American Idol, Season 12: The Grand Finale!

Ah, yes! The night has finally arrived! After weeks of weeding out the dead weight, and discovering a few true gems only to have them too vanish, we are left with out top two! Candice Glover and Kree Harrison! Our first all female top 2 since Fantasia and Diana in Season 3! One of these two lovely ladies will be crowned the winner of American Idol: Season 12, on a night that promised epic performances!

Consider that promise broken. Tonight was a bit like watching a screen saver. Its cool to stare at for a minute, but after a few seconds it gets old. The song choices tonight were questionable, and there was never a true stand out moment. Each girl traded even blows that were ultimately falling limp compared to what we’ve already seen from them. Overall…the night was just meh.

But who will win in the end?

Round 1: Simon Fuller’s Choice
As if giving Jimmy Iovine an opportunity to pick songs wasn’t enough. Simon chose two pleasant songs for our girls that produced two run of the mill, mediocre performances.

Kree went first, and was given Angel by Sarah McLaughlan. Can we please, please, for the love of god, stop performing this song on TV!? This ranks right up there with Hallelujah for being an amazing song to listen to, but a train wreck when covered by anyone else. Kree did a respectable job, but when there isn’t a montage of abused puppies or starving children, this song is just boring. Like…a total sleeping pill. I did like that Kree added some country influences to the arrangement, but overall…this performance was like a sleeping pill.

Candice didn’t actually fare much better. She was given Adele’s Chasing Pavements, which initially sounded like a match made in heaven. However, the arrangement was a bit more uptempo….a decision that I don’t get at all. Candice sang the hell out of it, but she oversang most of it, and added so many runs that all the subtlety was gone. I just didn’t feel any emotional connection what so ever. The performance was awkward, but at least I stayed awake.

Round 1 Winner: Candice

Round 2: Winner’s Single!
How do I feel about the winner’s singles? Two words: magic rainbow.
Traditionally, these coronation songs are absolutely god awful. However, after the success of Home, I was hoping that maybe…just maybe, we’d have some singles that were actually relevant and radio ready. And…you know…didn’t suck completely. But alas, my hopes were dashed.

Kree’s song was a sappy ballad called All Cried Out. It plays out like a Carrie Underwood song that didn’t make it on the final tracklist of her last album…which I’d be willing to bet was the case. Seriously, this song is as predictable as heartbreak ballads come. I was able to predict every single key change before it happened.   Now don’t get me wrong, Kree gave a convincing debut to the song. Her voice was powerful, and the emotion was definitely there! But am I going to buy it? Request it on the radio? Download it illegally? Probably not.

Nor am I going to be adding Candince’s cheesefest to my playlist. I’m Beautiful does have a good message at heart: self appreciation, and giving yourself what you deserve. That said, this song has no place on any radio station. This soaring ballad is just that…a ballad. Not a soul ballad, pop ballad….its practically genreless. Think of the lyrics as a ceesier version of Chistina Aguilera’s Beautiful….which, I would have actually preferred ot hear Candice cover.

Round 2 Winner: Kree

Round 3: Reprise
After four ballads in a row, I was hoping for some strategy here. After all, this is the time to show us what kind of artist you’re going to be! After ballads number five and six, it seems that they’re both trying to go for the Leona Lewis route. You know…can’t do a damn thing except for ballads. And you know what? Kree could totally be the Leona Lewis of Country music! And Candice could be the Leona of RnB! Better get your Bleeding Loves out girls! It’ll be your one hit….

Kree chose her one true shinging moment of the competiton, Up to the Mountain. It was actualyl a slam dunk performance where we got to see the fire reignited. Her voice was flawless as she demonstrated her full range, and her passion was practically tangible. However, after following two ballads…I was bored as hell. Did Kree really need to pick a third? At this point, all of her performances blended together to form one soppy mess of a ballad. It was a poor strategy that didn’t make me want to vote for her at all.

Candice decided not to give a reprise of Lovesong, and I hate her for it. Instead, we get treated to I Who Have Nothing for a fourth time on this show. She switches it up a bit by going acapella for the entire first verse. Its a powerful move, but a bit over indulgent. I really think that the lack of instrumentals robbed the performance of some of its dramatic effect. However, once the band kicks in, we’ve got it back! Candice finishes strong, and gives the best performance of the night.

Round 3 Winner: Candice

So, after a night that’s rather blase, all I can say is “where the hell is Angie?” In the end, I’d give the title to Candice Glover.

We’ll see tomorrow night!


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