American Idol

Fox

In the beginning, we had Kelly Clarkson. In between we had Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, David Cook, Phillip Phillips and many more. And now, in the end, we have our 15th and final American Idol winner.

The Fox reality TV icon crowned the winner of its farewell season on Thursday night, bringing to a close a franchise that has launched the careers of many superstars over the years. The final two singers competing, 25-year-old farm boy Trent Harmon and 22-year-old single mom La'Porsha Renae, went head-to-head last night in one of the most evenly matched finale performance shows ever, but which one took the crown and inherited the legacy that Clarkson helped forge?

American Idol, Trent Harmon

Fox

As Kieran dimmed the lights for the final time, Ryan Seacrest announced that Trent had won and the confetti shower rained down on the stage of Hollywood's Dolby Theater, where Clarkson was crowned 14 years ago. The Mississippi native, who surprised the judges from the moment he auditioned not with a country song but a soulful Allen Stone tune, managed to peak at just the right time. He was always good, but he emerged as a contender as he continued to improve each week on the live shows.

Runner-up La'Porsha graciously accepted her defeat. The singer emerged as a frontrunner from the moment she auditioned, and was even pegged as the eventual winner by Clarkson when she guest judged the top 10 live show. "You're gonna win. If you don't win, I don't understand. I love everyone here, but you're so, so blessed," she said in her critique.

Before the winner was crowned, the two-hour American Idol series finale featured appearances by every single winner in the show's history, along with many of Idol's most famous contestants from its 15 seasons.

Did the right singer win? Just how hard did you cry during tonight's finale? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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