It’s finale night on “American Idol.”
We’re at the end.
In a little over two hours, we’ll know the winner between Kree Harrison and Candice Glover.
Yup. 2:07. That’s how long we’re gonna have to wait.
That’s a lot of filler, so you might as well join the conversation below!
8:00 p.m. I can’t force you to join me in half-watching the Bruins and Rangers in the background, but if you’re attempting to multi-task along with me, it’s on The NBC Cable Sports Network Formerly Known As Versus.
8:01 p.m. Tonight’s first group sing, courtesy of the white-clad Top 10, is “Glad You Came.” I’m glad to see Burnell. I’m glad Janelle is back. And she was only gone for a week, but I kinda missed Angie. I did not miss Lazaro. And I didn’t remember Paul Jolley was a person who existed.
8:03 p.m. Adam Lambert in the house, back from Singapore!
8:03 p.m. Taylor Hicks in the house, back from Oblivion.
8:03 p.m. Bo Bice! Kim Locke! Wow. Everybody’s here tonight.
8:04 p.m. Welcome, probably for the last time, our “Idol” judges. And Ryan Seacrest, who do you say “in just two hours,” as if this will be an efficient transition of power?
8:05 p.m. Candice Glover and Kree Harrison take the stage holding hands. They agree that they only got five hours of sleep last night. “Either way, we’re gonna celebrate tonight,” Kree says of tonight’s results.
8:05 p.m. Oh God. Psy. I’m more optimistic about performances from The Band Perry and Mariah Carey.
8:09 p.m. Trailer for “The Grown-Ups 2.” Well, things can only get better from here!
8:10 p.m. Ladies and Gentleman… The Band Perry. Kimberly Perry is very excited to be here and she even knows what show she’s on. You definitely can’t quibble with the overall energy level from The Band Perry. They’re a great choice to open the show, because at least they get things moving. And… Janelle Arthur! I’ve said it before: Janelle really ought to have a successful country career. She’s in all ways superior to Kellie Pickler as a singer and a performer and she’s better than Lauren Alaina as well. Kellie has done a remarkable job of selecting material and marketing herself and she deserves full credit for that. I’d like to hope Janelle will be as clever. Of course, putting Janelle next to Kimberly Perry is asking for Janelle to look just a bit sluggish, but she does her best, even if one of the two singers is out of breath at the end and it isn’t Kimberly.
8:14 p.m. The “Idol” men have a scripted clip retrospective recalling the unexpected elimination of all five “Idol” men to start the season. They argue that they were sabotaged. For example, Kree gave Curtis Finch Jr. a ridiculous red paisley jacket, which led to his elimination. Angie Miller instructed Paul Jolley to make a joke on the show, while Amber Holcomb drugged Devin Velez. And Lazaro being one of the worst singers in “Idol” history? That was because of Janelle swapping his sheet music. And if you thought Candice and Burnell were close? No. She was stealing his lunch money. And the whole conspiracy was masterminded by… Jordin Sparks. “How could you do this?” one asks. “It was really easy. None of you guys play the guitar,” she tells them. “The good news is that ‘Idol’ leftovers have been doing pretty well on ‘The Voice,'” Jordin adds. Zing!
8:18 p.m. Oh no. I’m not sticking around for a performance by the Top 5 Men. Oh come on! Commercial in the hockey game?
8:20 p.m. The Men briefly give way to Frankie Valli, but then return to the stage to torture him like he’s Theon Greyjoy. Keith Urban is very excited by this performance. Nicki Minaj is probably contemplating whether she wants to leave “Idol” immediately after the show or if she wants to wait a day or two.
8:23 p.m. The word is “grease.” Frankie Valli is 79, by the way. He’s doing just fine for himself.
8:28 p.m. Mariah! Doing “Vision of Love”! Actually, she’s doing a full Mariah medley. I’ll let others speculate on how much backing vocals are going on her. So much wind. So many uncoordinated “Idol” fans surrounding Mariah and trying to wave their arms in tandem. And now they have glow-sticks or something.
8:32 p.m. Yeah, no clue on the backing vocals, but in the parts where she’s doing, Mariah’s pretty impressive. She’s got some pipes and she isn’t at all embarrassed to show off. Wow. She was good enough that I swear I didn’t even notice that Randy Jackson was on the bass in the background.
8:37 p.m. Amber Holcomb is performing “Next to Me.” She’s joined by Emeli Sande. Ah. That explains why “Idol” pimped Emeli Sande so aggressively a couple weeks ago. In a different season, Amber would have been a very viable potential winner. She’s a whole lotta talented and a whole lotta attractive. I wonder if she’ll be able to find writers and producers who can turn her into something, or if she’ll just vanish for a year or two and return as an actress.
8:41 p.m. And now a tribute to the Ford Fiesta Missions. Ugh. Seriously, Candice? You went to hospitals and choirs and schools and you’re gonna say your favorite mission was playing car-soccer? NO.
8:42 p.m. They’re now surprising their mentors with cars. Candice’s mentor was her grandmother. Kree’s musical mentor is some guy who isn’t her brother, but is like her brother. Oh. No. They’re not getting cars. They just got tickets to the finale. Another fake out! They are, indeed, getting Fiestas. Oh, the emotional roller-coaster. Dear readers, I hope that you remember me as a mentor someday, because my own Ford is getting really old.
8:44 p.m. I’m astounded that Psy is still a thing.
8:48 p.m. Is anybody else astounded by how much programming we’re getting between commercial breaks? I have no idea if that’s reflective of a lack of advertising or just the sheer wealth of performances they need to fit in. Or maybe they didn’t need a commercial break because of the four-minute in-show Ford commercial? Dunno.
