There was a diva-off on last night's American Idol season 12 finale — current judge Mariah Carey and former judge Jennifer Lopez both took to the stage to show off their pipes and their moves. Regardless of who won that faceoff, the night's real winner was new American Idol champ Candice Glover. We've got all the highlights from last night’s jam-packed season-ending show!
It was the battle of the divas on the American Idol season 12 finale in LA last night, and we're not just talking about contestants Candice Glover and Kree Harrison facing off for the final time. Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey both took the stage to sing during the finale, with Mariah singing a medley of her biggest hits in a formfitting white gown and J Lo energetically performing "Live It Up" alongside Pitbull. Judges Keith Urban and Randy Jackson also got in on the action on stage, making Nicki Minaj the only judge who didn't do a performance of some kind. This all came hot on the heels of persistent rumors that Nicki won't return to Idol next year.
J Lo's American Idol show marks the first time she's returned to the program since she stepped down as a judge last year. There have been rumors that Jennifer may return to American Idol, and she said that she might consider making a comeback during an interview at the nuvoTV upfronts in NYC on Wednesday. Jennifer wasn't the only star who made a splash on Idol last night — Jennifer Hudson, Adam Lambert, and Taylor Hicks all returned to the show that gave them their start. The night ended on an emotional note when Glover was crowned the winner of American Idol.
American Idol crowned R&B singer Candice Glover as its season 12 winner during a live show last night. After months of performing and receiving feedback from the judges, she bested her fellow contestant Kree Harrison, who landed the runner-up spot. The show's finale night was an emotional one, with Candice breaking out into tears when she was announced the winner. There's no denying that both Candice and Kree are talented singers, but was soulful Candice your favorite to win or were you leaning more toward country Kree? Vote in our poll below and let us know if you are satisfied with Candice as the new American Idol.
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Jessica Sanchez blows the roof off our Los Angeles studio when she sings on POPSUGAR LIVE. She speaks with us about her new role on Glee, meeting the cast, performing on American Idol for the first time since coming in second last season, and releasing her debut album. Check it out on POPSUGAR Live!
Matthew's jacket provided by Express.
When American Idol comes back for its 12th season this month, there will be a lot more to talk about than the contestants. New judges Keith Urban, Mariah Carey, and Nicki Minaj have joined the panel, and rumors have been swirling about a supposed feud between Carey and Minaj. When the new panel, plus veterans Randy Jackson and Ryan Seacrest, came to TCA to talk about the new season of Idol, they did nothing to dispel the feud rumor. But amid the talk of conflict, we did learn some other things about the new season, like whether we'll see more country or rap because of the talent on the judges' panel.
- So is the feud between Minaj and Carey real, or is it all a ploy for publicity? Fox executive Mike Darnell said it's real. "It's authentic. There's passion in this group; they disagree about the talent. But it's not just the girls, it's everybody." Indeed, the general consensus was that everyone on the judges' panel has always argued, and this group is no exception. Carey added, "The fighting is what it is. This is American Idol. It's bigger than all that. It's bigger than some trumped-up thing. It's about the next huge talent superstar that will come from this show."
- Minaj and Carey were asked to say one nice thing about each other, and they complied. Minaj said, "I tell her all the time, she's one of my favorite artists of all time. She's really shaped a generation of singers. To be on a panel with her, it's kind of crazy — all these singers that come in, they aspire to be Mariah Carey, in terms of their talent and their career length." In response, Carey talked about the song they collaborated on early on in Minaj's career and said, "I did feel she was going to go very far."
- The judges all talked about their attitude toward saying no to contestants. It came easy to Minaj, who talked about judges on other series and seasons of Idol. "When someone says yes to a person who clearly doesn't deserve it, it bothers me," she admitted. "I didn't have a problem saying no because we're looking for the best of the best. I don't feel the need to send a person through just because of a great story." Urban didn't seem too conflicted either, saying that rejection is "a little bit like fuel for the fire . . . Those people have been far more influential in my motivation to achieve things. Hopefully the way we say no is not cold or brutal or callous, it's just being truthful for an artist." However, it wasn't so easy for Carey. She said, "It was really tough for me to say no in the beginning," because it reminded her of her own early experiences. "It's tough to get that rejection."
- Since Urban is a country star, he was asked if the style would be more prevalent on this season of Idol. Urban ascertained that Idol has "always had a huge country audience," and producer Nigel Lythgoe agreed, saying, "We've always embraced country. Just because Simon [Cowell] didn't like it or understand it, it's something we've always loved."
- But don't look for rap to be embraced. Minaj was very opinionated about rap not being appropriate on Idol, stressing that the show is more about traditional singing: "Rap and hip-hop is completely different than American Idol. I started on the street . . . the hip-hop community wants you to be credible." She added that personally, she "would never go on a show like this as a rapper, [and] I wouldn't encourage anyone to come on this show as a rapper."
Several months and dozens of rumors after American Idol began its search to replace judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, the show finally has a new panel. Keith Urban has officially been announced as the last piece of the panel puzzle, joined by previously announced Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. Randy Jackson is also sticking around, making an expanded panel of four judges — plus veteran host Ryan Seacrest, of course.
As a longtime fan of American Idol, this panel feels so far from where the show started, and it kind of makes me feel homesick for the days of Paula and Simon. While I respect Carey as an artist, I don't know if she or Minaj will be interesting enough to watch. I actually think Keith Urban might be the biggest asset, given his recent experience on Australia's version of The Voice, but the strange combination of all these very different musicians seems like a tired plea for a more varied audience. We'll find out how they work together come January when the new season premieres, but what do you think?
Jennifer Lopez opens up about her divorce from Marc Anthony and new relationship with Casper Smart during an interview with Katie Couric that airs Friday. Check local listings of Katie to see the whole chat. Hear her thoughts on love and the latest rumored American Idol judges in today's PopSugar Rush.
Nicki Minaj is in final talks to judge American Idol's season 12, along with fellow newcomer Mariah Carey. So far the two are the only ones confirmed for the new season, as veteran judge Randy Jackson is still up in the air about coming back to the judges' panel.
Though Minaj's name had recently been thrown in the ring, I'm still surprised to hear Idol producers went in this direction. Minaj was one of many, many people who were rumored for the role after previous judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez departed. While there are a number of singers I would have preferred to see as judges, Minaj is indisputably one of the most popular rappers today. The questions on my mind are: will the Idol audience be receptive to her as a judge, and will her legions of fans tune in to see her on the show? What do you think of her as a judge? Let us know below!