CANDICE GLOVER WINS AMERICAN IDOL
It’s the end of a long strange American Idol season. Tonight’s final was subdued, lacking the star power of finales past. The boys were so weak this year–the group numbers had to be dumbed down to avoid a complete trainwreck. Although that strange Aretha Franklin duet, with the singer wailing away in NYC via satellite, while the girls awkwardly served as backup singers, came close.
There were no major moments tonight, but there were a couple of nice ones. The meeting of the two divas, JHud and Candy Girl was pretty epic. The Adam/Angie/JesseJ trio was nicely done. I couldn’t help but be tickled by Angie’s infectious excitement as she performed with her musical hero, JesseJ. Watch out for Janelle Arthur! That girl has personality and charisma. Keith Urban looked like he was having a BLAST during the performances and especially on stage with Kree Harrison. Those two were a perfect pair for a duet. THAT’S the kind of enthusiasm I want from an Idol judge! And that Frankie Valli? People, he’s nearly 80 and he’s still GOT IT GOING ON. Oh, there were boys up on stage with him? Erm.
Unlike Keith, Nicki looked as if she couldn’t WAIT to bolt. And Mimi. Seriously. LIP SYNCING YOUR HITS IN A TAPED PERFORMANCE. Boo. I know Randy Jackson’s resignation announcement was only a few days old. But would it have killed Nigel to assemble the Idol alums in the audience ON STAGE to sing/say a proper goodbye? That lame highlights video did not do the guy justice. I know it was time for him to go. But c’mon. Idol judge original flavah. The last to go! Not going to lie, I feel a little sad right now.
As crappy as this season turned out to be for so many reasons, The Kree/Candice Top 2 is one of my favorites. BOTH singers are immensely talented. I would have been 100% OK with either of them winning. But I think the right person won. Besides blowing it out of the box (as Randy would say) last night, Candice has been consistent throughout the season. And she wanted it more. I really think she did.
I have to wonder if Kree had some ambivalence about winning the crown. It felt like she stopped trying near the end of the season. No matter, she’s signed and will make a fantastic record. As will Candice. I’m bummed the two of them were stuck on such a clusterf*ck of a season. The two really deserved better.
One more thing about Candice’s win: There is really something romantic about a girl from a small South Carolina Island–who was renting out mopeds to tourists a couple of months ago–about to record her major label debut.
Tonight we find out who wins American Idol Season 12. Will it be Candice Glover or Kree Harrison. Stay tuned right here to find out and discuss the results. Also watch out for videos!
There are a slew of special guests tonight. Click this link to check them out.
The show opens with the entire Top 10 singing “Glad You Came.” So, it’s NOT just the boys, like the spoilers said. That makes sense. The gang is dressed in Finale white. There are no attempts made to solo. A little bit of adlibbing here and there. The performance finishes with a HUGE POINTY POSE.
Hi Taylor Hicks in the audience! Bo Bice! Kim Locke! OLD SKEWL.
The Top 10 flank the aisles as the judges and Ryan take the stage. It looks like a military wedding.
Kree and Candice enter, arm in arm. They giggle as Ryan introduces them. “Either way we’re going to celebrate tonight,” declares Kree regarding how they feel about tonight’s results.
The Band Perry take the stage to sing “Done.” Janelle Arthur joins them to sing the second verse. She is fierce. Love this girl so much. She’ s getting down with Kimberly. Totally. THERE IS SOME HAIROGRAPHY GOING DOWN RIGHT HERE. Janelle is going to be so entertaining on the tour.
Video package featuring the guys. Premise: A boy has won Idol every year since Season 6, therefore they assume another male will take the crown. But little did they know they were being…. sabotaged! As each boy is eliminated one by one, we see the girls working behind the scenes to ruin them. OH LOOK. Jordin Sparks is in on the scheme. She says it was easy, because “none of you play guitar.” This bit is SOOOO meta. She suggests they audition for another singing competition. “IDOL LEFTOVERS HAVE DONE REALLY WELL ON THE VOICE.” OMG. The bit was cute, but sort of sad. There was sabotage. But not from the girls.
The boys sing a medley of Frankie Valli hits. Dancers do their thing behind them in 60s style suits. Again, wisely, very few solos. Lots of backing tracks to cover in case there is a screw up. Frankie takes the stage and the dude is looking good! Keith is singing and bopping along in his seat. CUTE. Nicki looking totally bored. Figures. Frankie is pretty much showing the guys how to do it.
Here comes a pre-recorded performance from Mariah Carey singing a medley of beloved hits, dressed in a white mermaid dress. Randy Jackson is on bass. The wind machine is working it. She taped this performance ahead of time and couldn’t at least sing live? C’mon Mariah! She finishes the performance with her new single “#Beautiful.” Miguel is a disembodied voice on the backing track. That was actually really dull. Would have been loads better if she had sung live, just as the Idols she has been judging all season have managed to do.
Amber Holcomb is next. She performs Emeli Sande’s “Next To Me” and it should sound familiar. THAT’S BECAUSE CANDICE GLOVER SANG IT ONLY LAST WEEK. Talk about your recycled songs. Emeli, Amber’s special duet partner and she joins her onstage. Keith continues to look as if he’s having a total blast. It’s a nice duet, but Emeli is overshadowing Amber completely in the charisma department. The singer is electric. Amber has yet to find her own voice, as this performance makes obvious.
