Well, after many long weeks, the American Idol finale came last night. I would like to say it came, it sang, it conquered. But it came, it sang, it seemed rushed and anti-climactic.
Our final two are a good final two, both talented women who seem authentic. I really have to blame the song choices -- which erred on the dreary side -- and the time wasted on stuff like the Carly Rae Jepsen number. Save it for the results show. How the actual performance show is only one hour, while you know they will stretch out that damn results show? Travesty.
Image of finalist Candice: Courtesy FOX, from video below
So, here's how it was laid out:
Round 1 would be producer Simon Fuller's choice.
Round 2 would be each contestant's prospective winning single.
Round 3 would be each contestant's own favorite performance so far.
Let's dig in:
Simon Fuller's choice: "Angel" by Sarah MacLachlan
That was pretty, but a very low-key choice for her. And it's not like heartbreaking emotionality is her strong point as a performer. Simon didn't do her any favors with the song choice, and I KNOW I am not the only one who can only see pathetic, lonely puppy faces when I hear this song, am I right?
Her single: "All Cried Out"
I thought the song was just a little too high for her, really. I was worried each time she went to the top of that chorus. This was another weepy song, and I could totally see this being a country hit. Take it down just a step, and it's golden. I think after she had that one really emotionally connected song about her parents a couple of weeks ago, they obviously saw that as a strong suit for her. But that was the exception, not a rule.
Contestant favorite: "Up to the Mountain"
I do like that song a lot, and remember it as the first time she made a real impression on me in the competition. Her nerves were driving her a little sharp on the ending. And it was yet a third low-key song. It didn't necessarily have to be, though. She could have gone way gospel. It was her one chance to kind of go crazy, and she stood there dressed like a Greek statue and sang.
Bottom line: I like Kree. I think she'll have a career. I think she may even win: She's extremely reminiscent of Carrie Underwood, and perhaps even more relatable. But there's no question to me that she isn't the more talented of the two finalists.
Simon Fuller's choice: "Chasing Pavements" by Adele
This was also a pretty, low-key song, but one that showed off a few key things for Candice that "Angel" did not show off for Kree. It showed her range. I love her strength in the low range, which, if you watch these shows at all, you know is a tough thing for any woman, especially when she's nervous. It also showed her subtlety; Candice is not just about wailing. Finally, it showed her control, including breath control. Amazing technique, amazing control of her instrument.
Her single: "I Am Beautiful"
OK, I know this was empowering and awesome, and apparently so brave of her to sing -- which is just kind of insulting, when you think about it. But personally? I found it to be a boring song. Not the single I would buy from this girl.
Contestant favorite: "I Who Have Nothing"
Done. Ready. AS I've been saying for weeks. She is just so complete as a performer. And so connected. It's really not just about the voice. It's about the conviction. The specificity with which she sings about something and someone. LOVE.
Bottom Line: Well, I'm sure you know Candice has been my favorite all season long. I think despite a slew of wonderful voices on that stage, she was always several steps beyond and ahead. To me, it's her crown all the way.
But what do you think?
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