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American Idol
Season 12
8p ET Wednesdays & Thursdays

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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

One was a waitress in Texas who went on to release her first greatest hits album.

One was a student and farmhand from Oklahoma who went on to star as Maria von Trapp in "The Sound of Music" upcoming.

One was a pawnbroker who went on to record the most-downloaded single in digital history.

They all had the same dream... to be a superstar. This dream now brings us to two more dreamers on the precipice of reality.

If you're watching this, then you are part of a small contingent of Americans who are NOT watching the series finale of "The Office", and for that you will bear witness. The crowning of the next American Idol.. starts NOW.

... and it starts with the top 10 singing "Glad You Came" by the Wanted.

Next up, The Band Perry with a song that isn't "If I Die Young"... a song that could describe how many of us feel about this series.. "Done". Joining them is... superstar duet #1, Janelle.

Next up, a WGWG montage with the guys questioning.. where they went wrong. They say "they were sabotaged" by a cabal of female singers led by season 6 Idol Jordin Sparks. And they were sabotaged, but it wasn't by the ladies. It was by the producers. They wanted a lady to win, and as we kept saying over the year, the die was cast in auditions. And it's 8:16 as we write. Yes, friends, finales aren't getting ANY BETTER. They finish up this act with a Four Seasons medley... with Frankie Valli (superstar duet #2).

Now Mariah Carey steps out of the judges chair and onto the stage with a montage of her hits. The ones that were NOT on the "#1s" record. This includes "#beautiful" with a disembodied voice. Perhaps the oddest duet she's ever done. Oh, Randy's on bass. I stand corrected.

Idol tour. AmericanIdol.com. Amber Holcomb will be there singing "Next To Me". And next to her eventually will be Emeli Sande. Aaaaaand .... boom goes the dynamite. (superstar duet #3)

Fiesta Mission montage. Meaning in a moment, someone's going to win a 2014 Ford Fiesta. It will be... their hometown mentors, Alberta Middleton of Beaufort, SC (Candice's grandmother) and Misa Arreaga... from Texas (Kree's kindred spirit)... who win ... tickets to the finale AND the new cars.

Next up, a man who NEEDS no introduction... singing his new hit "Gentleman"... PSY! He's nothing without the Guy in the Yellow Suit.

Next, Keith Urban sings "Little Bit of Everything".

In the audience, among others: Jonathan Mangum and Idol #10 Scotty McCreery.

Next, "Inseparable" by Candice Glover. And she is soon to be inseparated by... Jennifer Hudson! Not an Idol winner, but perhaps AI's biggest success story. (superstar duet #4)

Next, third-placer Angie Miller sings "Titanium" on the piano. With Adam Lambert taking a break from touring. (superstar duet #5)... leading us into another superstar duet (#6) with... Jessie J on "Domino" (ironically, a coach on "The Voice UK"). And she wants Angie to sing with her in the UK during the summer. Yeah.

Next up, a revisit of Mariah vs. Nicki. The feud that was... as much as it wasn't. Plus Keith Urban's T-shirt collection (our favorite: "I am the Stig") and Randy Jackson... what can we say that hasn't been said already. Thanks for the memories, dawg.

After visiting with Team Kree, we see Kree on stage singing "Where the Blacktop Ends" with Travis Barker on drums, Randy on bass, and Keith on lead guitar. (superstar band #1).

Tonight is the end of an era... after 12 seasons, this ... is Randy Jackson's LAST show. We have a montage of Randy auditioning in season 1 in front of eventual winner Kelly Clarkson and his own musings. And, of course, him playing the mighty bass. And sleeping with Simon Cowell. "It's given me such an insight into what it takes to really become a superstar." So long and thanks for all the dawgs, Randy. And as Ryan says... "The door is always open."

Next up, let's go to New York, where we see an FOI (friend of Idol) Aretha Franklin (she doesn't like to fly), telling Candice and Kree that tonight, they're both winners. She'll be singing via satellite with the top 5 ladies (superstar duet #7). The song, of course... "Natural Woman", followed by lesser hits from the Queen of Soul.

"American Idol" is back on the road this summer looking for Idol #13. Could it be YOU? Go to AmericanIdol.com to check the audition schedule AND check out online auditions.

By the way, back to the cars. Kree... Candice... HERE ARE YOUR 2014 FORD ESCAPES!

Next up, a tribute to the season set to the kiss of death anthem of A12K13: Phillip Phillips' "Gone Gone Gone".

Next up, a performance from former judge Jennifer Lopez with Pitbull, singing "Live It Up".

And at 9:57p ET, the FINAL commercial. "Please drink Coke, now tell us the winner, Seacrest!"

We end with one final duet with the top 2... "One Less Bell to Answer" by the Fifth Dimension, followed by "This House Is Not A Home" by Luther Vandross. Speaking of... IT'S TIME... to put a coda to all of this.

For the last time this season... SERIOUS LIGHTS, SERIOUS MUSIC.

We have the golden envelope from Edward Bottington of Telescope. The votes for American Idol have been tallied and verified for accuracy. The result of the vote... is final.

Ryan Seacrest, it is all yours.

"After the nationwide vote...

... the winner....

... of American Idol...

... season 12...

... IS.....


And here's the confetti! Here's the top 10 to congratulate their new champion! And here's the confetti... And here's the pyrotechnics... And here's the microphone trophy... and here's the microphone. Available now for download with "I Am Beautiful", here is now American Idol Candice Glover, proving once again... You CAN be third time lucky.

For everyone at GSNN, I'm Chico Alexander. Remember as always... SUPPORT LOCAL & INDEPENDENT MUSIC! See you in January, America!

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