All is right in 'Idol' world as voters choose the best singer
Transfixed: Candice Glover can't seem to take in her new status as 'American Idol' champion, but runner-up Kree Harrison and host Ryan Seacrest are thrilled enough to make up for it.
And in the end, all was right in "Idol" world. The best woman won. Candice Glover, who out-sang everyone throughout a long, often painful season, was crowned "American Idol" Season 12 winner Thursday night.
Candice's victory over Kree Harrison breaks a streak of five consecutive male winners. But we've known that for more than a month, since the last guy was eliminated during top 6 week. She's also the first out-and-out R&B singer to win since Fantasia, nine years ago. And she won the way an Idol should win -- not because she was a pin-up or hunk or had a tragic back story, but because she was the best singer.
The finale, which ran more than two hours, vividly reminded us of what a long, often painful (but sometimes spectacular) season it has been, with musical horrors and highlights galore. It started with a charming, unplanned moment: Candice and Kree were posed in a solemn face-off to underscore the gravity of the situation. But Kree couldn't hold the stern face and broke into a wide smile.
Then the final 10 welcomed viewers to the celebration with a pallid performance of the Wanted's infectious "Glad You Came." The camera panned the audience to show hordes of former Idols. The Band Perry sang its current single, "Done," with attitude to spare and plenty of pogo-ing and pyrotechnics, plus guest vocals from Janelle Arthur.
The traditional "Idol" finale comedy bits commenced with one of the better examples of the form (though the bar has previously been set about as low as a dancer in a Flo Rida video). The top five guys were shown speculating about their early, consecutive departures, which they blamed on being "sabotaged" by their female competition. (Best bit: Janelle altering the musical score for Lazaro's stunningly inept version of "Close to You.") In the end, it turned out to be a plot hatched by the last female winner, Jordin Sparks, who when asked how she and the others pulled off the prank, told the guys, "It actually was pretty easy. None of you guys play guitar." She offered some consolation by telling them, "The good news is that 'Idol' leftovers have been doing really well on 'The Voice.' "
The guys went straight into a medley of Four Seasons songs, sounding like the Turgid Boys, so clearly the sabotage had not concluded. Fortunately, this presentation of a full cheese platter was improved by the appearance of Frankie Valli himself, who at 76 retains that piercing tone that cuts right through the "Grease" (and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" as well).
The medley virus proved to be catching, as Mariah Carey made her long-delayed first performance of the season with a whole raft of her hits. Dressed in a gown straight from the film "Big Mermaid," she showed off all the vocal trills and frills that have ruined a generation of copycat "Idol" contestants, and even threw in one of her patented high notes for the dogs in the audience – specifically Randy, who may have been backing her up (didn't see him).
The musical merry-go-round continued to whirl with Emeli Sande's "Next to Me," sung by Candice earlier in the season, being passed on to Amber Holcomb, who was joined by Sande, who provided a useful jolt of energy. Plenty of product placement for Ford Fiesta, in the form of a greatest-bits montage from the season's contestant commercials, culminated in the presentation of two Fiestas to Candice and Kree's designated family mentors.
On the previous night, Carly Rae Jepsen attempted to extend her time in the spotlight. This night, it was the Gangnam Stylist himself, Psy, trying to prolong his own fruit-fly pop lifespan with his current single, "Gentlemen," which is something of a Shakespearean classic -- sound and fury signifying nothing.
Keith Urban premiered his new single, "Little Bit of Everything," a pleasant if lightweight offering that was followed by a heavyweight offering: Candice and Jennifer Hudson dueting on Natalie Cole's lounge ballad "Inseparable." After Mariah's exhibition, it was the evening's second advanced crash course in over-singing, particularly Jennifer, who rarely strayed from a braying vibrato.
But just as on regular performance episodes of "Idol," when wretched excess can lead into unexpected brilliance, musical events took a significant turn for the better. Angie Miller launched into a grave version of Sia's "Titanium" and was quickly joined by Adam Lambert for a duet that at times approached the exquisite. Angie then achieved one of her goals by singing with Jessie J. Happily, it was Jessie's best song, the lively Katy Perry knock-off "Domino," which contains some of the raciest lyrics Angie has yet sung. Ryan Seacrest also announced that Angie had released a version of the original song she poleaxed the judges with during Hollywood Week, "You Set Me Free," but her planned performance of it had to be cut to make room for the Lambert and Jessie J duets. Jessie then invited her to the UK to perform it during one of her (Jessie's) concerts. So, good night for Angie.
More comedy: The contestants "dished" on the quirks of the judges. This was only occasionally funny, mostly when they poked fun at Randy's indiscriminate use of the immortal phrase "in it to win it." Randy more or less took over the show for the next several minutes, playing bass behind Kree and Keith on the latter's "Where the Blacktop Ends," which was enjoyable as a chance to hear Kree sing an uptempo number and Keith shred a little. Then came a full-blown farewell to Randy, featuring subtitled dogs and their video montage of the highlights of his "Idol" judicial tenure.
