There are nine contestants left vying for the title, money, and recording contract that is the top prize of "American Idol." And up until the last week or so, Angie Miller and Kree Harrison emerged as the possible final two battle in the Season 12 finale. But you can never count out a cinderella, and Candice Glover has set herself up to be a contender in just a few weeks. In fact, she just might win it all.
On Thursday (March 14), "Idol" host Ryan Seacrest announced that Candice received enough votes to land her in the top three of the Top 9. Her look of relief said it all (because apparently she's well aware of the fate of big-voiced black female singers on the show since Jordin Sparks, the show's last female winner). But it isn't like she didn't deserve it. And since viewers were not privy to voting information and don't know the placement of the three girls in the top three -- Candice, Angie, and Kree -- she just might have been the top vote receiver.
But she wasn't always thought of as a contender. Her vocal control and singing ability was acknowledged but she was being overshadowed by others, like Kree, Angie, Amber Holcomb, Curtis, and Burnell Taylor. Angie and her original composition, "You Set Me Free," dominated two entire shows (they just nodded her through to the Top 10 during the Top 20 results show, talking more toward her previous performance than about her performance the night before).
That all changed when the shows went live. As America became more familiar with the finalists and got to hear more singing, Candice began to make her move. Others ranked ahead of her fell or were voted out of the competition. Breanna Steer and Aubrey Cleland didn't make the Top 10 in the talent-heavy girls side of the competition (another reason to get rid of the gender bifurcation at the Top 20 level). Curtis Finch was the first of the Top 10 sent home. Paul Jolley, Devin Velez, Amber and Burnell all dropped as the oddsmakers moved her up.
The 23-year-old South Carolina singer was only given middling chances of winning when oddsmakers drew up their first odds of winning lists. Bovada put Candice at 25/1 odds to win, tied with three others (Curtis Finch Jr, Vincent Powell, and Adriana Latonio) that have all since been dismissed by America's votes.
When the Top 10 finalists' odds were revealed, Candice had moved into fourth place, tied with Lazaro Arbos, the only guy in the top five best placers. Her odds of winning had improved to 12/1 as well.
And it has been on sheer dominance of the singing competition. Angie Miller has put on great performances as well since the live shows began, her version of "Idol" alum Colton Dixon's "Never Gone" gaining rave reviews, even from Colton himself. Kree Harrison has shown that she has power and control and, along with Candice and Curtis and Burnell, the presence of a confident artist.
But Candice began her move up the contention ladder by performing a mesmerizing rendition of Aretha Franklin's "You Make Me Feel (Like A Natural Woman)" during the Top 40 round, then topping that with a Semi-Finals (Top 20) winner in John Legend's "Ordinary People." She continued to nail her songs with her Top 10 "victory song," Rose Royce's "I'm Going Down." But she did everything but go down, because when she performed Ben E. King's "I (Who Have Nothing)," she prompted "Idol" judge Nicki Minaj to note that the song should be forever retired from the show's competition in honor of her performance.
Professional oddsmakers put her even with Angie Miller now with the best odds of winning the Season 12 title. Both have 9/4 odds of winning, according to Bovada, pushing Kree Harrison to a close third (5/2 odds).
And early power rankings, such as Newsday, have got Candice as the finalist to beat now.
So to the question, "Can anyone stop Angela Miller from winning 'Idol' Season 12?", it didn't at first look as if there was anyone other than Kree Harrison that might thwart Angie's momentum. But what a difference a couple of shows make. The answer now appears to be "yes," we have a cinderella contender.
Last season, Candice Glover was cut in the Vegas round. This year, she just might win it all.