American Idol Final Two Performance – Recap and Videos

I typically find Idol Final 2 performance shows anti-climatic.  With a few exceptions, the song selections aren’t that great–particularly the coronations songs, which have historically been dire.  Last season, Phillip Phillips was handed an amazing single, “Home” that eventually sold over 4 million downloads.  This year’s winner’s singles aren’t “No Boundaries”-level horrifying, but they aren’t standouts either.  Both are bland. Kree Harrison’s “All Cried Out” is a generic country weeper, and Candice Glover co-wrote a hook-free pop ballad.

It’s no wonder Kree and Candice closed the night with their reprise songs, which turned out to be showstoppers for both singers. Candice re-imagined (once again!) “I Who Have Nothing” with an astonishing a’cappella intro. She sang the entire first verse without accompaniment, and it was breathtaking. One of her best performances to date.  Kree once again brought grit, soul and emotion to “Up To The Mountain,” a song from early in the season.

I reviewed the girls’ performances over the season when I put together a post of my favorites, and it was striking how lively and full of passion Kree was earlier in the season. In the past few weeks, it’s like she’s run out of gas and she can’t remember where the tank is. And although “Up to The Mountain” was very good, she couldn’t quite rally for one last performance. Candice, on the other hand has continued to be strong.  She seized the moment tonight. As much as I adore Kree, I have to give the win to Candice–for tonight and the entire season.

Kree may win anyway, because the American Idol demo historically loves country and a guy or a gal who plays the guitar.  Putting aside how Kree performed in competition, I think she’ll be easy to market. She’s a contemporary country singer–one who had already made inroads in Nashville.  She’s going to get signed no matter what happens tomorrow. I see her easily fitting into the country world, with songs she helps pick or has a hand in writing.  That Kree has control over her material is essential to her success. That girl is at her best when she’s allowed to be authentic.

Candice may be a little trickier. I’m not sure her jazzy R&B will fit alongside the Beyonces and Rihanna’s on the pop charts. Her handlers need to look at somebody like Adele as a model. Allow Candice to continue co-songwriting, give her soulful pop material that has some depth, and she could make it. But at the very least, she could be an Urban Contemporary staple.  Nevertheless, the girl is a BORN performer.

Simon Fuller’s choice of “Chasing Pavements” for Candice indicates that he gets it.  His choice for Kree, though, was odd.  And I’m a little troubled by the producers’ attempt to fashion an image for her based on her tragic losses. Kree is much more than her sad history.

Was I the only one concentrating on Randy Jackson’s critique of Candice’s last song, and thinking “This is the very last time Randy will ever judge on American Idol?” I actually quoted him verbatim in my live blog, because I wanted to make note of every word. After 12 seasons, history is passing, and I wanted to mark it.  If the producers haven’t put together a splashy goodbye for tomorrow’s show, I’m going to be really pissed. Yes, I’ve been really critical of THE DAWG and his phoned-in critiques, but I can’t help feeling sad that the last vestige of the old guard is passing on. Ryan is going to be holding his own next season, as the lone familiar face of Idol.

***

OH MY GOSH. The season just flew. Here we are, at the FINAL PERFORMANCE EPISODE OF SEASON 12. It’s Kree Harrison vs  Candice Glover. Two super-talented vocalists will battle it out tonight, performing 3 songs: One from American Idol creator, Simon Fuller,  Their  respective winner’s singles and a favorite song from the season.

Stay with me while I live blog the show.

We begin with a video package featuring the Top 2. We see little Kree on the Rosie O’Donell show. And a little montage of the judges praising them. Both Kree and Candice want it more than anything. IT’S WIN OR GO HOME.

Battle of country vs soul. Kreedom against Candy girl! Ryan asks the crowd at the Nokia theater to scream for their favorites, before the Top 2 take the stage.  The girls, holding hands, seem dazed and nervous. They go backstage to relax for a bit.

There will be 4 phone numbers and 4 hours to vote.  The traditional Top 2 coin toss was held after last week’s results. Kree won and chose to go first, for a reason that remains a mystery.

Kree Harrison – Angel by Sarah McLachlan – Simon Fuller’s Choice – With a mournful slide guitar as a backdrop, Kree performs a sweet, tender rendition of a beloved song. But the song lacked that big Idol moment the judges expect at this stage of the competition. There were literally no dynamics in the arrangement, although her phrasing was beautiful and aching in spots. –  866-436-5701 – 866-436-5703 – 866-436-5705 – 866-436-5707


Kree Harrison 1st song, Season Finale… by HumanSlinky

Candice Glover – Chasing Pavements by Adele – Simon Fuller’s Choice – Oh, Candice is playing with the tempo and melody in her usual way. In other words, she’s totally making it own, as she never fails to do.  Her rendition is lovely and jazzy. She’s a beast and a master. She hits a gorgeous high note in the last chorus.  Pretty damn near perfect that was. –  866-436-5702 – 866-436-5704 – 866-436-5706 – 866-436-5708


Candice Glover 1st song, Season Finale… by HumanSlinky

Candice totally won the round. No contest. 

Judges:  Mariah wishes they were still onstage. She wants to tell both how proud she is of them. She is also proud of America for putting them at the top. Blown away, she is. Randy didn’t think the songs were right. Too sleepy. “Just because you’re leaving, you feel free to say that!” says Ryan.  Randy gives the round to Candice, because she gave her song a unique spin. Mariah loved the delicate touches Kree lent to her song.

So, it looks like the judges will trade off comments at each round. I like it when they don’t talk.

Next, it’s Carly Rae Jepsen singing “Take A Picture” part of the Coca Cola sponsored contest that allowed fans to help Carly write a song.  Coca Cola is giving away 20K downloads of this precious, precious commercial song! OH I’M HEADING THERE RIGHT NOW TO GET MY DOWNLOAD. Psych. That was incredibly boring. The Coke jingle hook made it beyond irritating.  I love ya Carly, but annoying product placement is annoying.


Carly Rae Jepsen perform live on American Idol… by HumanSlinky

Ryan pulls a middle aged women named Gloria, sitting next to another lady holding a Randy sign. She’s totally cray cray–like a Vote for the Worst caricature. She could be the site patron saint! As Ryan drags her down the aisle, he finally notices that her foot is sprained. Awkward!

Kree Harrison – “All Cried Out” – Winners Single – I can’t say I love her new single.  The title says it all. It’s basically your cliched country weeper.  Kree brings pathos and emotion to her performance. But I’m not completely buying what she’s selling. Kree has problems connecting to songs she doesn’t hand pick. Also, there were pitch problems, particularly on the chorus.  The judges, except Nicki, give her a standing ovation.


Kree Harrison 2nd song, Season Finale… by HumanSlinky

Candice Glover – “I Am Beautiful” – Winners Single – I don’t love this song either! To be honest, I wish the message was more self-agency.  Candice had a hand in writing this song. But lyrically, I would prefer that she be kicking the nasty boyfriend to the curb without interference, but that’s just me. I’m not feeling a great hook here, either. But you know what? Candice is singing the snot out of this song. She’s having moments up on that stage tonight. I do believe girlfriend has also won Round 2.


Candice Glover 2nd song, Season Finale… by HumanSlinky

Welp. No “Home” coming out of American Idol 12!

Judges: Nicki loves Kree’s composure, she heard a different part of her voice–rather than straining for high notes, she reached deep inside. For Keith, it’s not “country vs. soul.” He believes both Candice and Kree are soul singers. Both songs are tailor made for them.  Ryan puns horribly: Fits her like a glover. Noooo. Nicki loves Candice’s song. Neither offer a coherent critique, though. Keith says Kree won the round. Nicki gives it to Candice.

Kree Harrison – Up to The Mountain by Patty Griffin – Contestant’s Favorite – Kree finally, FINALLY comes alive, singing a song she loves.  With a gospel choir behind her, she’s totally in the moment, giving a powerful and soulful performance. ALL 4 judges are on their feet afterward. Gorgeous. Keith loves Kree’s spirituality and the soulfulness. Nicki is glad she chose to cover that song–the energy was uplifting. All 3 songs showcase Kree’s beautiful soul, says Nicki. Randy calls it her best performance of the night. Don’t be afraid to show your soul, he says. Mariah felt her on the 1st and last song. She felt the diversity. Both girls have something special, she says.


Kree Harrison 3rd song, Season Finale… by HumanSlinky

Candice Glover – I Who Have Nothing – Contestant’s Favorite – The first verse is completely a capella, a dramatic and powerful start. It’s a reprise, but Candice is TOTALLY changing it up. I wasn’t completely on board with Candice’s choice here, but now I see had a plan. And that plan is EXCELLENT.   The band comes in during the chorus.  Wow. This  is absolute perfection. Completely assured. She has a huge finish, full of twists and turns. What a way to end the night. What a way to end her incredible run on American Idol. A complete show stopper.  Keith is completely blown away. “Like a planet exploding apart.” Candice’s mom is crying. Nicki notes that Candice’s legs have made a debut! She looks lovely by the way. Nicki calls her a superstar.  “That girl can plumb flat out sing. Yo. This is how you do it. That’s like a winning performance. You just shot this whole night to a whole nother level. That’s what I’ve been waiting on because it’s about singing and baby you got it all.”  And there it is…Randy’s very last Idol critique. Sniff.  Mariah says she has an undeniable talent.

I love me some Kreedom, but dang if Candice didn’t win all 3 rounds…

Candice Glover 3rd song, Season Finale… by HumanSlinky

Randy refuses to call the contest. Says it’s close…

Photo Gallery

About mj santilli 33452 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!