- Associated Press - Sunday, March 27, 2016

McCOMB, Miss. (AP) - In made-for-TV events, two “American Idol” finalists are being celebrated in their Mississippi hometowns.

Thousands of people turned out Saturday to see La’Porsha Renae in McComb and Trent Harmon in Amory. Each singer had a homecoming parade and performed a concert for family, friends and fans.

The Enterprise-Journal reports (https://bit.ly/1ZFwHAk ) that in McComb, the 22-year-old known simply as La’Porsha sang her favorite songs from “American Idol,” including “Elastic Heart” by Sia. She also talked about her journey on the show.

“Two months ago, I?was sitting on my couch eating greens, cornbread, pecan pie and drinking sweet tea and milk,” she told the crowd.

She told the students to never give up on their dreams and to always be themselves. She used her hair, a big part of her stage presence, as an example.

“People didn’t like my afro,” La’Porsha said. “They told me I?should change it, they called me La’Poofa and then when I changed it, they told me that I should have kept my afro and this is the same person who didn’t like my afro.”

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports (https://bit.ly/1ZFwE7I ) that 25-year-old Harmon toured his alma mater, Amory High School, where he recalled performing in the musicals “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat” and “Beauty in the Beast.”

Like Elvis and other famous Mississippian musicians, Harmon said he is influenced by his home state.

Harmon said won’t stop performing, even though he almost did a year ago after placing second in a local talent show.

“I thought about quitting, but I did it for one more year and look what happened,” Harmon said. “It’s just hard work. It’s not easy. You don’t show up on show day and sing a song on stage. You put in hours and sacrifice enough sleep that you hope you stay awake during show day.”

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