So it’s Kree Harrison versus Candice Glover for the American Idol title after a somewhat shocking Thursday night elimination show.
First off, congrats to Candice, the gal from St. Helena Island, S.C., who had tried out for Idol twice before and failed to make it even to the semifinals.
Very early on in Season 12, it was apparent she was one of the favorites.
Very early into the finals, it was apparent she was the best singer on the show.
But being the best singer doesn’t necessarily translate into an Idol victory. Just ask Adam Lambert or Crystal Bowersox.
It doesn’t even necessarily translate into a spot in the Idol finale. Just ask Haley Reinhart or Joshua Ledet.
This year, the best singer made it to the title round.
Quite honestly, the Idol stage would have seemed empty next week without performances by Candice Glover.
But somehow, when Idol ended Thursday night, I had the feeling we’d been robbed of a classic final two showdown of the likes we haven’t seen since David Cook and David Archuleta squared off at the end of Season 7.
Angie Miller might not be able to match Candice Glover run for run or glory note for glory note.
But she had a flair for performance and a fire in those performances that no other Season 12 Idol contestant has matched on a consistent basis.
So how did she finish behind Kree Harrison?
Kree undoubtedly benefited from that incredibly touching trip home clip that aired Wednesday night, focusing on how she lost both of her parents at an early age. By the time it ended, I was blinking tears from my eyes.
Kree probably benefited from the fact that Idol seemed to have her marked for elimination for three weeks now and did it again Wednesday night. Nothing rallies votes from fans quicker than a sense that their favorite is in danger.
Kree probably benefited from the demographic that watches Idol. Country singers do very well on this show. Just two years ago, we had an all-country finale. Remember?
And then there’s this: Kree is one heck of a fine singer. Superb in fact.
For the first four weeks of this year’s finals, I had her ranked first among all the Idol finalists.
In Top 6 week, I dropped her to number two behind Angie.
Eventually, she settled in at number three, behind Angie and Candice.
The fall had nothing to do with her singing. It had everything to do with improvement on the part of her competitors. And the fact that Kree’s performances just didn’t seem as impassioned or quite as fiery as you’d expect from someone determined to win the Idol title.
Hopefully, the certainty of a top two finish will bring out the best in Kree next Wednesday.
At her best, she can certainly hold her own with Candice.
If that happens, we might still get that classic Idol showdown.