That demon she exorcised will be so pleased!
Kree Harrison : I think I knew Kree Harrison was doomed the second that she decided, of her own free will, to perform first on the final, rather than giving herself the pimp slot. Such rank ignorance of how reality tv works marked her out as an amateur. Actually, I think I *knew* that Kree was doomed from the second that clip of her on The Rosie O Donnell Show aired. Partly because she looked exactly the same and it was kind of unnerving and partly because appearing next to arch liberal conspiracy nut Rosie O Donnell would have wiped out her Country Advantage in one fell swoop. And then Keith Urban threw her under the wagon by saying she was really more of a “soul artist” in the first place. From that point onwards Kree’s only real job in the final was to get out of Candice’s way, which she did admirably, being just a little bit worse than her every time. By the time we got to the final reprise, and she burst her lungs out on “Up To The Mountain”, only to have Candice effortlessly trot past her 3 minutes later, it was hard not to feel sorry for Kree. She didn’t even get to duet with The Band Perry. She had to sit at the side as Janelle jerked around trying to give herself whiplash and then do a dull duet with Keith Urban overshadowed by Randy trying to hog as much of the limelight as he could on the way out. Has a runner-up ever been so comprehensively sidelined in the final stretch?
(I did actually feel a little bit bad for her – nobody seemed particularly invested in Kree’s chances of winning – and that final performance of ‘Up To The Mountain’ was pretty damned good. Still, this has been a final that’s seemed pre-determined to get the winner the show wanted from minute one, so it sort of made sense to have a “just happy to be here” pre-ordained runner-up there for the ride.)
Candice Glover: And so a complicated and rather muddled season ends on a positive note, by crowning the winner who deserved the prize all along. The final performance show seemed a little rushed, constantly shoving Candice and Kree on one after the other so that we could get through three performances in the space of an hour and still have time for Carly Rae Jepsen to extend her fifteen minutes by a few more seconds. As Chris has already pointed out, this felt like an easy victory for Candice at this point – possibly a little too easy, as her first two performances never really got beyond third gear. There was nothing wrong with ‘Chasing Pavements’ or ‘I Am Beautiful’ (apart from the fact that the first one is an Adele song and the second one sounds like a Little Mix b-side), but I never really felt like Candice committed to either performance. It’s an issue I’ve had with Candice several times during the competition, that she really could be giving us more, but I kind of like the fact that she never really let the competition get to her – Candice just went out every week and did Candice, and beyond that she was prepared to let the cards fall where they may. Her final performance of ‘I Who Have Nothing’ was one of her finest of the season, really showcasing her vocals with that acapella opening and demonstrating that Candice doesn’t need any back-up on stage to really sell a performance. She’s probably still got an uphill struggle ahead of her going out into the real world – she’s the first female winner of the show in six years, and winner of the lowest rated finale in the show’s history – but she deserves to do well, and I hope she does. Fingers crossed somebody gives her some decent material.
(I liked how the first time Candice sang “I Who Have Nothing” people thought it was great, but they were debating whether it was better than the Jordin Sparks version. Aint nobody debating now. ALSO can we talk about Aretha being all “Candice has a great career, win or lose, and Kree….erm…tum ti tum”? She knew what was up. Also the Lambert fantards legit MELTING DOWN because he didn’t get a proper intro? Also all the bitter male finalists swarming around like they weren’t bitter? Also Mariah’s MIMING, GOOD LORD. I mean, this finale didn’t have anything on a par with Jennifer Holliday but it still delivered)