For the first time in six seasons, America crowned a female winner in the American Idol finale, Candice Glover. The win was especially sweet for Candice, as this is the third time the 23 year old has tried out for the competition; she auditioned in last year’s Season 11 and previously in Season 9. She beat runner-up Kree Harrison for the top prize of a recording contract and being crowned America’s singing idol.
The two hour finale had a host of performances, including from judge Keith Urban who performed backed-up by fellow judge Randy Jackson on the bass and Blink182’s Travis Barker on the drums. Nicki Minaj was the only one of the judges not to perform after Mariah Carey also took to the stage to perform a medley of her hits, including the new Miguel featured ‘Beautiful.’
Former contestant Adam Lambert also took to the stage, as did Emile Sande, both of then doing duets with season 12 finalists Angie Miller and Amber Holcomb, respectively. Eventual winner Glover also got to do a celebrity duet, collaborating on stage with another former contestant, Jennifer Hudson, doing a rendition of Natalie Cole’s ‘Inseparable.’ The band Perry, Korean sensation Psy and former Idol judge Jennifer Lopez also performed.
Glover joins an elite group of winners, most notably runaway success Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Fantasia, Rueben Studdard and Jordin Sparks. Other notable contestants who didn’t win but went on to have successful careers include Chris Daughtry, Clay Aiken, Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert.