American Idol 12: One (It’s Finally Over)

Yes, there will be a season 13.  FOX confirmed that this week.

About the only person you’ll see over the next two hours who will return in January 2014 is Ryan Seacrest.  Everything else is up for grabs – all four judges will probably go, Nigel Lythgoe may be relieved of his duties, and one can only hope they toss Jimmy Iovine out on his ass.

From Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, with two hours of filler and 7 minutes of content…

THIS!!! … is American Idol!

As I usually do for this, I’ll try to give you timecounts and snark.  We’ll see how I do on the snark, as really, I feel more sad about this lost season than anything else.  But here goes…

(8:00 PM EDT) Seacrest, live on stage… pull back to Kree and Candice in a bit of a friendly staredown (ending in laughter)… and cue the titles… and an awkward cut to the Top Ten doing a group number.  Wait, there were guys on this season?  Anyway, it’s The Wanted’s “Glad You Came” (although it was barely recognizable).  And we’ve had more fun in this segment than over the last couple of months. 

The judges are introduced next, getting their last standing ovation, before Seacrest (in his best Dick Clark New Year’s tux) gets his intro.  After a bit of fluff, Kree and Candice get their intro… and we hit the first…


(8:09 PM) The cavalcade of real pop acts starts with The Band Perry (yes, they’re pop – with a country twang).  They’re doing “Done”, with vocals from Janelle Arthur – which really demonstrates where Janelle’s going to end up, and she’s going to do well there.   We have now had more fun in the first 13 minutes than we had during the entire season.

And now, the first silly montage.  A “hard-hitting” investigation of the guys going home in the first 5 weeks of the finals.  Apparently, they’ve wasted time taping segments claiming the girls sabotaged the guys… we like a little misdirection… don’t we?

OK, the scene where Janelle changed the sheet music on Lazaro’s disastrous version of “Close To You” was cute.  And the “reveal” that Jordin Sparks was behind the sabotage (because none of the boys play guitar, and she was tired of being the last girl to win) was funny.  The cheapshot at The Voice?  Not so much.

Anyway, the guys are up, with a group rendition of the Four Seasons’ “Let’s Hang On”, into “Walk Like A Man”, into “Who Loves You” – and, of course, you know what that means.  Cue Frankie Valli to show the boys how the Jersey sound really works… starting with “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” (the guys fill in for the Four Seasons midway through), into “Grease”.  And… scene.

BREAK!!! OK, that segment makes up for some, but not all, of the dreadful season…

(8:28 PM) Back with Mariah Carey, live on-stage with a medley of herself…? “Vision of Love”, “Make It Happen”, “My All” [at which point we start wondering if this is a lip-sync], “Hero” [during which we’re sure it’s a lip-sync], “We Belong Together” [during which we wonder why they’re still doing closeups as it’s blindingly obvious she’s lip-synching], and “#Beautiful”.  Oh, hey, was that Randy Jackson on guitar?


(8:37 PM) Amber Holcomb gets a solo, doing “Next To Me”.  Well, she’s solo for two lines before they bring out Emeli Sandé for the duet.  We won’t mention the cut to Nicki looking stoned at the judges’ table.  Oops.

It’s time for the annual tradition, where the final two give Ford cars to someone special in their lives.  But first, a montage of the insipid Ford Fiesta Missions.   For both, the setup was done during Hometown week.  Candice gifted her grandmother.  Kree gifted her brother-from-another-mother (and musical mentor).

And now, back to the stage – Psy is live [dancing live, singing…?], doing “Gentleman” (the followup to “Gangnam Style”).  Since I don’t speak Korean, I have no idea what’s going on.  It looks like this was supposed to spawn another silly Psy dance like “Gangnam” did.

BREAK!!! What, no “Gangnam Style” live?  REALLY?

(8:52 PM) The judges’ (farewell?) performances continue with Keith Urban [who does appear to be singing].   Unlike Mariah, Keith stuck to his current single, “Little Bit of Everything”.

