01:14 PM EDT 05/23/2013
Originally posted 05/16/2013 10:05PM
After months of auditions, eliminations, performances and judges' feedback, American Idol finally has its season 12 winner.
Candice Glover and Kree Harrison each performed three songs on Wednesday night – a favorite of their choice from the season, one picked by producer Simon Fuller and the song that would become the winner's first single – in front of fans, friends, family and the Idol judges at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live.
Mariah Carey said, "It's going to be very, very difficult for America" to decide a winner. Indeed, PEOPLE readers voted, giving R&B diva Candice only a slight edge over authentic country girl Kree.
So, who's the winner? Candice Glover is the new American Idol! And Kree Harrison is season 12's runner-up.
Originally posted 05/16/2013 10:30AM
There is at least one American Idol judge who wants to be back on the panel next season: Keith Urban.
Asked at Wednesday's big showdown between Kree Harrison and Candice Glover if he would like to be a judge on season 13, the country superstar said, "I would. I mean, I literally enjoy coming to work every day, and that's a rarity."
This comes after veteran judge Randy Jackson announced he is leaving the show and rumors that producers plan to replace the entire season 12 panel.
Originally posted 05/15/2013 08:00PM
It's an American Idol showdown!
Season 12's top two, Kree Harrison and Candice Glover, are facing off Wednesday on the final night of competition at the Nokia Theater L.A. Live. And they couldn't be more talented – or different. Kree has an authentic country vibe while Candice is pure R&B diva. They each will sing their "coronation song," a song of their choice from the season and a song chosen by producer Simon Fuller.
Judges Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey and the departing Randy Jackson are definitely making their opinions known as the contestants sing one more time for America's votes. But we want to know what you think about the all-female finale as it's happening.
Tweet your thoughts @peoplemag and your comment may end up right here on People.com.
Originally posted 05/10/2013 07:00PM
With Randy Jackson's announcement that he is leaving American Idol, who will take the veteran judge's place?
The answer is probably not Alicia Keys, who performed her new single "Tears Always Win" on the Fox show Thursday night.
"I don't know if I'd want to be a judge," she told reporters after her performance.
The "Girl on Fire" singer did express her dismay that Jackson would be leaving the panel after 12 seasons.
Originally posted 05/09/2013 09:05PM
Ryan Seacrest opened up Thursday's American Idol episode with a nod to Randy Jackson's announcement that he's moving on after 12 seasons.
"A little later on we'll be revealing who is leaving our show," Ryan said, standing behind the only remaining original judge. "A little heads up?"
Randy just chuckled.
The joke is that Ryan could have been talking about Idol's super talented top three – Kree Harrison, Angie Miller and Candice Glover, who performed three songs each on Wednesday. They faced one last hurdle before the season 12 finale: another elimination night.
Originally posted 05/09/2013 06:05PM
After 12 years at the judge's table, celebrating the soaring voices and putting down the pitchy, Randy Jackson is leaving American Idol.
Alerting his fans with statement beginning "Yo! Yo! Yo!," the exuberant Jackson – the last of the show's original judges, going back to the original Simon Cowell-Paula Abdul days – says he finally wanted to "put all of the speculation to rest" about his future.
Originally posted 05/09/2013 08:10AM
After traveling to their hometowns to perform for huge crowds of cheering fans and to reconnect with their families, American Idol's final three contestants took the stage Wednesday night to try to sing their way into the finale.
By the end of the night, during which the gals sang three songs – one picked by mentor Jimmy Iovine, one chosen by the judges and one by the show's production team – it was clear that the emotional hometown visits had a powerful effect on the performances.
Kree started off the night with Iovine's choice, "Perfect" by Pink, which left the judges underwhelmed.
"You sang it good but it didn't have a lot pizzazz for me," Randy Jackson said.
Originally posted 05/03/2013 01:20PM
Harry Connick Jr. is leaving the door open for a big possibility – becoming a future judge on American Idol.
What's it going to take to place him in the hot seat? "$600 million," Connick, whose new record is due June 11, joked with reporters backstage after his turn as guest mentor on Thursday's show.
He could learn a few things from Mariah Carey's shrewd negotiations for her salary of $18 million. Forbes magazine estimated this season's payroll alone to be $54 million. Last season, judge Jennifer Lopez took home $15 million.
Originally posted 05/02/2013 09:05PM
After performing two songs each – a pop hit and a standard – on Wednesday night, American Idol's fabulous final four women faced elimination on Thursday.
Last week, Amber Holcomb and frontrunner Candice Glover were in the bottom two. But in a twist, no one was sent home. This week, the singer with the lowest number of votes wasn't so lucky.
And the stakes are high. Not only will the top three perform next week and stay in the running for the finale, but they will also get a hero's welcome when they go on the emotional hometown visits.
Keep reading to find out who was sent home – and who made season 12's top three ...
Originally posted 05/01/2013 10:55PM
Last week's surprise non-elimination round left American Idol's Amber Holcomb and Candice Glover with the lowest number of votes.
So on Wednesday's show, the pressure was on for them to make up ground against Angie Miller and Kree Harrison.
Thanks to an extremely up-and-down night – that featured some controversial coaching by mentor Harry Connick Jr. – they may have done just that.
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