American Idol might be on its last leg as a TV show. But, looking at the excitement of last night's crowd at the Verizon Theatre, you wouldn't have been able to guess. Every song was accompanied by whoops and screams and it wasn't uncommon to see people show off their moves. Even during the intermission between the opening act and the top five performers, when "Uptown Funk" started playing, a middle-aged man stood up and danced his heart out, with the entire crowd cheering him on.
First went Fort Worth's very own Trevor Douglas. The 17-year-old made it to the top 24 during this season before he was eliminated. Wednesday night, he was the opening act and commenced the night with an original song titled "Like I'm Alone." Bouncing and prancing everywhere on the stage, Douglas convinced the crowd -- which comprised mostly younger kids and people past middle age -- to clap their hands and sing along to the original songs. His act took a more serious turn when the lights dimmed and he announced that he was going to sing a cover of a song "from a documentary in the '90s about a boy who left home for a better life"; however, he rapped the entirety of the Fresh Prince theme song and got the crowd busting a gut over his quirky antics and geeky persona.
When the top five contestants -- Tyanna Jones, Rayvon Owen, Jax, Clark Beckham and, the winner of season 14, Nick Fradiani -- took the stage, the Verizon Theatre nearly exploded. The group stepped out, neon blue lights flashing behind them, and gave a dramatic rendition of "Are You Gonna Go My Way" by Lenny Kravitz.
On previous American Idol Live tours, normally the top 12 would perform; however, this year, only the top five performed because Idol wanted a more personal experience for fans. The performers used this as an opportunity to interact with the fans, perform more songs and explain their road to Idol -- each one with a personal story.
But, man, the crowd went wild over everything. Any song that was moderately upbeat, everyone would willingly get up and dance. The singers were constantly taking selfies with the phones that fans threw on stage. Lots of "Clap your hands!" and "Everyone get up!" were said throughout the night. Jax -- the 19-year-old punk rocker from New Jersey -- drew an especially large amount of crowd participation; during her cover of The Who's "My Generation," no butt was planted on a seat. However, Fradiani takes the cake in crowd participation because, as he explained in-between songs, he was previously in a band known as Beach Avenue and the guitarist happened to be in the crowd, and after a bit of chanting and peer pressure from the audience, the guitarist joined him on stage.
While the show may be entering its 15th and final season and the number of viewers may be dwindling, after seeing Wednesday's show -- and the pumped-up crowd -- I realized the impact the show still has. Beckham talked a lot about how he dreamed of becoming a musician, and now, here he was. Young or old, people watch Idol for the journey. Now, the show's journey is almost over.