8:52 p.m. It’s “American Idol” judge Keith Urban. For the second time this season. Of the three new judges, Keith is the one least likely to feel any regret about having done this “Idol” thing. He mostly seemed amused and low-key about and by the whole experience. I imagine he reacts the same way when his wife tells him absurd Tom Cruise stories, just grins and tosses his hair.
8:56 p.m. Sir Anthony Hopkins! In funny glasses!
8:56 p.m. Candice gets to solo on “Inseparable,” which means “American Idol” was able to get Natalie Cole. Oooh. No! It’s Jennifer Hudson. Sorry. “Oscar Winner Jennifer Hudson.” The last time I saw Jennifer Hudson duet with an “American Idol” veteran, she was breaking Katharine McPhee over her knee on “Smash.” [Goal, Bruins!!!] Candice Glover is a much better match for Jennifer than Kat was. I still love you, Kat! But… yeah. This is a very good Diva-Off. We haven’t had many “Idol” finalists who could match up with Jennifer Hudson in that way. And it wasn’t even a rout.
9:05 p.m. Angie Miller time. She’s singing “Titanium.” If you follow me on Twitter, you know that this morning at 5:30 a.m. while waiting for The CW’s schedule, I rewrote this song as “I’m Lithuanian.” Anyway… Angie’s on her piano and she’s joined by Adam Lambert. It seems like a weird pairing, but guess what? They’re good together. Yeah. This works. They’re both uber-dramatic and they’re both strong and generous with harmony. Nicely done.
9:08 p.m. Is Angie getting a double-dose? She is! Jessie J is in the house to duet on “Domino.” I know there’s no point in complaining, but… an Angie/Candice finale really was the right finale, even if Kree ends up winning. There is a star power and a confidence that Angie has that will serve her well going forward. [Crud. Goal, Rangers. Top-shelf.] Angie is unfazed with both of these duets and holds her own completely. Jessie J wants us to know that her next single is going to be “Wild.” Jessie also wants Angie to fly to the UK to duet with her on her single, since apparently that single — “You Set Me Free” — was what she was supposed to be doing tonight. Angie is happy with the trade-off.
9:16 p.m. The media likes talking about the judges. So now the contestants have to answer questions or whatever. Mariah likes to use big words. Keith always wears t-shirts and he’s very expressive. Randy is loud and he repeats himself a lot. And Nicki has funny hair and a big butt. That was an informative segment. The best part was Janelle nurturing her Nicki-Wig.
9:20 p.m. Kree’s sister is proud of her. Kree’s performing with Keith Urban and Randy Jackson. I don’t know if she should be complimented or insulted by this paucity of outside talent. Oh. Travis Barker, too. Does that make it more exciting? Probably not.
9:28 p.m. We’re paying tribute to Randy with the help of… a boardroom table full of dogs. Oooh and a flashback to early Fat Randy and Skinny Simon. And a flashback to other stuff. Why is this montage set to “Had a Bad Day”? Isn’t the point that Randy has had a good 12 years? MORE DOGS! Next year, the judging panel should be all dogs. “The door is always open,” Ryan tells Randy. The Dawg is touched.
9:32 p.m. Aretha Franklin doesn’t like to fly, but she’s in New York City via satellite. Aretha tells Candice that she’s a winner, win or lose. I’m not sure how this is going to work, but Aretha is now going to sing with the Top 5 Women on a TV behind them.
9:34 p.m. Aretha Franklin is a treasure. [I missed the Rangers’ go-ahead goal, but I caught the Bruins’ equalizer!]
9:44 p.m. Auditions are coming. AUDITION, DARNIT!
9:44 p.m. Hey, look at that! We’re getting close. But first, Kree and Candice have to find out which kind of Ford America chose for them. They’re getting Ford Escapes. Boo. Team Fusion!
9:45 p.m. Now, a tribute to the season, set to Phil-Phil’s “Gone, Gone, Gone.” It’s not a tribute to the good parts of the season. Mostly it’s a tribute to Phil-Phil’s fine single.
9:48 p.m. Welcome back Jennifer Lopez and Red Bull. What? The second lyric of the song is “drink it down.” You’re saying his name *isn’t* Red Bull? Oh, who cares. I can’t tell if J-Lo is auditioning to return to “American Idol” judging or for the Olympic gymnastics team. As ever, J-Lo puts on an appealing stage show, especially if you don’t listen to the music. Girl can move. I mean… she makes jumping jacks look good. The performance ends with an ejaculation of confetti. Seems fitting.
9:56 p.m. Fewer ads for new FOX shows than I might have expected.
9:58 p.m. Really? “One Less Bell To Answer”? That’s what Candice and Kree are dueting on. That’s… random. On to “A House Is Not a Home.” These ladies are both good and they do good work together. No matter who wins, this won’t be an embarrassment for “Idol,” even if nobody watches.
10:01 p.m. Edward Boddington delivers the results to Ryan Seacrest. Are we going to boast about vote-count? Or will it go conspicuously unmentioned?
10:02 p.m. The lights dim.
10:02 p.m. The winner of “American Idol” Season 12 is… CANDICE GLOVER.
10:03 p.m. And that’s the way it should be. I don’t know what kind of commercial future Candice has and it wouldn’t surprise me if Kree finds more success, but in this competition as it played out, Candice was the correct winner.
10:04 p.m. “Three years,” cries Candice, reminding us of her long “Idol” journey. Kree is all smiles.
10:05 p.m. And now, Candice has to sing “I Am Beautiful,” which still won’t be a good song, especially not choked up with emotion. Confetti! Fireworks! No balloons? Yeah, this is not Candice’s best moment, vocally. But good for her. This was her season. She owned it. She won it.
10:07 p.m. Thank you all for spending the season with me!
Thoughts on the results? Thoughts on the finale? Thoughts on the season as a whole?