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American Idol
Season 12
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In the world's ultimate talent search, where the eyes of a nation are upon the best undiscovered singers in the country, where the audience has the power to make or break you, and where a million-dollar recording contract is on the line, there is only one rule: If you can sing it, bring it.

Recaps by Chico Alexander, Jason Block, Don Harpwood & Gordon Pepper, GSNN
Host Ryan Seacrest
Judges Mariah Carey
Randy Jackson
Nicki Minaj
Keith Urban
Mentor Jimmy Iovine
Announcer Mark Thompson
Creator Simon Fuller (based upon "Pop Idol")
EP Nigel Lythgoe
Ken Warwick
Cecile Frot-Coutaz
Simon Fuller
Trish Kinane
Packager 19 TV & FremantleMedia North America
Origins CBS Television City, Los Angeles
Web americanidol.com
Airs 8p Wed & Thurs, Fox
@American Idol

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Round of 2: The Coronation Round
May 15

It started with thousands of auditions. Those thousands were whittled to hundreds of callbacks. Those hundreds were whittled further to dozens. Then 20. Then 10. And one by one they were eliminated until we arrived at two. One is a bluesy country folk singer from deep in the heart of Texas who was discovered by Rosie O'Donnell. The other, a jazzy R&B chanteuse from the Carolina coast who auditioned at least TWICE before. Both of their lives have changed forever, but in the end, they have to sing. You have to vote. ONE has to win. It's finally time to face the music.

Nokia Theatre LA Live

Three rounds. I want a good clean match. No vocal acrobatics. No flat notes. No tritones. Kree Harrison, ready to work? Candice Glover, ready to work? LET'S WORK!

Kree won the coin toss last week and has elected to go FIRST.


Kree Harrison: "Angel" by Sarah MacLachlan

THEY SAY: ... Strangely nothing.

WE SAY: I think we're beginning to see the cracks coming through the otherwise steely-eyed Kree Harrison. She should've just stuck to the melody and let the song be. Because this is one of those "simple songs sung simply". Kree could stand to do more with less here.

Candice Glover: "Chasing Pavements" by Adele

THEY SAY: Again... nothing.

WE SAY: Again, more with less. But Candice injected more of her own soul into this song, and she had a nice little punctuation in the end.

NOW... we go to the panel. Mariah thought that both songs were "of a level that's mindboggling". Randy isn't sure that each of these songs were the right ones to choose. This is what you call "letting the door hit you on the way out." He ends up giving it to Candice on account of her taking the song to another level.


Taking a break from the competition with the Perfect Harmony performance of "Take a Picture" from the world's most famous "Canadian Idol" alumna... CARLY RAE JEPSEN. Basically a 4 minute advert for Coca-Cola.


As a reminder, this is the song that the winner will release FRIDAY to try and topple the record set by last year's "Home" by reigning American Idol Phillip Phillips.

Kree: "All Cried Out" by Kree Harrison

WE SAY: It's a little sharp and it borders on shouting at times. But this is a song that will get Kree votes, and in the end, sadly, that's all that matters. Her fanbase will lap it up. The rest of us are waiting for something to happen.

Candice: "I Am Beautiful" by Candice Glover

WE SAY: It certainly SOUNDS like a winner's single. Where Kree falls and Candice rises is the control level of the song that gives it depth. And you can see that Candice is genuinely feeling the song. Is it enough to win? There's one more round left.

WHAT THEY SAY: Nicki thought Kree was composed, and that the song brought out some "guts" to her. Keith thought the songs were tailor made for both singers. Nicki LOVES Candice's song. Keith? "It fits her like a Glover."

VERDICT: ROUND 2 to... CANDICE. Keith and Nicki... split.


One song from the season to lay it all on the line.

Kree: "Up to the Mountain" by Solomon Burke (Vegas Round)

THEY SAY: Keith thought it was "beautiful" and "her story". Nicki though that the energy of the song was "uplifting". Randy thought it was her BEST performance of the night. Mariah loved the diversity she's displayed all night.

WE SAY: Interesting thing... Crystal Bowersox sang this three years ago at the final... and LOST. But then again, she didn't have the power that Kree had tonight. And this is a powerful song. A great choice, a near-perfect vocal, and Kree is finally flashing leather in this final.

And now... the closer. If Candice sings "Somewhere" again, this competition is OVER.

Candice: "I (Who Have Nothing)" by Ben E. King (Round of 10)

THEY SAY: Keith compares it to "a planet exploding to life". Nicki thought she was more comfortable singing this than her single. Randy, in his final criticism... "That girl can plum flat out sing. This is how you do it. You just shot this night to a whole another level." Mariah says she has an innate ability to turn any song into a vehicle.

WE SAY: That was a good performance. I know it was a good performance, because (aside from the a cappella beginning) when she did the exact same performance in the round of 10 it was a good performance. Nice try.

VERDICT: Candice did enough to win this competition. For Kree... it was too much, too little, too late. To quote the immortal Simon Cowell to Candice: "That was... YOUR ACCEPTANCE SPEECH."

The ladies have done all they can in this competition. The power now shifts with America. With that, the competition is over and the voting lines are OPEN.


We've gone from thousands to hundreds to dozens to two in a matter of five months. Both are incredible talents and both have great futures ahead of them, but in the end, there can only be one American Idol.


So who is the next American Idol? Tomorrow, after duets, reunions, group numbers, some other... stuff... and at about 10p, you can set your clock by it... we will answer that question.


To see extras from this episode, go to www.americanidol.com.