Candice Glover won "American Idol" Season 12 over Kree Harrison as Psy, Jennifer Hudson, Jessie J, Adam Lambert and Aretha Franklin performed.
Nicki Minaj walks out on Mariah Carey on 'American Idol,' overshadows Isabel Gonzalez, Seretha Guinn, Candice Glover and Rodney Barber
Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey's "feud" got all the headlines, but "American Idol" may also have found some serious contenders for the crown in Charlotte with Isabel Gonzalez, Seretha Guinn, Candice Glover and Rodney Barber.
Minaj walked out cursing at the end of the first day of auditions after arguing with the other judges about whether they were spending too much time trying to force contestants into categories like "country" or "rock," instead of just picking great voices and letting them find their way.
Carey, master of the sarcastic attack and apparently sick of Minaj dominating the first few auditions with her stream-of-consciousness remarks about the contestants and her fellow judges, dryly said, "That was my move. I was going to do that the next time she ragged on me."
It all seemed like much ado about nothing to me: They're both divas, Minaj is direct while Carey is passive-aggressive. But they both like to talk so there's going to be moments when they clash. By day two in Charlotte everything was back to normal; will be interesting to see once the live shows start what's carried over.
Below are the contestants in order of how much I liked them. Add your own thoughts in the comments, below.
1) Sweet Isabel Gonzalez may be my favorite contestant of the year so far. She's just in high school but sounded like a pro on "Nothing Can Ever Change This Love," prompting Minaj to say she's "absolutely heads over heels in love" with her.
2) Smooth Seretha Guinn's jazzy version of the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" was the most creative audition song we've heard. Minaj dubbed her a "superstar," with Jackson seeing some Whitney Houston in her.
3) Self-dubbed "church girl" Candice Glover 's "Syrup and Honey." got a standing ovation from Carey and Jackson, and the most memorable line of the season so far from Minaj: "I want to skin you and wear you."
4) Rodney Barber, who was formerly homeless and sings on the street, was sincere and showed off a strong voice on "I'll Be." Carey called him "fantastic," with Minaj as usual putting it just right: "You have something really captivating about you."
5) Likable Janelle Arthur's "Where the Blacktop Ends" prompted Jackson to call her vocals "amazing."
6) Frog-hunter Ja'Bria Barber's classic rendition of "Pride and Joy" got an "adorable" from Carey, with Jackson praising her "spunk" and "crazy swagger."
7) Ashley Smith was goofy but turned serious when it was time to sing, with a compelling version of "Cowboy Casanova."
8) Rocker Taisha Bethea was a mystery to me. I like her, not sure why -- as Urban said, just want to hear more from her.
9) Brian Rittenberry, whose wife was diagnosed with cancer, showed off an unexpectedly sweet, mellow voice on "Let It Be," prompting Urban to say, "You just have a good light about you."
10) Country-tinged singer Jimmy Smith's "Bless the Broken Road" impressed all the judges, with Minaj responding, "popping, like you're mad fly."
11) Summer Cunningham 's "Lean On Me" was most notable for igniting the feud between Minaj and Carey.
12) Navy reservist Brandy Hamilton 's "All I Can Do Is Cry" was just okay for me.