After four consecutive seasons of male winners, American Idol fans were pleasantly surprised with Season 12’s top five. It was girl power to the highest degree as Amber, Kree, Janelle, Candice, and Angie entertained the judges and viewers with undeniable vocal talents. Critics agree that not only did the girls blow the boys out of the water this year, but these women also were the most skilled contestants to ever take the stage in Idol history.
Each week, the competition got more intense as contestants seemed to drop like flies. One by one the vocalists were sent home until only two remained: Kree Harrison and Candice Glover. Kree, who won the Midwest vote with her love of country and blues, had beautiful clarity to her voice that the judges constantly described as “real.” Soulful Candice reached the heavens with her high notes and elaborate trills in a style that “took [the judges] to church.” Ultimately, Candice’s humongous voice won her the competition. Struggling with self-esteem issues throughout most of her life, Candice has become an inspiration to women across the world, as Nicki Minaj made sure to point out. Her final performance of her new single, “I am Beautiful,” was a tearful, albeit heartwarming, display of how the underdog took it all! Congrats Candice!
With such an incredible finale, one has to wonder where the show goes from here? While there were many familiar faces in the last episode, like Aretha Franklin, Adam Lambert, and Jennifer Lopez, who gave phenomenal performances, many faces won’t be appearing for a 13th season, like all the faces from the panel of judges. Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Keith Urban only signed on for one season, so they won’t be back for season 13. Producers don’t seem to be taking it too hard though. After a 22% drop in ratings, the newest additions to the panel ended up costing more than they were worth. However, the real shock is Randy Jackson’s departure to pursue other projects. Aside from Ryan Seacrest, he was the only other original member of the cast. The show put together a special tribute to Randy’s 12 years on Idol and assured him that “the door is always open.” Though Randy will be missed, fans are waiting with baited breath to see who will make up the new panel as production tries to win back some of the fans that they lost during this season. They’ve certainly got our vote!