Season 12 American Idol Review (Winner Announced!) + Top 20 Most Memorable Performances of the Season
…and that winner would be…
This is my third year writing American Idol recaps and, for the first time, I finally get to write “The right person won.”
The right person won.
There was a time when Kree was my favorite. There was even a week where I put Amber in my #1 spot (before she sort of floundered). But Candice has always been the rock of this season. She’s the most consistent. She has the strongest voice. She chose the best songs with the most variety. This year we were lucky to have a very strong top 5…but, despite that, Candice usually rose to the top. That is why, when I reveal my top 20 towards the end of the post, you’ll see she takes up nearly half the slots. She has been that good.
I haven’t been this satisfied and pleased with a winner since season 7. Dats da troof.
However, I should say some nice things to Kree. I meant what I said last week: I would have been happy if Kree had won. She has been a calm, consistent presence throughout the competition. Her spirit is full. Her demeanor is relaxed. She has a great, humble personality. (I found it really endearing that she allowed Candice to go last during the performance show.) If she sticks with country, I believe she’ll do just fine. Actually, I hope all the finalists find some sort of success or happiness from being on this show. It’s weird…I didn’t think this top 10 got along very well in the beginning of the live shows. But seeing them be so supportive towards Candice and Kree these last couple of weeks has been darn right inspiring. Despite all the negative press, these tykes seem to be having the time of their lives (more on that later). So…go them!
This season has been interesting. Despite it’s relatively low ratings, it’s gotten a lot of buzz and has been the
ridicule discussion of every entertainment site. I honestly don’t hate this season as much as the rest of world does. Maybe I’m just happy that we got a female winner. I dunno…but I honestly didn’t dislike this season. I watched every episode. I anticipated every performance show. Clearly, I enjoyed the show…or else I wouldn’t be watching it. However, I DO think this show needs a major makeover for next season. Better theme weeks. More helpful mentoring. A new judging panel (maybe keep Keith, but definitely get rid of Mariah). I’d even limit the voting and shorten the results shows but…I know FOX would never do that in million years.
This show has bounced from slumps before. Season 9 still remains my least favorite season…but season 10 and 11 were comparatively better. I have faith in this show. It’s still a high rated show (technically). If TPTB want to continue this show…then I let them. But they need to work hard…or else their ratings will fall even lower. But I faith in this show. I certainly still like it more than the other singing competition shows (Sorry, Voice fans!)
But, enough about that…let’s discuss some of my favorite moments from the finale…
1. THE HUMOR - It was weird, and almost a little cringe worthy…but I appreciate that the show was willing to take such jabs against itself. I liked the skit about the girls sabotaging the guys so they would be eliminated one by one (the show’s thinly veiled way of admitting that they manipulated things so a girl would win, maybe?) And I liked the skit where the contestants made fun of the judges (particularly Nicki and Randy). I dunno…I laughed. It was funny. Kill me. The one part was a little too much was the “The Voice” diss. I dunno…a LOT of AI viewers LOVE The Voice. I’m not sure if they would appreciate that joke, much.
2. MARIAH - Yeah, she’s still got it. I adored her little medley. Just her, on stage, in a sparkly gown, singing her hits. That’s all we ask from her (literally),
3. AMBER and EMELIE - “Next To Me” is still stuck in my head. They both sounded great together.
4. CANDICE and JENNIFA HUDSON - That’s right. “Jennifa.” Those harmonies were sick.
5. ANGIE and FRIENDS - Those friends being Adam Lambert and Jessie J. Quelle sick!
6. KREE and JUDGES - Kree sounded really awesome next to Keith and…Randy. I always forget that Randy is actually a talented bassist. Maybe he should go back to doing that…
7. JENNIFER LOPEZ and PITBULL - What can I say? Her dance moves slay me.
And of course, the best moment was seeing Candice reprise her coronation song ”I Am Beautiful” to a crazy load of confetti. Awes!
But, seriously, I definitely got choked up seeing Candice’s dreams come true. I’ve been following her on Youtube for the last year, hoping that one day she would get the success she deserves…I’m glad she got it.
Before I FINALLY list my top 20…I should talk about Randy a little. Even though I truly believe this is the right time for him to leave (and for the show to get rid of him), I will miss Randy. I don’t think he was completely useless. During the first 7 seasons with the original trio of judges, sometimes he was a nice mediator between the loopy/too nice Paula and the sometimes overly critical Simon. He was a necessary member of the panel and I’m glad he was there. Yeah, Randy wasn’t the most articulate judge on television…
Anyway…let’s close this. Here are my 20 favorite performances from the season.
20. Janelle Arthur “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” (top 6) – A breezy, fun performance that showed Janelle’s personality well.
19. Devin Velez “It’s Impossible” (semis) – A performance that PROVES he has a beautiful voice.
18. Kree Harrison “Piece of My Heart” (top 7) – Sometimes you can show some real grit in a performance while you’re in pain.
17. Burnell Taylor “I’m Here” (semis) – Best male solo performance of the season.
16. Candice Glover “Ordinary People” (semis) – A solid, clean performance that propelled her to front runner status.
15. Angie Miller “Try” (top 3) – I was totally fist pumping during this one.
14. Candice Glover “I Am Beautiful” (top 2) – A great “FU” for anyone who has ever told her she wasn’t “commercial” enough (or some BS like that).
13. Candice Glover “I Who Have Nothing” (top 2) – The acapella beginning gave me chills.
12. Candice Glover “Satisfaction” (top 7) – One of the moments of the season where she really rocked out.
11, Kree Harrison “What the World Needs Now…” (top 6) – A beautiful, contemporary rearrangement that fit her voice perfectly.
10. Janelle Arthur “Dumb Blonde” (top 5) – If only more contestants this season took more risks like this. Task: listen to the Dolly Parton version…and then listen to Janelle’s interpretation. Exactly.
9. Candice Glover “Straight Up” (top 5) – Bububububye.
8. Amber Holcomb “Love On Top” (top 6) – A bubbly, infectious performance that gave us a glimpse at how current she could be.
7. Janelle Arthur “You Keep Me Hanging On” (top 8) – One of the best interpretations of any song this season.
6. Candice Glover “Don’t Make Me Over” (top 6) – TAKE ME FOR WHAT I AM! Seriously. Gawl. (I liked this performance more than “Love song.”)
5. Candice and Burnell “The Letter” (top 7) – Harmonies were sick. Probably Burnell’s finest moment. At least he left the show on a good note.
4. Candice, Angie, Amber “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” (top 8) – Sassy performance from my three favorite contestants this season.
3. Amber Holcomb “She’s Leaving Home” (top 9) – If Amber had taken more risks like this, maybe she would have made it longer on the show…
2. Angie Miller “Who You Are” (top 4) – An electric performance that was needed in an otherwise disappointing performance night.
1. Candice Glover “Come Together” (top 9) – Beatles Night was probably my favorite episode this season…This performance is just so much fun and so different from what Candice usually gave us. I knew if Candice could conquer this song, she could conquer anything.
Well…thanks for following me this season. I had a lot of rants but…I still enjoyed recapping the show. Let’s see what next year will bring.
Also…please PLEASE PLEASE support your favorite contestants after this season. Whether your favorite was Candice or even Lazaro…please SUPPORT them. We take “who wins” too seriously nowadays. What matters is the success after the show (just ask Daughtry). So seriously…support them (and, if you haven’t already, buy Jessica Sanchez’s new album…it should be doing better!)
Bye! Next up… EMMY TALK! Stay tuned for that.