The second night of American Idol's three-night series finale saw some of the strongest performances of the night from La'Porsha Renae and Trent Harmon -- and there wasn't a single dry eye in the house after their night of soulful, show-stopping routines.
While it's impossible to tell who's going to go home the next American Idol, it's hard to argue that no one has made the judges cry more this season -- or provided more emotional highlights -- than Renae.
What made everything even more special was the 22-year-old songstress's devotion to her adorable infant daughter, to whom she dedicated her final performance of the night.
While the night kicked off with Dalton Rappatoni eliminated from the competition, round two saw Harmon and Renae singing tunes chosen by Idol creator Simon Fuller. For Harmon, who hit the stage first, Fuller picked the 1972 R&B classic "If You Don't Know Me by Now," by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. It was a slow, soulful selection that allowed the 25-year-old singer to show off his vocal range, including his impressive ability to hit the high notes.
"This is gonna be the closest race in Idol history," judge Keith Urban said in one of the most accurate predictions of the entire season.
"For the first time in a long time we're actually gonna have a battle here," judge Jennifer Lopez added.
However, when Renae hit the stage singing Dionne Warwick's 1964 classic "A House is Not a Home," it was clear from the enraptured looks on the judges' faces -- and Lopez emotionally singing along to the beautiful tune -- that Renae had the edge.
"That’s one of my top five songs of all time," Lopez shared. "I love Luther Vandross' version, that was kind of more the Dionne Warwick version. A lot of people have done that [song], now we have the La'Porsha version. That was so beautiful."
"All I know is I don't even smoke and I need a cigarette right now," Urban said. "It was beautiful, it was smoldering."
After the first round ended, it was clear who had the lead when host Ryan Seacrest put Lopez on the spot, asking her directly who she thought did a better job. "They both did incredible songs, but if I had to edge out one over the other, I'd have to say La'Porsha," Lopez said, reluctantly.
Round three saw both contestants relive some of their season highlights, performing some of their best songs once again. For Harmon, that meant delivering an even more emotionally gripping and soul stirring rendition of Sia's "Chandelier" than the performance he gave two weeks ago -- and he totally killed it.
"From the very beginning I saw something so special in you, and I knew that you'd be here in the last two," an emotional Lopez gushed. "It's up to America now, but you could not have sang that more beautifully. You deserve to win."
But Renae came out swinging, once again singing an emotional cover of Rihanna's "Diamonds," also written by Sia, that rivaled the first time she sang it. Renae delivered the kind of masterful, diva performance that would normally make her lock to win in most seasons, if not for her worthy competitor.
At the end of the number the emotion of the night overcame her and brought the singer to tears, and that raw show of heartfelt joy carried over to the judges who couldn’t contain their love.
"We watched you have so much control and composure all through this competition, and you've handled every song and every performance so effortlessly and so beautifully," Lopez said, beaming. "This is what I can't wait for: one day, to go to a show of yours, and see you let loose."
Renae kicked the heartstring-tugging into the stratosphere when judge Harry Connick, Jr. asked who she was thinking of when she sang the beautiful tune, to which Renae replied, "My baby, Nayalee."
The camera than cut to her daughter in the audience, and hearts all around the country melted even more.
After the judges' feedback, Harmon joined Renae onstage as the show came to a close and was choking back tears as the two embraced supportively, and both overcome contestants were given the chance to thank their fans.
"Thank you guys so much for giving an opportunity and a way out," a crying Renae shared. "A lot of people say I inspired them, but you all inspired me so much."
With his voice cracking, Harmon also thanks his fans, explaining, "You have me the opportunity to do something that I never thought I'd get to do in my life."