‘American Idol’ finale review: Did Kree Harrison’s ‘All Cried Out’ overtake Candice Glover?

American IdolYou’ve watched “American Idol” this season, loved the singers, complained about the judges, and possibly crafted all sorts of conspiracy theories about what producers did to the men this year. The truth is, though, this was the right final two even if the show hadn’t pumped-out the women so aggressively. Kree Harrison and Candice Glover have been consistently amazing, and what’s also nice is that they seem to genuinely get along.

Before we get into the performances, allow us to raise an eyebrow at Kree for deciding to go first. We’re not saying that she can’t win with that, but doesn’t going second always give you a better shot? For those independent voters / Angie Miller fans, they may just vote for the person they remember the most.

Round One, Simon Fuller’s choice

Kree, “Angel” – Ugh. Terrible song choice by the show’s creator, who seems to only have a knowledge of around 30 songs. Now that we’ve said that, at least Kree found a way to actually make this song into something country. The problem is that this is a singing competition, and the song does not allow for much actual singing more so than just emoting.

Candice, “Chasing Pavements” – A better song choice, even though Adele is almost as overdone. Another good arrangement, and a song that let her do a little bit more with the song. Personally, we felt that both of these performances felt incredibly short, even if they were the same length as everything else over the years.

The judges – Congratulations Mariah Carey, for taking up so much time that apparently the opinions of Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban don’t matter. Allow this to be a microcosm for the entire season.

Our pick – Candice, but we blame Simon for this.

(Now, a break so Carly Rae Jepsen can come up dressed like an anime character and sing something not about calling people.)

Round Two, coronation singles

Kree, “All Cried Out” – After Ryan Seacrest was accosted by some woman that was about ready to pick up the pieces left by Julianne Hough, we had the song that really matters at the moment: Kree’s version of Phillip Phillips’ “Home.” It’s somewhat-surprising that she didn’t get to have a co-write here given her history. Vocally and emotionally, this was a “wow” seven ways to Sunday. We wish the song was a little less drippy for radio, but she got a standing ovation from everyone other than Nicki.

Candice, “I Am Beautiful” – Well, Nicki made her leaning rather subtle just by who she stood up for. We know that Candice co-wrote her song, but this one just didn’t catch us as something that would get much play on the radio. She sang it well, but with original songs you have to base a huge amount on the connection you feel to the song.

The judges – Well, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj babbled without really saying anything.

Our pick – Kree. The simple truth is that we felt something more here than we did with Candice, which says something about the country star’s ability to really pull emotion out of a song. We also see it as something that may get a little bit of airplay. At least these are both better than that awful “Change Nothing” song that was far inferior than Jessica Sanchez’s talent.

Round Three, reprisals

Kree, “Up to the Mountain” – This is the second time in four years that “Up to the Mountain” was performed during a season finale, as this was the winners’ single for Crystal Bowersox. In a word, magic. Kree totally brought it, and even got that precious standing ovation from Nicki. This is the best she’s ever sang, and if she does lose now, she can at least say that she did everything that she could.

Candice, “I (Who Have Nothing)” – This is where picking to go first may have cost Kree her title. She did just as great of a job with her song, but while Kree excels with emotions, Candice has a voice that can blow a city bus down the street. We just cannot see her losing after this vocal performance that simply was pitch-perfect, professional, and showed the fire in her eyes. Also, great change-up with the introduction!

The judges – They basically bowed down to both people, though Mariah looked about ready to crown Candice then and there.

Our pick – It was super close this time, but you have to give it to Candice. Her performance was last, and nobody is ever going to forget what she did.

Overall, Candice will probably take this, but both have a pretty good shot at a career depending on what Interscope chooses to do with them. It’s easy to be super-optimistic now, but in reality these ladies are at times putty in the hands of others.

Who was your favorite tonight, whose single are you going to buy, and who do you think will actually win? We have many questions, we know! For now, we want you to vote in the poll below, and also click here to find out when some of these albums could actually be released.

Photo: Fox

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