American Idol Season 12 - Top 2 Recap - Candice Glover vs. Kree Harrison
We made it! By tomorrow night, we'll fill out a cool dozen American Idol winners. Ryan (in a slick suit and bow tie) reminds us that for the first time since Season 3 (when Fantasia outlasted Diana DeGarmo), the Top 2 is a girl/girl showdown. And both of these powerhouse ladies clearly want to own the crown.
They get three songs each to showcase on stage in front of 7,000 strong at the Nokia Theater - the first chosen by Idol creator Simon Fuller, the second a newly penned original that the winner will enjoy as their first single, and the final selection is chosen by the artist from one of their previous performances this season.
Kree Harrison - "Angel" (Sarah Mclachlan)
The judges critique is bypassed so as to squeeze in six songs (seven if you count the new Carly Rae Jepsen bubblegum single) in the abbreviated, hour-long performance show.
Being the singing-reality show junkie that I am, I've heard this song performed by several potential artists - even as recently as last week (by Team Adam's Sarah Simmons on The Voice). I'm sure Simon Fuller knows this as well, which leads to it being a curious song selection. Shouldn't he be informed enough to pick a song that could be a single for her right now? Isn't the whole point of the show to sell downloads? Shouldn't he pick a Country song? It's one of those tunes that I find it difficult to think that anyone besides the original artist can perform better. Kree has a lovely voice and she sang it well, but I'll choose Ms.Mclachlan every time. B-
Candice Glover - "Chasing Pavements" (Adele)
This was a better song choice (especially because it hasn't been sung to death). Candice made it her own, with a few unique runs and her own interpretation of the timing in spots. It felt even jazzier than Adele's version, and could easily fit in as a cover on her first record. A-
Mariah - "This talent is so magnificent."
Randy - "I'm not sure if either of these songs were the right songs I woulda chose for them. I gotta give the edge in round 1 to Candice."
Kree Harrison - "All Cried Out"
Kree's original song that will be released (should she win) is really the first song this entire season that I feel is appropriate for Kree both in lyrical content and style. After her heart-wrenching homecoming visit last week, this is a timely and appropriate sentiment. She emoted more than usual, and I really believed her. This could be a hit Country song on the radio right now. A
(Kree got a standing O from everyone on the panel except for Nicki. I guess we know who Ms. Minaj wants to win.)
Candice Glover - "I Am Beautiful"
Which song would you rather hear under the confetti shower tomorrow night? With just the title alone and not even hearing the song, it shows another obvious strategic move by Idol producers as Candice is gifted the advantage by being awarded an uplifting song with a positive message. Idol has a history of winning songs with an inspirational message (see list below) and this one feels like it fits in with the show's reputation more that Kree's tune (which is inspiring as well, but sad at the same time.). Candice deserves it, of course, but it's clear that the show wants her to win. A
(Candice gets a standing O from all four judges).
Nicki - "I love her [Kree] composure and this song made her reach down in the gut more than she's ever done before."
"I love Candice's song. It makes so much sense for her to sing it...especially after last week."
Keith - "The songs were tailor made for both of these girls."
Idol's Winning Songs
"A Moment Like This"
"Fly Without Wings"
"Inside Your Heaven"
"Do I Make You Proud"
"This Is My Now"
"Time Of My Life"
"I Love You This Big"
Kree Harrison - "Up To the Mountain" (Patty Griffin)
(Kree gets a standing O from all four judges)
Keith - "Absolutely beautiful"
Nicki - "That energy is so uplifting."
Randy - "That right there is a winning kind of performance."
Mariah - "You gave us power here."
This was another solid vocal performance, and she really looked elegant - draped in a flattering red dress and the way her hair rested on her left shoulder. She sang with a lot of passion and power and gave everything she had to try and win. The growth and confidence she displayed since she performed this same song during Vegas week is unmistakable. Not sure that it will be enough, though. A-
Candice Glover "I (Who Have Nothing)" (Ben E. King)
(Candice gets another standing O from all four judges)
Keith - "That song is like a planet exploding to life."
Nicki - "I think what comes across for you is superstar. You command the stage."
Randy - "That girl can plum, flat-out sing. You shot this night to a whole other level."
Mariah - "You have the innate ability to take any song and turn it into a vehicle for that amazing voice. I know I'm gonna be listening to you for years to come."
Starting this song acapella was a bold and chill-inducing move. It worked incredibly well for Bo Bice during the Top 3 week of season 4, and I think it did the same for Candice tonight. She has proven week-after-week that she can not only always sing amazing, but often blow songs out of the water. This was another incredible show-stopping performance by a true star. A+
Who will win? It's hard to say. Candice deserves to win. She's the better singer. But at this point, it's probably not important who can sing better. It is, after all, a popularity contest. And on paper, it would stand to reason that the most popular girl will sell the most records. It's hard to refute the selling power of Country music in the current entertainment climate, and Kree has all of that in her corner. She'll get the votes and she may pull the upset tomorrow night, despite Idol's best efforts to steer the voting public towards votes for Candice. Both girls will do well in the music industry...but it's always better to emerge the victor.
Deserves to win - Candice
Who I hope wins - Candice
Will probably win - Kree