Now, it’s a montage of Ford Fiesta Missions from the entire season. This moment would make a perfect bathroom break. OOOOH. Will the girls get their new shiny cars now? Not yet. First, they will award their hometown mentors with THEIR cars live on the Idol stage. Kree’s mentor is her musical partner back home. Candice’s is her grandma. It’s a sweet moment.
Now for some comic relief. Psy takes the stage to perform his new song “Gentleman.” OMG. There’s even more cheese on the stage than usual. Yes, it’s possible. This is pretty much Gangnam Style part 2. It’s even got a similar hook. Of course, he’s got the dancers thrusting in the background. Alrighty then. Where is Heejun Han when you need him?
More pre-recorded goodness. Keith Urban takes the stage to perform his new single, “Little Bit of Everything.” At least he’s performing live. This summertime song is a trifle, but it could be worse. At least it’s not about trucks. Or beer. Apparently, Keith left his seat during the performance, while the other judges stayed to watch.
Ryan chats with Candice Glover’s very nervous parents in the audience, before she takes the stage to sing Natalie Cole’s “Inseparable.” The “amazing” Jennifer Hudson joins her on the second verse. Two powerful voice join together. Jennifer is a very generous duet partner, allowing Candice to shine. Mariah and Randy are waving their hands in the air. RESPECT. The duo are positively combustible on the bridge. Amazing key change. Of the two, Candice has more subtlety and finesse, but still, this is pretty terrific. Randy is on his feet bowing to the divas!
Angie Miller is sitting at the piano singing “Titanium” while Adam Lambert duets with her. The first verse was spare, delicate. Eventually, she joins Adam on stage. He is careful not to overshadow Angie. Except he kinda does anyway. Nevertheless, is it’s a lovely performance.
Adam introduces Jesse J. who is standing on the catwalk behind the judges table as she launches into “Domino.” She makes her way to the stage as she sings the first verse. Oh. Look at Nicki finally coming alive! Angie looks TOTALLY blissed out, singing with her personal idol. By the way. Jesse is BALD. It’s quite a look. She’s also barely wearing a shirt. Keith and Randy are on some sort of break at the moment. Oh Jessie is there to pimp her upcoming tour.
OMG. Jesse is going to FLY TO THE UK TO SING “YOU SET ME FREE” WITH JESSIE IN CONCERT. To make up for missing the chance to sing her new single on the fianle. Wow. Poor Angie. SHE WAS SO ROBBED. NOT.
The next video package features the Top 10 in a mock press conference answering questions about the judges. It’s an opportunity to poke fun at them. OMG Devin wearing leopard skin and a huge fake butt is is…sort of skeery. Just like Nicki.
After a chat with her family, Ryan introduces Kree Harrison who sings Keith Urban’s “Where the Blacktop Ends” with an “all star” band featuring Randy Jackson on bass, Keith Urban on guitar and vocals and Travis Barker on drums. So, that’s why Keith AND Randy left the judges table. It’s so cool to see Kree relaxed and just kicking it up with Keith and Randy. She slings her arm around Randy as she sings, trading off vocal licks with Keith. VERY VERY AWESOME. Love my girl.
Aw. Next it’s a video montage honoring Randy Jackson. We see him through the years, interacting with the contestants, hijinks with his fellow judges (as they played musical chairs) And that’s IT. After twelve years as an American Idol judge–as the last remaining member of the old guard– Randy gets a hastily put together video as a goodbye. SMH.
The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, appears to be in New York City by satellite. She congratulates Candice and Kree, before she sings with girls. Yes, She is singing remotely from a New York City studio while the girls sing backups on the Idol stage. It’s super awkward. Suffice it to say, the performance threatens to fall apart at the seams at any minute. Whoever thought of this idea should be STONED (TM Nicki). Oh. The dancers join the girls on stage, making it all even MORE surreal than it already was. Yep. that was really weird. And while Aretha is and always been the queen, vocally, she’s seen better days.
Now, lets pimp the upcoming Idol auditions! Featuring a montage of Idol winners taking the audition stage, and celebrating after the confetti flies. Sniff.
Now, Kree and Candice are awarded the cars America hand picked for them. It’s the Ford Escape. They get their keys. Of course, when they arrive at the dealership to pick up their cars, they can pick whatever car they want. That’s how it’s worked in the past.
A montage of Idol moments from the season is set to Phillip Phillips singing the Idol goodbye song, “Gone Gone Gone.” Phillip is MIA tonight. He’s resting after cancelling nine concert dates due to illness. But he’s tweeting from home! Hope he’s feeling better.
Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull are next, performing her single “Live it Up.” And all I can say is: More wind. More lip syncing. Zzzzz.
Back from break. We’re getting closer to the reveal! But first, Candice and Kree sing a duet of Burt Bacharach/Hal David’s “One Less Bell To Answer.” REALLY? I am really confused by this song choice. I think the girls are too. Kree seems particularly lost in the arrangement. Candice is holding it together a little better. “House is Not a Home” is next. Nigel, you’re killing me.
TIME FOR THE REVEAL. Edward Boddington is back. He has the results from Telescope. The competitors and friends stand side by side, whispering encouragement to each other.
KIERAN DIM THE LIGHTS. After the nationwide vote. The winner of American Idol, Season 12 is……
Candice is crying. “Three years!” She exclaims. Candice is the first returnee to win American Idol. Kree hugs her. Truly happy for her friend. Candice sings us out with her brand new single, “I Am Beautiful.” Man. Candice is SOBBING through her performance! Such an emotional moment, as the confetti flies. Her dad is crying too. She hugs Burnell. The Idols gather. And we’re OUT.