Congratulations, Kree Harrison! You are now part of the illustrious circle known as “American Idol Runner-Ups,” including such renowned artists as the Great David Archuleta (of course!), Adam Lambert, Clay Aiken, Jessica Sanchez, and Crystal Bowersox.
Seriously, though, I would have thought I’d be delivering this post for Candice Glover, who actually won (and who I would’ve picked to win). So, I’m happy for Candice, at least in the moment when she won this competition. And, in hindsight, I should have known when she reprised “I Who Have Nothing” and started it out a capella that this was hers to lose. She brought her A game on Wednesday night.
Afterwards, however, Lord help her!
First of all, Kree looked absolutely delighted to be part of the Runner-Ups Circle. I wonder if this gives her some kind of choice to not work with Jimmy Iovine, Interscope, and Co. (and get placed directly with Nashville – remember David didn’t have a choice to work with Jive when he was runner-up; he was simply assigned). Still, I worry about Kree and her abilities for post-Idol success. Just looking at the performance line-up from last night, if I were a betting woman, I’d be much more inclined to sign on her country counterpart Janelle Arthur, who was simply electric in her performance with The Band Perry. Talk about showing growth, potential, and charisma! How, indeed, did that chick get voted out in fifth place?
Second of all, Candice’s coronation song, “I Am Beautiful,” is absolutely atrocious! There were moments during her emotional delivery, in which she tried to salvage it as a “gospel” song, pointing upwards every time she sang a verse referring to how “He” tells her she is beautiful. But even that can’t save this pandering and – quite frankly – downright insulting song, as if Candice is some kind of chick who feels oh-so-bad about herself because she hasn’t been told she is “beautiful.” Nicki said the song “fit her like a glove.” In what way?
Candice is quite pretty – despite her heavy frame. It’s the worst kind of fat-shaming I’ve seen in quite a while. Seriously, who gives a good dang that she’s heavy? Oh, the producers do, I guess, who obviously had other plans for who was going to wear the crown this season, which brings me to
Reason #3 why Candice has a hard-row-to-hoe as American Idol Season 12 winner: Angie Miller.
Is it not obvious that the show had planned things around her crowning moment? From planning to release her single “You Set Me Free” the same time that the winner’s single gets released, to giving her not one but two duets – with Adam Lambert and her idol Jessie J (who flew in from the UK just for this performance and to invite Angie to perform with her across the pond!).
No wonder Amber Holcomb -who was buoyed up in the competition by the judges and Iovine long enough to leave in 4th place – had this to say on Twitter:
Yes, the show definitely has its favorites, every season. This is perhaps one of those times their best laid plans didn’t go their way.
I think the plan was: Angie and Amber for the Top 2 finale. Just shore up Amber Holcomb as an alternative to Candice Glover since she had the looks and the passable talent. Keep both black girls going in the competition until they bussed Candice enough to get her out in Top 5 or Top 4, and her votes would then transfer to Amber, who would make the finale but not be personable enough (or a real vocal threat) in comparison to Angie Miller, who would easily win hands down. Not to mention they would know how to market and box in someone like Amber as a runner-up.
I think TPTB knew that, had either Kree or Janelle Arthur made the finale with Angie, those other girls could have knocked her out second (Kree because she’s vocally superior and country, Janelle because she’s more personally engaging on the stage and also country). I guess the show forgot, during Top 3, that the bigger girls had the better vocals and the emotional story and the Southern votes!
They also forgot that Idol voters like their girls to be “ordinary” (including being on the heavy side). They should have made Angie more “cute” and relatable instead of pandering to the TV because she’s so pretty.
Anyway, does it matter who wins in these things? I am definitely getting a sense that Candice will be like Season 5′s Taylor Hicks, compared to Angie getting Season 5 Chris Daughtry favoritism post-Idol. Her song is as loathsome as Taylor’s “Do I Make You Proud.” I mean, seriously, who doubts “You Set Me Free” will outsell and outperform “I Am Beautiful”?
And why do I think this? Because it’s so obvious they could market Candice as a Black Adele but they’re not astute enough to do that (or else, why give her that treacly song as her winner’s single?).
Sigh. Why couldn’t she at least get a salvageable “I Believe” courtesy of Fantasia’s coronation song?
And why is it that, whenever we get a black girl winner, the cards are so obviously stacked to rule out worthwhile male contestants? This happened during Fantasia’s season, Jordin’s season, and now Candice’s season. What is that about? Is the show saying that a Fantasia, Jordin, or Candice would never win if the audience had a viable white guy with guitar? Is the show saying that, or America?
Either way, hold your head up, Candice! You’re obviously a gifted vocalist, obviously beautiful, and hopefully, you’re already making plans for your career post-Idol and post-SONY/INTERSCOPE. Best of luck to ya!