'American Idol' finalists Candice Glover and Kree Harrison vie for twelfth-season title
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/16/2013
American Idol Top 2 finalists Candice Glover and Kree Harrison battled for the reality singing competition's twelfth-season title during Wednesday's final performance show, and Candice appeared to finish out the night with the edge.
For Round 1 last night, which was themed "Idol creator Simon Fuller's choice," Kree took the stage and sang "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan while Candice performed "Chasing Pavements" by Adele. Idol judge Randy Jackson made it clear he preferred Candice's performance, but fellow judge Mariah Carey was on the fence.
"I'm not sure either of these songs, Ryan, were the right songs that I would've chosen for them, because they were both a little sleepy if I'm being honest... Simon Fuller, I love you, but I would not have chosen those two songs," Randy explained, adding Kree's performance was "too lackluster" for him.
"But listen, I must say I got to give the edge in Round 1 to Candice. At least she took the song and tried to make more of it. It had some interesting choices and [I liked] seeing more of her lower register because it's so rangey."
"I also felt that Kree, in all fairness to Kree, she chose something and made it very delicate, very subtle. It was beautiful. It's two totally different worlds," Mariah said.
Round 2 featured each finalist singing the single that would be released if they were to win American Idol. Kree's song was called "All Cried Out" and Candice's song was entitled "I Am Beautiful." Judges Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj both picked a side after the two performances.
"I love [Kree's] composure. I love how understated she is, and I thought this song made her reach down in the gut more than she's ever done before. I heard a different part of her voice today," Nicki said.
"I think these songs got it. If ever there were two songs tailor-made for both of these girls, they're tailor-made," Keith said.
"I loved Candice's song because it makes so much sense for her to sing it... It's so meaningful. I love that song," Nicki said.
"It fits her like a glover," Keith joked.
Round 3 featured the ladies each singing their favorite song of the season. Kree performed "Up to the Mountain" and Candice sang a rendition of "I Who Have Nothing." The judges told Kree she did a fantastic job.
"That was beautiful, Kree. It's the spirituality and the soulfulness that you tap into. It's your story, it's all connected baby," Keith said.
"I loved it even more than the single performance because it felt just so rich. But I think all three of your performances showcased your beautiful voice tonight and your beautiful soul," Nicki explained.
"Kree, that right there is a winning kind of performance... That's your best performance of the night. I love you on that," Randy said.
"I feel the diversity and I think they were both smart choices," Mariah noted.
However, Candice seemed to blow the judges away after she closed out the show.
"You're such a powerhouse singer Candice. And that song, God, it's just like a planet exploding to life. It's amazing," Keith noted.
"I loved that performance... I think what comes across from you is superstar, commands the stage. And this is a big stage. This is a big place for you to perform in. And the fact you always walk on there and own it immediately, salute," Nicki said.
"This is how you do it! That's like the winning performance. You just shot this night to a whole other level, and that's what I've been waiting on because it's about singing, and baby, you got it all!" Jackson exclaimed.
"It doesn't matter if we heard you sing this particular song every single night of this competition. What you have is the ability, the innate ability, to take any song and turn it into a vehicle for that amazing voice, that nobody can deny. You have an undeniable talent. It just surpasses what I could have ever even imagined I'd see here [on Idol]," Mariah explained.