Life is not a fairytale. Yes, yes, that was the title of American Idol Season 3 champ Fantasia Barrino’s 2006 autobiographical Lifetime movie — don’t try to act like you didn’t watch it, too! — but it was also a subtitle that could be applied to any possible outcome on Season 12 Top 3 results night.
Indeed, whether you entered the night rooting for a Candice/Kree, Angie/Candice or Kree/Angie finale, there simply couldn’t be a 100 percent feel-good happy ending after the credits rolled, the “19” logo sparkled and twinkled and Fox switched over to the season finale of Glee.
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And that’s because, almost five months in to this current, often beleaguered Idol season, all three finalists had established themselves as genuinely worthy heirs to Phillip Phillips’ throne (and the platinum-selling status that comes with it).
I mean, honestly, try to imagine a finale without Candice Glover, the soft-spoken Southern gal with the awe-inspiring combo of vocal horsepower and almost other-worldly musicality that’s allowed her to effortlessly tackle everything from The Cure to Shirley Bassey to Drake. And would you really want to envision next Wednesday night sans Kree Harrison, the Nashville-based demo singer with a tone like 1,000 thread-count sheets and a personality that’s like a bowl of hot chili on the coldest winter day? Then again, how could a confetti shower not pour down on the head of Angie Miller, the New England teenager with a fire in her eyes, an undisputed range and the artistry to drive 3.7 million views to a YouTube video of her Hollywood Week rendition of the self-penned “You Set Me Free“?
None of those options seemed particularly fun — not even to a Candice aficionado like myself. Yet after an incredibly poorly sound-mixed performance by Lauren Alaina and a good rendition of a sleepy song by Alicia Keys, it was time for Ryan to reveal the week’s voting tallies:
Sent First to Safety
Sent Second to Safety
As the tears began flowing — for all three contestants, for the fans in the Idoldome, even here at Casa Slezak — Angie gamely attempted to sing a farewell rendition of Colton Dixon’s “Never Gone,” but she just couldn’t get through it. Embraced by her family and her competitors, she giggled and sobbed until the screen cut to black. Whether or not Jimmy Iovine has the good sense to get her to a studio this weekend and cut a rendition of “You Set Me Free” for Christian and AC radio, well, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Next week: A Kree-vs.-Candice finale, the one I started dreaming about back in Hollywood Week, allowed myself to verbalize around Top 10, and had pretty much given up on sometime in mid-April. What are the chances? And what do you think of the Season 12 finale faceoff?
Before I pass the mic to all of you, a few other thoughts on the telecast:
* We’re not going to discuss that thing with that animated slug crawling across the screen/Ryan Seacrest’s face, okay? I know Uncle Nigel has a big lighting bill to pay, but at this rate, next season’s contestants are going to have to have advertiser logos tattooed to their foreheads. (Oh Lord, I’ve just put a Very Bad Idea out into the universe.)
* I can’t comment on that group rendition of Selena Gomez’s awful “Who Says,” seeing how Angie, Candice and Kree’s mics didn’t appear to actually be working. Or maybe the three divas pulled a fake-out in protest of having to sing a tune so far beneath their collective skill sets? (I’m choosing to believe that unconfirmed second theory until proven otherwise.)
* Is anyone actually going to the American Idol web site to vote on whether the S12 winner gets a Ford Focus, Fusion, Fiesta or Escape? Ain’t nobody got time for that! Then again, if only like 11 people weigh in, you and your coworkers could log on and totally skew the outcome. (Fun!)
* When Ryan kicked off the show by noting “We have the news that we’ve all been waiting months to hear,” I thought he was talking about Randy Jackson quitting the show. And then I was all, “Dude, we’ve been waiting for that announcement for 12 freakin’ years!”
* Was there anything more grim than Jimmy Iovine declaring that whoever gets signed to Interscope (presumably Angie, Kree and Candice, at a minimum) are in for a lifetime of his meddling with their song choices? Mariah had a point on Wednesday: When you write your own tunes, you take back a lot of power from The Man (Who Dresses Like Justin Bieber’s Stunt Double). Actually, wait, there was something more grim: Jimmy excitedly talking about Kree’s heartbreaking story of her parents’ death like it was just another marketing strategy. Hashtag: NO!
* It’s easy to make fun of Mariah’s ridiculous video for “Beautiful,” but if I had as little body fat as her, I’d probably film Idology half-naked on the back of a motorcycle, too. (Except then Melinda Doolittle would hit me with her pocketbook.)
And with that, let me turn things over to you. What did you think of Angie’s exit? Were you saddened to see her mixture of shock and grief as the news set in? Are you surprised it’s come down to Candice and Kree? Who’s got your vote next week — or will it come down to their final performances? Sound off in the comments, and for all my Idol-related news, recaps, interviews and videos, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!