The American Idol season 12 finale is finally upon us. In a matter of hours, we’ll find out who will walk away with the Idol crown. Will it be Candice Glover, the R&B diva with the powerhouse voice? Or will it be Kree Harrison, the bluesy country belter with the heartbreaking back story?
Kree and Candice made their case during last night’s live performance show. They battled it out in three rounds. The first consisted of songs chosen by Idol creator Simon Fuller; round two featured what would become the winner’s first single; and round three gave the girls a chance to reprise one of their favorite performances from the season.
Both girls are extremely talented. We haven’t had a finale this well-matched in awhile. But, if we’re being completely honest *Simon Cowell voice*, Candice totally edged Kree out.
Here’s a rundown of how the final two did:
Round 1 – Simon Fuller’s Choice
Kree Harrison – Angel: Simon started Kree off with Sarah McLachlan’s heartstrings-tugger “Angel.” Kree delivered a beautiful vocal and gave the song her country stamp. But we couldn’t help feeling as if it was a little blah. When it ended, we were surprised because nothing really happened. There was no “wow” moment.
Candice Glover – Chasing Pavements: Candice got right into the game with Adele’s breakout single, “Chasing Pavements.” It’s so easy for contestants on these shows to copy Adele when they sing her songs, but Candice didn’t at all. Her take was decidedly more jazzy and she used her falsetto voice a lot. Gorgeously done.
Judges: Mariah and Randy were asked for their opinions on the first round.”Wow. Beyond,” said Mariah. “They were both kind of sleepy,” said Randy of the songs. But she gave round 1 to Candice for trying to take the song to new heights.
Round 2 – Winner’s Single
Kree Harrison – All Cried Out: It’s a good ol’ country ballad for Kree’s potential single. “I’m all cried out/I let it run like a river/But it’s empty now/And the only consolation is I can lie here in this bed and put these memories to rest somehow/’Cause I’m all cried out,” she belted (in a quite pitchy manner) over the chorus. The song isn’t as schmaltzy as past Idol winner singles, but sheesh. Kree needs better material for her voice.
Candice Glover – I Am Beautiful: Like Kree’s song, Candice’s song was also a cheesefest. The big chorus goes, “He says I am beautiful/And when I fall, it don’t matter that I’m not perfect/I am beautiful/I’m not alone/And in his eyes I’m so worth it/I’m worth every tear/And every scar/And even when you say I’m not/He says I’m beautiful.” But regardless of the corny material, Candice sang the hell living out of it.
Judges: Keith and Nicki were asked for their thoughts. “I love her composure and this song made her reach down in her gut more than she’s ever done before,” said Nicki of Kree. “This is soul vs soul,” Keith added. Keith gave round 2 to Kree, Nicki gave it to Candice.
Round 3 – Favorite Song Of The Season
Kree Harrison – Up To The Mountain: Kree saved the best for last. Her reprise of “Up To The Mountain” reminded us of why we loved her so much in the beginning of the competition. She has a powerful country voice with a world of soul behind it. This was the best she sounded all night. A great way to end her part of the competition.
Judges: “That was beautiful,” said Keith. “I loved that even more than the single performance,” Nicki said. “That was a winning performance,” Randy added. “You gave us power here… you have something special,” Mariah closed with.
Candice Glover – I Who Have Nothing: Not to be outdone, Candice revisited her best performance of the season and did it even better the second time. She started off hauntingly singing the first verse acappella before inviting the band (including that amazing strings section!) to help her bring the song home. Simply incredible! We got chills!
Judges: “You’re such a powerhouse singer…it was incredible,” gushed Keith. “What comes across for you is superstar,” Nicki said. “That girl can plum, flat-out sing…this was a winning performance,” Randy added. Mariah closed the praise fest with, “What you have is the ability to take any song and turn it into a vehicle for that amazing voice.”
Predictions: Based on last night? Candice is the winner. Based on the entire season? Candice is the winner!