Candice Glover won "American Idol" Season 12 over Kree Harrison as Psy, Jennifer Hudson, Jessie J, Adam Lambert and Aretha Franklin performed.
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Candice Glover somehow tops Amber Holcomb and Kree Harrison on powerhouse 'American Idol'
Candice Glover capped off one of the best nights ever on "American Idol" with a powerful, unexpected performance of The Cure's "Lovesong" that overshadowed Amber Holcomb's and Kree Harrison's fresh and surprising takes on songs written nearly a half-century ago.
The six remaining finalists had to sing a song by Burt Bacharach first, before getting to perform any song they wish they had written.
Glover literally closed down the show, prompting Randy Jackson to yell, "On behalf of all my judges up here, one of the greatest performances in the history of 'American Idol!'"
Below is how I rated everyone; put in your thoughts in the comments below.
1) Candice Glover's "Lovesong" had the audience whooping from the get-go. It was powerful, pitch-perfect and compelling -- and surprising, because we had no idea she was a Cure fan. She's a total professional who was in the zone and had the audience -- and herself -- in tears by the end. Mariah Carey came up on stage to shower her in glitter as a tribute.
2) Amber Holcomb glided out in a catsuit on "I Say A Little Prayer" and somehow found the perfect touch on a song from 46 years ago. As Nicki Minaj said, "I was smiling the whole time and didn't know why!"
3) Kree Harrison's "What the World Needs Now is Love" was pitch-perfect -- she let the song breathe, and changed up the cadence enough to make it her own. Keith Urban said the "real, genuine compassion" she has for people really came through.
4) Angie Miller was back at the piano on "Love Came Down" and the accolades came pouring back from the judges. Minaj told her to stay on the show, she needs to stay behind the ivories, telling her she's so good there that "if I'm not crying after your performance, something is wrong."
5) Amber Holcomb's "Love On Top" was fun and as Urban said, "We were all dancing up here." Minaj told her, "You have arrived," with Jackson adding, "Yes, yes, yes!"
6) Candice Glover's confidence and strong vocals let her take an ordinary song, "Don't Make Me Over," and make it sound fresh, getting a standing ovation from the judges.
7) Kree Harrison's "Help Me Make It Through the Night" was well-sung, but not that memorable for me -- even as Urban called her "everything beautiful and pure about country music."
8) Angela Miller's "Anyone Who Had a Heart" was a forgettable, if vocally strong, performance of a weak song. The judges all said it lacked passion, but I think she just didn't have much to work with.
9) Janelle Arthur's performance of Garth Brooks' "The Dance" was most notable for Carey claiming that was the first time she'd ever heard the song. What?!
10) Janelle Arthur's "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" was instantly forgettable; Jackson termed it "lackluster."
11) Lazaro Arbos' "Close to You" drove Jackson to say, "No, no, no!'" He swallowed the words and it was a bad pick, but I think the judges raked over him a bit too much.
12) Lazaro Arbos 's "Angels" was hard to understand, but not horrible -- it had some dramatics in it. Judges still panned it, though.