New AI champ wins after 3 tries
Leah C. Salterio (The Philippine Star) - May 18, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - After three years of trying it out on American Idol (AI), Candice Glover, a native of St. Helena, South Carolina, finally bagged the title with her “persistence and deter- mination.” Singing I Am Beautiful, her winning single for the finals, Candice won over Kree Harrison, this year’s runner-up in the singing competition.

Candice is the first American Idol female winner after Jordin Sparks won in 2007. The girls proved to be the stronger breed this season. Five weeks before the finals, the Top 5 who remained were all ladies.

The finale was loaded with performances of big- name artists starting with long-time singer Frankie Valli who dished out a medley with the Top 5 guys — Curtis Finch, Paul Jolley, Devin Velez, Burnell Taylor and Lazaro Arbos.

Meanwhile, the Top 5 girls were each given their production numbers with guest artists. Janelle Arthur shared the stage with fellow Ten- nessee native The Band Perry, with its latest single Done. Amber Holcomb did a duet of Next To Me with UK music sensation Emeli Sande.

Angie Miller shared the stage with AI runner- up Adam Lambert and did a duet of Titanium. Angie’s personal idol Jessie J carried out Domino with her. Kree rendered Keith Urban’s Where the Blacktop Ends, with Keith on guitar and Randy Jackson on bass. Candice did a haunting duet of Inseparable, with Season 3 finalist and Oscar win- ner Jennifer Hudson.

Solo artists who performed in the finals were South Korean Gangnam Style singer Psy who dished out his latest single Gentleman; Keith who took the stage for the second time this season with his latest single, Little Bit of Everything; Mariah Carey who did a medley of her hits (including My All, Hero, We Belong Together and her latest, Beauti- ful) with Randy on bass; and Jennifer Lopez, who returned to the Idol stage for a special number. The day before the winner was an- nounced,the two ladies battled it out onstage with three songs each in their country (Kree) versus soul (Candice) showdown. The first was American Idol creator Simon Fuller’s choice — Sarah McLachlan’s Angel for Kree and Adele’s Chasing Pavements for Candice. The next was their song choice in the event that they will release an original single if they win. Kree rendered All Cried Out, while Can- dice sang I Am Beauti-

ful — songs that were “tailor-made for both

of them,” said judge Keith. Last year, Home, recorded by winner Phillip Phillips, became the best-selling Idol single of all time.

For their third song, the two finalists re- prised their favorite performance of the season. Kree crooned Up to the Mountain from the Las Vegas stage, while Candice belted out I Who Have Nothing from the Top 10 week. Both dis- played their powerhouse singing.

The last time two girls competed in American Idol was in Season 3, with Fantasia Barrino and Diana De Garmo, with the former emerging as champion.

For the first time this season, fans had four hours to vote to pick the winner. Long-time AI judge Randy, who will make his exit after this season, noted that the show remains “one of the greatest singing competitions.”

American Idol successfully wrapped up its 12th season despite a slack in the ratings. Mari- ah said, “I’m so proud to be part of this season where talents are really magnificent.”

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