The 15th — and final — AMERICAN IDOL was crowned last night in Los Angeles.Country singer Trent Harmon, 25, shocked the world by beating out fan favorite La’Porsha Renae in one of the closest finale votes ever.
Trent met with reporters backstage moments after the broadcast to talk about his thoughts on winning and what comes next
Did you ever think you’d win?
When I auditioned in July, I did not expect to win. I think anybody that says I expected to win, they’re not telling the truth. But I prepared to win. From the minute I auditioned, I prepared to win.
And when you won, what were your thoughts?
So much decompression got to leave my body in that moment. That’s why I fell on the ground because I finally got to take a breath. I haven’t taken a breath in almost a year.
Has the thought crossed your mind that you’re the last AMERICAN IDOL?
This may sound strange, but it has. I am fully aware of the fact that all that happened tonight is that it got me to the bottom of the next level. That’s all I really wanted was I just wanted a fighting chance. This doesn’t put me at the top of radio, it doesn’t put me in the top 100, it just gets me to the bottom of the next level up and I’m good with that.
Did you hear that La’Porsha was signed as well?
I think it happened and I’m good with that. Definitely. There’s such a healthy competitive push that we give each other. I say, “La’Porsha sing this, you can sing that better” and she says, “Well you can sing it better on this part.” I get to go to work with my best friend still, post Idol.
Now you can pay bills as a singer, your dream is coming true…
I want to sing. The money that I use to spend on myself, on any bill, I want it to come from music. It’s been tip money and gig money. Crumpled up $1 bills for the last several years and I was good with that. But now hopefully I get some checks that say music on them.
Would you be ok with IDOL coming back someday?
I don’t think it’s up for me to decide, I feel like whether you love, hate or are indifferent about IDOL it doesn’t matter. There was a sea of people on that stage together tonight that put that argument to rest. IDOL has made so many people relevant for so many years, so yeah, bring the show back if you want to. I’ll help any way I can.
Did you ever really think you’d win?
I prepared to win. I quote one of my favorite basketball coaches, Mr. Bobby Knight: “Everybody wants to win.” Cool. Duh. Everybody wants to win. Everybody prepares to win. And so I prepared to win in July. I prepared to win years ago when I was riding around on the tractor with headphones in my ear.
Was there ever a chance of you giving up?
I wouldn’t say that I gave up during Hollywood Week when I had mono, but I had nothing left to give. I was so exasperated. A matter of fact, the bathroom that’s at the end of this level, I lived in that bathroom for about four or five days. I was kind of quarantined and it was in there that I decided: “You can either quit, you can pick. Because they told me you can quit, you look terrible. Or you can push through it if you can.” And I did. And here we are doing press!
Was it cool to finally have your parents here since they weren’t during here the season?
I can finally tell y’all, I had a lot of sleepless nights wondering if I was doing the right thing. Because if I had gotten cut at any point, I would’ve felt terribly because my parents couldn’t get to be a part of it. But Ryan Seacrest told me just a few minutes ago, he said, “I respect that you didn’t bring your parents out here because it allowed you to have the most laser focus I may have ever seen of a human being in all my years.”
And that was it. I love them to death. I talk to them every night on the phone. But I didn’t have to worry about if they were safe or if they had their seat or where they were in Los Angeles, because they’re country like me. They’ll get mugged and don’t even know it’s happening. I told them that just last night. I said guys get out of Hollywood and Vine after 10:00. They said, “Okay.” They didn’t know what that even meant. But I’m glad I didn’t bring them out here until this point. And I feel like they appreciated it.
When you look back, what has IDOL given you?
Idol has surrounded me with a group of humans that I trust, and I don’t trust very easily. I trust until you give me a reason not to. But I trust Mr. Scott (Borchetta), and I feel like he knows what I want and I know what he expects and I think we’re going to be good.
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