American Idol
Two Finalists Perform

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Too Close to Call

We start in a time warp, looking at a young, raven-haired girl in a zebra-print cowboy hat telling Rosie O'Donnell on her show in 1990-something that she's never taken a voice lesson. Obviously that's Kree, back when she had parents. Archival footage of Candice Glover is rather more recent and a lot less glam, with clips of her showing up for auditions in seasons nine and ten looking like a hot mess. Both of them have the same dream and between Candice's talent advantage and Kree's demographic advantage, I seriously have no idea which of them is going to take this. Notice I didn't say "win."

Ryan's shown up in a tux tonight, and the always-reliable celebrity-cam doesn't let us down tonight as it picks out the most famous person in the audience -- yep, there's Rob Schneider! The judges are already at their table, sparing us their usual slow-moving entrance, all of them similarly dressed up for the occasion save Keith. Ryan reminds us that it's the first girl vs. girl finale since Season Three, and polls the audience by applause. Since those results aren't binding anyway, I'm not going to declare a winner. Finally Ryan brings out Kree and Candice and announces that one of them will be the next American Idol. I don't know -- I'm still not convinced that some dude with a guitar isn't going to swoop in and steal it somehow. It could happen.

Three rounds again tonight: one song picked by producer Simon Fuller, their potential single, and their own favorite song of the season. Because Kree won last week's coin toss, she gets to go first and Simon Fuller has chosen "Angel" as Kree's song, which seems like a huge advantage for her because there are any number of songs with that title and she could just pick her favorite, right? She has wisely gone with the one by Sarah McLachlan, making it all about her voice with a stripped-down arrangement that's mainly just piano with a little steel guitar in the mix because Kree. Ryan gives us all four of her voting numbers. You know, what if in these multi-round stages, people could vote using separate phone numbers for individual performances instead of the entire singer? That might be interesting. It probably wouldn't, but it might be.

Simon Fuller has picked "Chasing Pavements" for Candice. So between Sarah McLachlan and Adele, I think the main thing we've learned from this round is how very pedestrian Simon Fuller's musical tastes are. The song is completely undemanding for Candice, which is the kind of thing that drives Jimmy Iovine nuts. I'm not a big fan of it either, frankly.

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American Idol

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