North Texas’ American Idol contender has done it again. After Thursday night’s show Dalton Rapattoni made it to the top 3 contestants of American Idol’s final season. And a little help from his local fans may have been just what he needed.
In some of Rapattoni’s past performances, the Sunnyvale-native has seemed distant and tuned out, but he always pulled through. His performances last week seemed more personal and real, as he opened up about his struggle with bipolar disorder.
On Thursday, Rapattoni was all there — he was committed, energetic, and confident. Judge Jennifer Lopez noticed this, and attributed the change in character to his hometown visit last weekend. She said that something just clicked, and Rapattoni seems to have realized the gravity of the fact that he is in the final three. Good job, Dallas.
For this three-round night, Rapattoni began with Blue October’s “Calling You,” which he dedicated to Sunnyvale. He mentioned that Blue October’s singer, Justin Furstenfeld, also struggles with bipolar disorder. Producer Scott Borchetta picked Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” for Rapattoni’s second performance. His rendition was full of energy—Jennifer Lopez was dancing in her seat, and Harry Connick Jr. said Rapattoni’s arrangement had an early 80s, New Wave vibe. The least striking performance was clearly Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” which the judges had chosen for Rapattoni.
Last weekend, Rapattoni ventured back to North Texas for a hometown concert. He visited his grandmother’s beauty salon, where she touched up his bleached blonde hair. In a televised interview, a beauty shop customer said, “they didn’t make them like that when I was a young girl.”
Rapattoni visited Rockwall’s School of Rock, where he was formerly a student and vocal coach. He was also part of a parade and concert, where pan shots showed what appeared to be thousands of people in attendance. In a more emotional scene, before breaking into sobs, Rapattoni mentioned that he’d lived in the Dallas area his entire life, making music and “screaming, trying to get people to listen…and now they are.”
Tune in next week for American Idol’s three-part farewell finale. Episodes will air Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. The final American Idol winner will be crowned on Thursday. Fingers crossed that Rapattoni will follow Burleson’s Kelly Clarkson, making North Texas home to the first and final American Idol.