American Idol went out big Thursday, naming Trent Harmon its final champion at the end of a two-hour-plus series finale that featured the return of dozens of singers who became famous on the one-time TV juggernaut. After an evening packed with performances by former winners and finalists, including Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks and Fantasia, host Ryan Seacrest revealed Harmon had triumphed over felllow Mississippian La'Porsha Renae to become the Fox singing competition's 15th and final Idol.

'American Idol' finalists La'Porsa Renae, center, and Trent Harmon, right, hug as Ryan Seacrest announces the final 'Idol' champion. After the show, Harmon, 25, explained told USA TODAY why he collapsed to the stage after Seacrest called his name. "I haven't been able to breathe in almost a year. I feel like in that moment, I got to decompress for the first time in almost a year," Harmon said, speaking backstage at Hollywood's Dolby Theatre. He marveled the collection of Idol talent that graced the stage before his victory was announced.

"There's a sea of people across that stage tonight that Idol made relevant in so many homes for so many years," he said. "Any time I'm mentioned (as a champion) with a Carrie Underwood or a Kelly Clarkson, I'm OK with that." Highlights from the 'American Idol' series finale extravaganza Renae told USA TODAY about her moment with Harmon after he was announced as the winner.

"Trent just whispered in my ear, 'You know, this is what God wants. God has something really special for you. You won with me, too, baby.' She did in a way, as Idol mentor and record executive Scott Borchetta announced after the show that he was making a record deal with her, too. "I love them both. They're both great," he said.