season Fourteen guest adviser Kelly Clarkson congratulated both Nick and Clark on making it to the finale, Rayvon Owen made Idol history as being the second contestant ever to perform an Oscar winner: Jamie Foxx! The duo delivered an unbelievable cover of Mr. Foxx’s hit: “In Love By Now.” It was definitely one of the highlights of the night! A+

Daniel Seavey got a huge challenge for the finale—he performed with New Kids on the Block! This was just hysterically funny to watch Daniel try to go toe-to-toe with one of the most successful boy bands of all-time. I wished that they had Qaasim or Quentin perform with them instead, because Daniel could not hold a candle to them. D

It is very hard to imagine this season without Quentin Alexander. The charismatic performer may have polarized the nation, but he was one of the season’s best singers. I am glad that he performed “Riptide” with Vance Joy. It was an intriguing performance to say the least. B

In-house mentor Scott Borchetta stated that the winner will present at the CMT Awards and will also start recording their debut album. After Scott delivered the news, Qaasim hit the stage with Mr. Worldwide and Chris Brown as they debuted their latest single: “Fun.” Qaasim looked like a natural in between the two superstars and I loved seeing the mini dance-off between Chris and Qaasim! A-

Former Idol judge Steven Tyler returned to the show to debut his new single: “Love is Your Name.” I got chills from listening to this track. While it was a little soft for my liking, I was surprised that the Aerosmith frontman chose Janis Joplin’s Piece of My Heart” for his paring with Jax! I loved that the chemistry between the rockers and it definitely made me smile! A

Clark performed with music legend and Grammy winner Michael McDonald on Mr. McDonald’s iconic hit “Takin’ It To The Street.” As the duo performed the hit on side-by-side grand pianos, the improvised piano solos and the vocals took the audience to church! A+

After a quick retrospective of the season, it was time for Nick and Andy Grammer to perform their superstar duo. For their performance, they did a medley of “Back Home” and “Honey, I’m Good” and they rocked the Dolby Theatre. Meanwhile, somewhere in America…Nastia Lukin and Derek Hough are crying because they were not invited to reprise their Charleston for the American Idol finale. B+

For the second year in the row, the Idol judges came together and performed a medley of hits! Up first, Rihanna’s “Diamonds.” J.Lo soared vocally as she tacked the Sia Furler-penned track. Next, Keith and Jennifer joined forces with Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out On Heaven.” While it was a major bummer not hearing Harry on the vocals, I loved seeing this set of judges perform together! A-

Finally, it was time for the “Moment of Truth”:

The Winner…of American Idol XIV…was…Nick Fradiani!

Congrats on your victory, Nick! Also, I know that Clark is going to do big things!

Clips that are sprinkled throughout the article belong to 19 Entertainment, FremantleMedia North America & FOX!

 

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar