The American Idol finale is tonight (April 7), but Big Machine Records president Scott Borchetta said he already has two strategies in place ready to go for either La’Porsha Renae or Trent Harmon.
“We have two very specific plans in place depending on who wins,” Borchetta told reporters backstage after the show. “If Trent wins we are going to go to Nashville to make a country record with him. If La’Porsha wins I have already created a joint venture with Motown.”
That venture, he said, is the creation Big Machine/Motown, and Renae would be the label’s first signee.
Motown President Ethiopa Habtemariam has already been to the last several Idol shows checking out the 22-year old Mississippi native, Borchetta said. He added that her single, “Battles,” was produced by music producer Harmony Samuels.
Whoever wins, Borchetta said, “we are ready.”
Who does he think has the edge to be the last Idol standing?
“I think that very early on we established that if you are going to win you are going to have to be La’Porsha,” he explained. “So I think she came in strong and she has stayed strong. If you look at who is the most improved, and who has transformed, that’s Trent. And Jennifer [Lopez] called this five or six weeks ago and said, ‘this is our final.’ I love this because this is really a battle now.”
While Lopez called the second round of songs picked by Idol creator Simon Fuller for La’Porsha, Borchetta said the judges didn’t get a chance to pick who won the final round of the evening because “we ran out of time.”
“I think all the judges will tell you that Trent won the third round,” he said. “Trent has outsold La’Porsha on iTunes 2 to 1. What does that mean? So it is on. I think we have an epic battle for the final American Idol.”
Speaking of iTunes, both Harmon and Renae’s coronation songs — “Falling” and “Battles” — are available now for purchase. Which Idol slayed their singles?
“I thought on the coronation songs that Trent’s was the strongest,” he tells Billboard. “I know what La’Porsha can do with that song, and I don’t think that she pushed herself enough. It’s a great song, but I think again something we talked to them about from the first minute I meet them, and the judges talk about this once a week: you have to leave it all on the stage, and I think she left the door open a little bit.”
So who left it on the stage?
“Trent left it on the stage tonight,” he said. “La’Porsha can do that at the drop of a hat. But as far as really going out and knocking it out, I think Trent has the edge.”
That said, Borchetta said he would be “proud to work with either one of them…they are both fantastic,” he said.
Borchetta also had kind words for third-place finisher Dalton Rapattoni.
“I grew up in Southern California so there is just a part of me that is a Hollywood rocker,” he said. “He’s a really good kid and I really think he’s got a career in front of him.”