Seacrest talks to Candice’s parents quickly before tossing to Candice’s solo, “Inseparable”.  Now this song has been done by a couple of powerful women, so who’s coming onstage?  How about Jennifer Hudson, who never released the song?  OK.  But she is an Idol alum, so why not?  All kidding aside, it worked.


(9:05 PM) Number three isn’t so bad… at least not if you’re Angie Miller, who sings “Titanium”.  Sadly, she has to do so with Adam Lambert (sorry, that’s my VFTW side coming through).   Apropos of nothing, did you know some radio stations pulled this song last fall due to the use of words like “bulletproof” and “shoot me down”?  Cowards. 

Anyway, Adam hands Angie off to Jessie J (who apparently forgot some of the front of her dress) for a duet of “Domino”.  If they had let Angie do fun songs like this during the season, she’d have won by a country mile.

They even mention the fact that Angie’s debut single was bumped for the duet with Jessie J – so Jessie is going to bring Angie to the UK to do a show this summer and/or a video for the single.  Nice touch.  That single, “You Set Me Free”, dropped tonight on iTunes.


(9:16 PM) We finally get to the silly montage about the judges.  Mariah gets skewered for “Dahling”;  Keith for his t-shirts and his chair dancing; Randy about his lack of volume control and his silly clichés; and Nicki for her bluntness and her fashion sense (of sorts)  That was several minutes I will never get back.  Right, I didn’t fast-forward, that was dumb.

Cut to Kree’s sister for a quick interview before the toss to Kree on-stage with Keith Urban on guitar, Randy Jackson on bass, and Blink-182’s Travis Barker on drums, doing Keith’s “Where The Blacktop Ends” (a #3 country single from 2001).


(9:28 PM) Another silly montage… it’s the farewell montage for Randy Jackson.  Yes, Idol  has gone to the dawgs… or, should I say, the dogs [subtitled].  Seriously, dogs around a conference table leading into the official montage… and leading out with dogs in the control booth.  Really, it wasn’t worth that many words.

Cut to New York, where Aretha Franklin is standing by to make an appearance by satellite (since she doesn’t fly).  Her job, is, apparently to sing with the top 5 girls… via satellite.  Personally, I think she’s really in L.A. and the girls don’t know it, but we’ll play along for the moment.  They start with “(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman”, then move into “I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)”, then (of course), a little “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”, and “Think”.


(9:44 PM) Back with a plug for the Season 13 auditions. including online auditions starting tonight.  We cut to Kree and Candice with Seacrest.  And we’re back with more Ford pimping… the girls get Ford Escapes.   That was underwhelming.

It’s time for the annual montage of bad auditions, lowlights, and highlights, set to Phillip Phillips’ “Gone, Gone, Gone”.

From there, it’s… Jennifer Lopez (feat. Pitbull), with their new single “Live It Up”.  There’s a very high chance this was also lip-synched – Pitbull’s hand-over-mic-over-mouth stance kind of tipped it…

BREAK!!! The fluff is over… business starts… NOW.

(9:58 PM) If you took my advice, you tuned in right about now.  And if you did, you arrived to see Candice and Kree wrap up the season with a duet of the Fifth Dimension’s “One Less Bell To Answer”.  It provokes the next-to-last standing ovation of Season 12.  The last?  About two minutes away.

It’s time.  Finally.  The official accountant brings out the results at 10:01 PM.  After an insipid season, with bad song choices, too much focus on the judges, and too much filler… here we go.

  • The Twelfth American Idol is… Candice Glover

The happiest person on-stage appeared to be Kree, while Candice looked stunned.  The top 10 quickly come on stage to congratulate both singers.  Seacrest has to pull Candice out of the crowd while Angie gets to hand off the Silver Microphone trophy.  Of course, Seacrest has to mention that Candice’s album opens for pre-orders tonight before thanking everyone and everything in sight.

As is traditional, Candice gets to take us out with her coronation single, “I Am Beautiful”, through a haze of tears … and a one-minute overrun.  The show, and the season, are over at 10:08 PM.

I’ll save the remaining snark for a separate post over the weekend.  For now, congratulations to Idol XII, Candice Glover.  See you soon, friends…


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