It’s American Idol 12 finale week! Candice Glover and Kree Harrison will face off against each other in the first all-female final since Fantasia and Diana DeGarmo competed in Season 3.
A very troubled season of American Idol is coming to a close. The ratings have been dropping while the judges quarrels suck all of the air out of the room, so to speak.
But let’s not lose sight of the fact that two extremely talented artists will be taking the stage on Wednesday to compete. I am really looking forward to these two formidable talents singing their hearts out this week. And this, my friends, is what American Idol SHOULD be all about.
So, in honor of the Top 2, here are MY favorite performances of the season from both Kree and Candice. I’m sure you have your favorites too. Let’s discuss!
Ordinary People by John Legend – Top 20 (Semi-Finals) – This performance from Candice blew my mind, and as far as I was concerned, shut the naysayers who claimed she couldn’t be a contemporary artist. Exquisite phrasing.
I’m Goin Down – By Rose Royce – Top 10 Victory Song – Candice’s smooth and sexy take on this classic ballad was an emotion filled triumph. There was no doubt Candice was missing her man. Note her fellow Idols jamming on the side. Victory INDEED.
Lovesong by The Cure – Top 6 (Songs They Wish They Had Written) – This performance was surely Candice’s defining moment in the competition. Her masterful interpretation of “Lovesong” was current, relevant, and further established Candice as a true musical artist.
Straight Up by Paula Abdul – Top 5 (Year They Were Born) – Candice didn’t always get the credit she deserved for reinterpreting and arranging the vocals on the songs she performed. “Straight Up” is a perfect example of her ability to transform a song and make it utterly her own. Candice took this 80’s pop classic and twisted it into a modern R&B jam.
You’ve Changed by Billie Holiday – Top 4 Redux (Standards) – An amazing performance of this standard, covered by Billie Holiday and many more, highlighted Candice’s ability to interpret jazz classics. Impressively.
Next To Me by Emile Sande – Top 3 (Judges Choice) – I’m not sure how many “best of” lists this performance will make. But it’s on MY list and I’m sticking to that. Here is the kind of music I can imagine Candice making post Idol. Totally loved this.
Up to the Mountain by Patty Griffin – Top 40 (Sudden Death) – Kree’s bluesy take on this Patty Griffin song was the moment I took notice of Kree. I loved the grit and soul she brought to this number.
Stronger by Faith Hill – Top 20 (Semi-Finals) – Whoa. And then next, after the blues, there was some straight-up, weepy country from Kree, and I continued to be impressed. And fell in love with her a little more. Just like Nicki Minaj, I wanted to marry her at this point. OK, not really. BUT STILL.
Evidence by Susan Tedeschi – Top 10 Victory Song – A happy, relaxed Kree kicked up her heels and growled her way through this Susan Tedeschi cover. The girl can also kick some ass. Me likey!
Don’t Play That Song (You Lied) by Aretha Franklin – Top 8 (Music of the Motor City) – For Detroit week, Kree, the country girl, totally nailed a song originally performed by the Queen Of Soul, not only proving that she was a contender, but that she can pretty much sing anything.
Help Me Make it Through the Night by Kris Kristofferson – Top 6 (Songs They Wish They’d Written) – Kree’s voice was a plaintive wail, as she sang this classic song. No fancy stuff here, just a pedal steel guitar at the center, and Kree on a stool. Broke my heart.
See You Again by Carrie Underwood – Top 4 Redux (Songs from 2013) – Mentor, Harry Connick, Jr. felt Kree arranged this song better than Carrie! I’ll just say that after Kree’s emotional performance–no doubt informed by the loss of her parents before she was out of her teens–I understood the lyrics in a way I hadn’t before.