Harry Connick Jr. Hints at 'Special' Performance for 'American Idol' Finale, Offers Incentive for Series Winner

Harry Connick Jr.
Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire

Harry Connick Jr.

Whoever wins tomorrow night's American Idol series finale already has an open invitation to appear on judge Harry Connick, Jr.'s new daytime prgram, The Harry Show.

Speaking to reporters after Wednesday night's (April 6) performance show, American Idol judge Harry Connick Jr. said he would welcome either La'Porsha Renae or Trent Harmon to the guest chair of his new NBCUniversal show this fall.

"I would have to tell you if the winner of American Idol wanted to come and be on The Harry show, it would be pretty tough to turn them down," he said. "We would love to have them for sure."

'Dead Man Writing': The Real Story Behind the 'American Idol' Hit Factory (Guest Column) 

Connick said it's tough to tell which singer had the edge to win the April 7 finale, and praised Idol creator Simon Fuller for making "great song choices" for the two young finalists.

"When Trent sang “It You Don’t Know Me By Now” I thought he did a pretty good job," he said. "I thought La’Porsha did an extraordinary job on “A House is Not a Home.” There is a lot of stuff going on in that song musically and it’s very telling to somebody who knows a little bit about harmony, about time signatures and the technical stuff that she clearly knows what she’s doing. Certainly from where she is in her life right now, that was a pretty great performance."

Connick said each vocalist's choice to reprise a Sia song -- Renae did "Diamonds" and Harmon did "Chandelier"-- made the decision for America even tougher.

"They both came out and sang individual Sia songs and I just couldn’t tell you," he said. "It’s just apples and oranges and whoever gets the most votes is going to win."

'American Idol': Dalton Rapattoni Talks Album Plans, Love of The 1975 After Elimination 

He praised both performers for standing alone on stage at Los Angeles' Dolby Theatre. "When is the last time that you went to a concert and saw that?" he noted. " When is the last time you saw a performer standing completely alone on one of the biggest stages around? It’s not easy to do. These are young kids…that is really something else and I got to give it up for Dalton, too. He did a great job."

As for Connick, he hinted that his own performance tomorrow night will be "special." He will take the stage to sing Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" with a mystery performer, he said. 

"I’m singing it with somebody and all I can say is regardless of my performance I can tell you in advance it is going to be very special," he said. 

He added that he expects the last show to be an emotional one for everyone -- including judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and host Ryan Seacrest.

'American Idol' Recap: Farewell Season Finalists Sing One Last Time for America's Vote

"I think Ryan is probably struggling deeply with this," he said. "It’s time to move on to the next chapter for all of us, and watching him sort of keep his emotions in check is pretty intense. He is the best in the business and to see him and Jenny and Keith and all of the people involved with this show realizing tomorrow is the last show, I tell you it’s an honor for me to have been a small part of it."

The American Idol finale will air 8 p.m. EST on Fox. 


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.