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Candice Glover Wins “American Idol”

Candice Glover and Ryan Seacrest
Candice Glover and Ryan Seacrest
photo by Michael Becker/FOX

Another season of American Idol is in the history books, and in the end the talented Candice Glover was named the newest winner tonight (May 16). It was one of the strongest finales I can remember, with Candice squaring off against a formidable competitor and friend in Kree Harrison.

The two-hour results finale was heavy on performances and tributes, with some memorable highlights. Our friends The Band Perry generally rocked out and shimmied to the strains of "DONE." and they were joined by contestant Janelle Arthur for an in-your-face sing-off. Finalist Amber Holcomb sang Emeli Sande's soulful "Next to Me," as a duet with Emeli. Keith Urban got to use the Idol stage to debut his new single, "Little Bit of Everything," which has a nice summery groove to it.

For the girls' final Ford Focus challenge, they named Candice's grandmother Elbertha Middleton and Kree's friend Misa Arriaga as their hometown mentors and presented them with new cars. Misa, btw, is in Kacey Musgraves' touring band, so look for him in stadiums everywhere this summer on Kenny Chesney's tour.

Angie Miller got to return to sing "Titanium" with Adam friggin' Lambert, rearranging it more as a piano ballad than its popular dance-floor-friendly version. It turned out to be a twofer, because Angie's hero Jessie J (in a PG-13 chest-baring outfit) showed up to sing "Domino."

The country fun continued with Kree Harrison singing Keith's “Where the Blacktop Ends,” backed by Travis Barker on drums, Randy and, of course, Keith. 

But the finest moment was Candice's, as she got to have a diva-off on "Inseparable" with Idol alum Jennifer Hudson, which was like watching two prize fighters circle one another with dazzling vocal ability.

Thrilling and exhilarating and good to the last drop.

Other performers included Mariah (apparently in a taped segment that had some issues), Psy, Jennifer Lopez and group sings with Frankie Valli and Aretha Franklin.

There was also a goofy bit from the five guys about being voted out first, saying the girls sabotaged them. Kree gave Curtis Finch Jr. the flashy jacket. Angie told Paul Jolley to make a silly joke, Amber drugged Devin Velez, Janelle changed the music chart for Lazaro Arbos' "Close to You" and Candice stole lunch money from Burnell Taylor. The mastermind? Why, the last female Idol Jordin Sparks, of course. "It was actually pretty easy," quipped Jordin. "None of you guys play guitar."

Well that explains it. And here I was thinking it was because they simply weren't as good.

So Candice was named the winner, which I'm sure wasn't a huge surprise to most folks. And deservedly so, considering her staggering track record of big performances. Still, I wouldn't have been surprised to see Kree named the winner either. I have no doubt we'll be hearing some country tunes from her before long, so keep your ears open.

It's been fun following this season—I hope you guys enjoyed it!