This year just flew, so it must have been a great year. Considering all the peripheral material surrounding judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey — and lately, even Randy Jackson — that’s kind of amazing. There have been years when the sidebar issues have greatly weighted down the overall Idol product, but this was not one of those cases.
By the time Season 12 had reached the finals, it was obvious we had a stellar cast — and there was not one week when I felt like we had been let down. From Wednesday night’s finale between Candice Glover and Kree Harrison to some of the names we lost along the way — Burnell Taylor and Amber Holcomb, to name two — it has been a splendid year. No, wait. It has been a great year.
America itself deserves a lot of credit. The fact the judges never had to use their save was a testament the voting was pretty much accurate. There were a few weeks in the middle that were a little frustrating, back when Lazaro Arbos hung around a little too long, but that wound up being a mere blip on the radar.
There will undoubtedly be some major offseason changes in the show’s lineup, and possibly even its longstanding format. But we’ll worry about that in the coming weeks and months. For now, let’s just enjoy what has been a great year in terms of talent and entertainment.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT RECAP
OK, no secret here. Candice Glover has earned the right to be the next American Idol, the first female winner since Jordin Sparks in 2007. (Do you find it at least slightly interesting that she sang a Jordin Sparks song Wednesday night?)
Can Kree Harrison pull of an upset? Of course, because anything is possible in such a fickle voting arena as this. Heck, remember when the talent-less Lee DeWyze won the title one year? And then there was the Taylor Hicks season. So, yeah, anything can happen. But will it?
No. Candice Glover is your next American Idol winner. Take it to the bank.
Songs: “Chasing Pavements,” by Adele; “I Am Beautiful” (her coronation single, if she wins); “I Who Have Nothing,” by Jordin Sparks
Comment: Candice definitely won the night, in terms of overall performance. I especially enjoyed “I Am Beautiful” and her reprise of “I Who Have Nothing.” She appeared so confident, and I think the audience sensed that intangible. Candice should wear the crown come Thursday night. There is no question.
Nicki Minaj: “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.”
2. Kree Harrison
Songs: “Angel,” by Sarah McLachlan; “All Cried Out,” (her coronation single, if she wins); “Up The Mountain,” by Patty Griffin.
Comment: Kree’s best effort of the three was “All Cried Out.” That will sound good on the radio. The other two were rather forgettable. Sorry, Kree. You had a great run, but Candice will be the champ.
Randy Jackson: “Don’t be afraid to show your soul.”