So here we are at the Finale and it's the last show of the series.
Janelle Arthur looks fabulous and in her element matching The Band Perry in stage presence and performance of some rock country number.
Then the boys and Frankie Valli do some numbers from the past that suit their vocals, Deven providing most of the safe lead vocals and nice to see Curtis again, resplendent in white. Lazaros can't resist giving the girls in the front seats a closer view of his blue suit but that may have been part of the production so that he didn't need to sing.
Amber returns with Emeli Sande, sounding almost exactly like her. Amber was wearing some grey patterned tights with an unfortunately placed darker seam that I am pretty sure the cameraman was asked to move away from. Even Emeli seemed to be focused on that area throughout her song.
Mariah Carey entertained with several of her numbers, delivered standing still inside some mermaid outfit. You tend almost to want to feel sorry for this multi-billion dollar star - as if she has become disabled or something, Randy, who started the evening like a massive Pooh in a bright yellow-brown jacket, was playing guitar on stage with her. Nor was it live. What? How much is she paid?
Keith Urban proved he could sing well and perform with a great rock and country number. looking cool. That was his new single. Also pre-recorded. Come on, guys!
Candice Glover comes on stage now to sing an old-style number Inseparable very nicely. She introduces Jennifer Hudson and they demolish the track together. No-one should take on Candice. She is not a stage sharer.
I don't remember all this "and now, ladies and gentlemen, so and so..." in American Idol. I thought it was just an X Factor thing. Maybe my memory isn't functioning. The Candice and Jennifer thing developed well and worked out pretty impressively in the end. Not my kind of song but damn good performances for all that. Candice does strike me as the consummate star.
Now, the one who many thought is the winner, Angela Miller singing Titatium with the wonderful Adam Lambert and then along comes Jessie J with Domino. Angie looks pretty overwhelmed and gets an even bigger surprise when she gets a nice offer from Jessie J to come to the UK to promote her single. Apparently, she couldn't do her single on this show because Jessie had asked to come and sing with her and some last minute rearrangements to the schedule were required. All good stuff. Great to see Adam out there too.
By my calculations, that just leaves Kree.
There's a great sketch about the judges and then Randy and Keith take to the stage with Kree doing some Country number about kicking shoes off or something like that. This is not that good, to be honest, and you ahve to wonder how much better Janelle would have been at this stuff. I don't see Kree as the Country rocker. Even Kelly Pickler is more watchable and interesting, and she came 6th in Carrie's Season.
Will Nicky get to show what she can do? I can't see how they can avoid that now. And after the Deven impression, let's hope she's not in leopard skin tights! This is quite a good show - it does feel as if the result is being dragged out a bit but some worthy stars and decent quality performances this year are a great improvement on last year.
A mini tribute to Randy Jackson who leaves the judges' bench this year. I don't know why but he is the only surviving first judge so I guess his time is up. A bit amateur, with dogs doing stuff.
Aretha Franklin nearly announces Candice as the winner before performing at a distance over a video link with the Top 5 girls. This doesn't work very well. The five girls are merely backing singers (and that's being generous!) and the big video kinda makes Aretha remote. The Queen of Soul is also pretty old now and, frankly, shouldn't be doing this sort of show. There are plenty more super acts that have come along since the Sixties.
Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull perform their big hit and bring us into the 21st Century again with a smart act that only Amber could really have competed with. And that brings us, at last, one and three quarter hours later, to the result. Well, after some adverts for yoghurt, mayonnaise and hair colouring.
All my logical brain cells are saying it's Kree, with traditional huge Country state vote but watching the two of them on stage together, it seems so much more the case that Candice is the natural stage star. She looks the part. So who does win?
Kyran dim the lights. After the Nationwide vote the winner of American Idol Season 12 is
Good choice, folks, Well done!