Season 12 of American Idol premiered on January 16, and four months later to the day, Candice Glover was crowned the winner. The 23-year-old Beaufort, South Carolina native’s smooth, soulful vocals helped propel her to being a favorite among this year’s Idol pack early on, and her performances were more often than not praised week after week by judges Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban.
Last week saw the elimination of third-place contestant Angie Miller, leaving only Candice and Season 12 runner-up Kree Harrison standing in the finale. Texan hopeful Kree, also 23, also emerged as a viewer favorite thanks to her heartfelt, countrified take on her musical selections over the past four months.
One possible early gaffe in Thursday night’s (May 16) Idol finale came when guest performer Aretha Franklin declared Candice “a winner” a full half-hour before host Ryan Seacrest himself officially announced the results of the votes.
Other guest performers throughout the night included current judges Mariah Carey and Keith Urban, former judge Jennifer Lopez (accompanied by Pitbull), The Band Perry, Frankie Valli, Adam Lambert and Jessie J.
Check back on Idolator Friday morning for our full recap of the American Idol Season 12 finale.