I don’t think Phillip Phillips will mind me stealing that line when talking about Season 12 of American Idol. This journey always wears me out, but in such a magnificent way. I watch every second of every show, sometimes twice. From mid-January to mid-May, American Idol owns me.
So when Candice Glover was crowned Season 12 champion Thursday night I was both ecstatic — because she deserved it — but rather sad at the same time, because it will be eight months until we start this all over again.
Can I just say it one more time this season — I absolutely love American Idol.
YOUR NEW AMERICAN IDOL
And so it ends …
Candice Glover is the new Idol. Pat yourself on the back, America. This was an obvious choice and you nailed it. Rock on, Candice.
I always love to watch the parents and close friends of the winner at the end, because emotion is so much a part of this show. That was also illustrated in the relationship between Candice and runner-up Kree Harrison. Their friendship has seemed genuine from the start.
Candice fittingly closed the show and this marvelous journey with her new single, “I Am Beautiful.” She managed to sing just about the whole number, despite the tears, the hugs and all of that blasted confetti.
This was one of those rare Idol seasons when all the right dots were connected in the proper order.
Next up will be the offseason fireworks when we get to find out how many judges there will be next season (probably three) and who they will be. Reports on Thursday indicated Nicki Minaj has opted not to come back, along with Randy Jackson. Hopefully, Mariah Carey takes a hike, too. I’d like to see next season’s panel built around Keith Urban — but we’ll have all summer, fall and part of the winter to discuss that and other issues.
TRIBUTE TO THE DAWG
It was great to see Idol give Randy Jackson a nice send-off. I have made a lot of fun of The Dawg over the years, but I loved the guy. Randy was the last of the original judges. In recent years, we’ve bid adieu to Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul, but I thought The Dawg would stay with the show until there was no longer a show to stay with.
The beginning of next season will be exciting as always, but there will be a void on the judges’ table. Randy was our final link to the glory days, and he will be missed.
THURSDAY NIGHT RECAP
It was the usual cavalcade of stars during the two-hour finale. Here were my favorite performances:
1. Jesse J performing with Angie Miller: If Angie had strutted her stuff all season like she dud during those five minutes with Jesse J, she may have won the whole thing.
2. Emile Sande and Amber Holcomb: I’m becoming a big fan of Emile — and an even bigger fan of Amber’s. She may wind up being the biggest star from Season 12.
3. The tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons: Yeah, Frankie is ancient, just like Rod Stewart and Mick Jagger, but what we need to remember is what these aging rock stars have contributed through the decades. It is a musical blessing just to be able to see them perform.
4. Keith Urban and Kree Harrison: It’s easy to forget what a dynamite artist Keith is after watching him sit behind that judges’ table all season. He showed us why he is Keith Urban with a pair of songs.
5. Candice Glover and Jennifer Hudson: Their “Inseparable” was the stuff of legends.
AMERICAN IDOL CHAMPIONS
2013: Candice Glover
2012: Phillip Phillips
2011: Scotty McCreery
2010: Lee DeWyze
2009: Kris Allen
2008: David Cook
2007: Jordin Sparks
2006: Taylor Hicks
2005: Carrie Underwood
2004: Fantasia Barrino
2003: Ruben Studdard
2002: Kelly Clarkson
IDOL NATION RANKING OF CHAMPIONS
1. Carrie Underwood, 2005
2. Candice Glover, 2013
3. Ruben Studdard, 2003
4. David Cook, 2008
5. Kelly Clarkson, 2002
6. Scotty McCreery, 2011
7. Phillip Phillips, 2012
8. Fantasia Barrino, 2004
9. Taylor Hicks, 2006
10. Kris Allen, 2009
11. Jordin Sparks, 2007
12. Lee DeWyze, 2010
FINAL SEASON 12 RANKINGS
1. Candice Glover
2. Angie Miller
3. Amber Holcomb
4. Kree Harrison
5. Burnell Taylor
6. Devin Velez
7. Janelle Arthur
8. Curtis Finch Jr.
9. Lazaro Arbos
10. Paul Joelley
RANKING OF IDOL RUNNERS-UP
1. Jessica Sanchez, 2012
2. Adam Lambert, 2009
3. Clay Aiken, 2003
4. Kree Harrison, 2013
5. Bo Bice, 2005
6. Crystal Bowersox, 2010
7. Kat McPhee, 2006
8. Blake Lewis, 2007
9. David Archuleta, 2008
10. Lauren Alaina, 2011
11. Justin Guarini, 2002
12. Diana DeGarmo, 2004
TOP 10 PERFORMANCES OF SEASON 12
1. “I’ll Stand By You,” Angie Miller
2. “Don’t Make Me Over,” Candice Glover
3. “I Who Have Nothing,” Candice Glover
4. “Love Song,” Candice Glover
5. “It Hurt So Bad,” Kree Harrison
6. “When I Was Your Man,” Candice Glover
7. “What The World Needs Now,” Kree Harrison
8. “Help Me Make It Through The Night,” Kree Harrison
9. “The Power Of Love,” by Amber Holcomb
10. “Maybe,” Angie Miller
TOP PERFORMANCES OF SEASON 11
1. Joshua Ledet (“Imagine”)
2. Joshua Ledet (“When A Man Loves A Woman”)
3. Jessica Sanchez (“I Will Always Love You”)
4. Joshua Ledet (“It’s A Man’s, Man’s Man’s World”)
5. Jessica Sanchez (“Stuttering”)
6. Joshua Ledet/Jessica Sanchez (“I Knew You Were Waiting For Me”)
7. Joshua Ledet (“Ain’t Too Proud To Beg”)
8. Joshua Ledet (“To Love Somebody”)
9. Elise Testone (“Whole Lotta Love”)
10. Joshua Ledet (“If You Don’t Know Me By Know”)
TOP PERFORMANCES OF SEASON 10
1. James Durbin (“Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”)
2. Paul McDonald (“Maggie May”)
3. Haley Reinhart (“What Is And What Should Never Be”)
4. Haley Reinhart (“House Of The Rising Sun”)
5. Haley Reinhart (“I Who Have Nothing”)
6. James Durbin (“Uprising”)
7. Pia Toscano (“I’ll Stand By You”)
8. Haley Reinhart (“Rolling in the Deep”)
9. Haley Reinhart (“Piece of My Heart”)
10. Scotty McCreery (“I Love You This Big”)