From Seattle Times theater critic Misha Berson:
Viewer ratings for “American Idol” may have hit the skids this year. And the bicker-a-thon between divas Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj was a total turn-off. But the final episodes this week give us two fine singers who really deserve their time in the sun, and have the right stuff for a bright musical future. Whatever its faults (and there are more than a few), this long- running TV singing contest still can muster up some worthy talent we’d never know existed otherwise.
Who do you think will get the confetti bath and “Idol” crown?
Kree Harrison possesses one of those classic country voices that can stomp and torch and twang. Though some of her song choices (and the choices made for her) failed to show it off to best advantage, there were times when her rich, deep tones and innate warmth triumphed. My favorite performance of hers is a sultry but vulnerable rendering of “Help Me Make It Through the Night.”
And then there is Candice Glover, my pick for “Idol” winner and the one who can do amazing things with her effortlessly elastic pipes, without losing the essence of a song’s meaning. As for the side chatter about whether Candy is “current” enough for today’s tough pop market: What’s not ever current about a singer with an awe-inspiring vocal range, who can be jazzy and soulful, sassy and subtle in one breath? And isn’t it about time an American gave those thriving British soul sisters a run for it? Hard to pick a top number from Candice’s great “Idol” run, but I do love her gutsy-sweet rejuvenation of an old Dionne Warwick tune.