By now, you’ve likely already read the big news that Candice Glover was crowned winner of season 12′s American Idol, with fellow finalist Kree Harrison placing as runner-up after America voted on their Wednesday night finale performances. The two-hour finale came exactly four months after this season kicked off with new judges, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban.
It’s been an eventful season, and not just on stage. Spats between panelists Mariah and Nicki typified almost every episode, and the only original Idol judge, Randy Jackson announced that after 12 seasons, this would be his last. Auditions for the next season are already gearing up and it’s still up in the air who will be sitting on the judges panel. But I have to say, I’ve enjoyed the ups and downs this year, and hope the next is just as strange.
But more importantly, let’s talk about the finale! This was a star-studded event, with performances from the golden honey angel princess, Mariah Carey, as well as Keith Urban, former judge Jennifer Lopez (accompanied by Pitbull), The Band Perry, Adam Lambert, Frankie Valli, Adam Lambert and Jessie J.
Surprised? I mean, how else were they supposed to fill up two hours of “…and the winner is…”?
The show kicks off by welcoming all of the Top 10 contestants with a performance of “Glad You Came” by The Wanted. Everybody’s decked out in white suits and dresses. Angie Miller is taking full advantage of this opportunity to show off her best hair whips. I have no idea how Kree and Candice are managing to look like they’re having fun. They have to be so over singing at this point. I know I would be.
Ryan Seacrest reminds us that tonight there can only be one Idol to rule them all. Candice and Kree, who genuinely appear to be good buds at this point, tell him that regardless of the outcome, “We’re going to celebrate tonight.” Call me later, ladies. I’ll be the designated driver.
Now, to kick off the guest performances are The Band Perry performing their single, “DONE.” And, remember country girl, Janelle Arthur? She joins them on stage and is doing just fine, thanks. If it weren’t for Janelle’s gold country boots, I would have thought from her head-banging that I was at an authentic ’80s heavy metal performance.
Next Idol tries to get cute with the former five male contestants from the Top 10, Burnell Taylor, Devin Velez, Paul Jolley, Lazaro Arbos, and Curtis Finch Jr., joking that there was some kind of conspiracy to boot them early so there could finally be another female winner this year. I would grow weary of this, except that I’m just so happy this isn’t a Ford Fiesta commercial or reminder of Carly Rae Jepsen‘s new single. So I let it slide. Then the producers decide to have season 6 winner Jordin Sparks take a jab at The Voice. Look here, Idol, with your ratings in the toilet, I would think the last thing you’d want to do is remind viewers there are other singing competition shows on TV, but that’s just me.
Then, the boys take to the stage to sing a medley of Frankie Valli’s hits. And don’t fret, Lazaro’s pants are just as ill-fitting as ever. Awww, I forgot how much I missed Curtis Finch Jr. and Burnell. When the boys croon, “No woman’s worth crawling on the earth,” from “Walk Like A Man,” I give each one of them a knowing wink. At the end, Frankie himself takes to the stage and, damn, if he doesn’t still sound good. And I want Keith Urban to never stop dancing.
And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Screw the results, I’m talking about Mariah’s performance of a medley of her biggest hits. And to address any talk about lip-syncing, I have it on good authority from a credible source who attended her pre-taped performance that Ms. Carey was undoubtedly singing live. And I believe it. As wacky as her judging critiques might have been, Mimi can SANG. And I have to say, she looked great in her white dress and diamonds. This is a woman who knows how to find her wind. She ends with a performance of her catchy new single “#Beautiful.” And with this, we are all reminded that this judging thing is merely a side gig for Sparkle Angel Bunny. Did I mention that I love her?
Oh, look, my sweet Amber Holcomb returns to the stage for a duet with Emeli Sande to perform the the latter singer’s “Next To Me.” Baby Whitney, you were truly robbed. She definitely should have been in that Top 3. And, can I get a round of applause for the lady trombonist straight working it in the band?
Ugh, I’m choosing to ignore this Ford Fiesta nonsense. PSY is now on stage for a performance of his single “Gentleman.” I’m sad there are no lady pistachio dancers in sight. Squee! My husband, Keith Urban, has returned to the stage for some sexy chicken dancing and guitar picking of his song, “Little Bit Of Everything.” Guys, do you think our relationship will work, even if he has better hair than me? Don’t answer that.
This pairing of former American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson and Candice Glover of Natalie Cole’s “Inseparable” is, of course, genius. When super-svelte J-Hud descends the staircase rocking some hot bangs, I die from joy. It is my personal fantasy that both these women agree to attend Weight Watchers meetings with me with Tina Fey, as our team leader, natch.
Yet another past Idol contestant joins one of this season’s hopefuls when Adam Lambert and Angie Miller team up for a duet of “Titanium” by Sia and David Guetta. These two sound good together and should take their show on the road. I anticipate their black leather and mascara budget would be off the hook. Then, Angie enjoys the treat of singing with her idol Jessie J. The two share the spotlight for a rendition of Jessie’s “Domino.” That Jesse seems like a good time. I suspect a girls’ night out with Jess and Nicki would be the stuff of which legends are made.
Idol is getting cute again, now having the Top 10 ten contestants make fun of the judges. Hey, that’s my job. We get a Randy Jackson “in it to win it” montage. I hate when they try to be funny on this show. We’re back to another performance with an interesting combo of Kree Harrison on vocals, Travis Barker on drums and Randy Jackson and Keith Urban on guitar for their version of Keith’s “Where The Blacktop Ends.” This is so bizarro, but it’s fun to see Kree getting sassy.
It’s now time for Randy Jackson to get a tribute, commemorating his twelve years on the show. We get some fantastic vintage footage of the last remaining original judge, reminding us just how much weight he’s lost. Awww, Simon and Paula. So many blazers. Hey guys, remember when there were still crazy people auditioning for the show? Back when Nicki was auditioning for a boyfriend? And Zoanette? Where is she, BTW? And Charlie Askew?
After a message from Aretha Franklin,in which she accidentally prematurely congratulates Candice on winning, the Queen Of Soul joins the Top 5 ladies via satellite for a medley of some of her classics. Well, that’s what they get for making her do this on Skype. Former Idol judge, Jennifer Lopez, is no stranger to this stage. She and Pitbull team up for their new song “Live It Up.” Jennifer says, “Nothing lasts forever, so live it up.” Could she be referring to Mimi’s tenure as judge?
For the final round of torturing the two remaining finalists before they learn their fate, Candice and Kree sing two duets: “One Less Bell To Answer” and “A House Not A Home.”
Finally, Ryan announces that yes, Aretha was right, Candice did win season 12 of American Idol. Candice looks stunned and Kree appears genuinely happy for her friend. The rest of the Top 10 rush to the stage and hug her, hoping she’ll remember how nice they were to her throughout the season. Candice is a delightful, emotional wreck on stage. Ryan lets us know that Candice’s album is available on pre-order tonight. Dang, that was fast. Now, it’s time for Candice’s coronation single, “I Am Beautiful.” It’s a miracle she doesn’t choke on some confetti.
Guys, thanks for taking this journey with me. It’s been a long road filled with tears, laughter, smoke machines and captain’s hats. I’ll love you long after you’re gone, etc.
Let’s make a date to meet up next season, shall we?