Hey, “American Idol” had a good finale!
Both Candice Glover and Kree Harrison performed well and the choice is in the “Idol” voters’ hands now. (And the judges didn’t get to talk much, so it was even more enjoyable than usual.)
Who will win? Well, if this was purely a singing competition, it would be Candice, who was both bolder with her vocal choices and a stronger singer overall. But this is “American Idol” and Kree is certainly more the type of singer that “Idol” voters have supported in the past. And given the declining “Idol” viewership, their faithful voters will have more say than ever.
Here’s how the night broke down:
ROUND ONE: SIMON FULLER’S CHOICE
Kree Harrison, “Angel”: Kree looks tired, as if it takes all her energy to lift her arms as she sings. Or maybe she’s just channeling this tired song choice. Luckily, her voice sounds good, though it’s hard to change the Sarah McLachlan song enough to make any sort of impact.
Candice Glover, “Chasing Pavements”: Candice gives the Adele song a jazzy twist, making it prettier, but less desperate than the original. Her changes make it sound less current, though it’s still a lovely performance.
WINNER: Candice. However, Randy Jackson calls both song choices “a little sleepy,” which may be the best criticism he’s had all season.
ROUND TWO: POTENTIAL SINGLES
Kree Harrison, “All Cried Out”: OK, does anyone want a coronation ballad about desperation? No. Not even one this pretty that Kree sang really well. Are producers sandbagging her?
Candice Glover, “I Am Beautiful”: Now that’s more like it. Candice gets a real coronation song — though still a little dark, right? — and hammers it home in true Mary J. Blige-ish fashion. It’s not going to beat Phillip Phillips, but it certainly was enough to beat Kree’s iffy song.
WINNER: Candice. “It fits her like a Glover,” jokes Keith Urban. They should keep him around just for that.
ROUND THREE: FAVORITE PERFORMANCE
Kree Harrison, “Up to the Mountain”: Kree owns this awesome Patty Griffin song and does it even better than the first time she tackled it. It’s the best she’s done in weeks and Randy called it “a winning kind of performance.”
Candice Glover: “I, Who Have Nothing”: Candice daringly starts this a cappella through the first chorus. The arrangement of this is even better, with the strings adding a lushness to what feels like a trip-hop beat. Candice’s power and control is on full display and this is really kind of a blowout. Of course, whether America agrees is a whole other matter.
WINNER: Candice. “What comes across from you? Superstar!” says Nicki Minaj.
WHO SHOULD WIN: Candice
WHO WILL WIN: Candice
ACTUALLY WON: Candice