Beamed via satellite from New York, Aretha Franklin gave her propers to Candice and, with the top five girls on backups, sang a medley of "Natural Woman," "I Never Loved a Man, "Respect" and "Think" – a sublime moment. That, you might have thought, would have been a fitting performance conclusion to the evening before the results were revealed – what could top it, a Nicki Minaj number? (As it turned out, she was the one judge conspicuous in her absence from the musical stage.)
Nope. After Candice and Kree got the keys to their new Ford Escapes and a long and tedious montage of the season's highlights aired, Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull appeared to sing "Live It Up," their catchy dance number. Then Candice and Kree turned in a final duet on the dull Fifth Dimension hit "One Less Bell to Answer," before the envelope was at last opened. Candice managed to make her way through her new single, "I Am Beautiful," and the season came to a satisfying close.
Looking back at the final two, Kree was certainly a worthy adversary for Candice -- in most years she would have made a terrific crown bearer. (Same goes for the season's No. 3, Angie.) But Kree never quite put together one of those definitive Idol Moments that are a huge contributor to the show's longevity.
Candice, on the other hand, had at least three, maybe four depending on how highly you rated her version of "Somewhere." But without question, her first performance of "I (Who Have Nothing)," her brilliant transformation of "Lovesong," and her Wednesday reprise of "Nothing" were "Idol" performances for the annals. And, crucially, she was more than competent even on her least interesting moments.
As with all "Idol" winners, the big question is whether her triumph on the show will translate into stardom. It worked for Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. Fantasia, Ruben Stoddard and Scotty McCreery have achieved lasting genre prominence, and Phillip Phillips is off to a promising start. Candice's challenge will be to find a contemporary style that will mesh comfortably with her retro-soul leanings, and that may not be a piece of cake. But for now, she's won one of the show's most well-deserved victories.
Lots of love and loss marks the 'TVD' Season 4 finale as the Mystic Falls gang graduates
Last week on “The Vampire Diaries,” Bonnie managed to drop the veil between this world and that of the dead – bringing back those who had unfinished business here on Earth, like Alaric, Jeremy, Kol and Grams.
Jeremy’s return – and Matt’s fake death – helped Elena finally flip the humanity switch so she could feel again, but she was flooded with emotion and couldn’t deal.
Later, Silas took on many forms – including that of Klaus and Caroline – to get into Bonnie’s head. Bonnie managed to fend him off and seal him away for eternity, but she got a bit carried away with her casting – and the last spell she did killed her. Oops.
This week. Why, it’s graduation, of course! At the high school, rows of empty chairs awaited the graduates. But before the big day, there would be another big speech. Kol addressed the walking dead – those sacrificed witches and hybrids among them. “Massacres performed in the name of resurrecting the immortal Silas. The slaughter of innocents by the so-called hero-protectors of Mystic Falls,” he said, all bombastic. “They rest, unleashing hell on Earth for their own selfish gains. And today, that’s exactly what they’re going to get.”
Back at the Salvatore mansion, Stefan and his old vampire pal Lexi – one of the walking dead now, of course – rocked out to old school Bon Jovi. Damon sure was surprised to see her, though she was hardly pleased to see him. “If you, Ric and little Gilbert are all flesh-like and real seeming, that means something went horribly wrong when Bonnie tried to put that veil back up,” Damon deduced. “And yet, here you two are, having Dance Party USA!”
Stefan, petulant – and wasted – rebuffed Damon’s reminder that he should be “buffing his hero hair,” prepping for the next big battle. He’d rather hang with his formerly dead pal Lex.
Bonnie, meanwhile, called Caroline regarding the “snag.” She needed to wait to till the full moon to put the veil back up – but first, graduation! She didn’t quite know how to tell the gung ho Caroline that she was, uh, dead. “Hell will freeze over before I let anyone cancel graduation!” Caroline pouted.
Grams said she’d watch over Bonnie’s body, then told her to go – with a warning: “Make sure you say your goodbyes.”
Seems the recently returned from the dead were big drinkers – Elena was throwing down with Alaric and Jeremy in the cemetery. She was still a bit weepy, but Jeremy reminded her that they only had one last night together – so no tears. Then her cell rang. No, not Caroline. This time, it was Connor, the dead-undead, uh, you know, whatever, vampire hunter.
Rebekah, too, was dealing with a pissed off hunter – her ex, Aleksandar was holding her and Matt captive in a used car lot, wired to blow if Matt stepped of a plate everything was connected to. Matt told her to forget the dude and focus on something else – life after graduation. Travel? “China, Paris, the Northern Lights,” Matt said. “It’s a date.” That just pissed her ex off more. He threw a knife at the pair, and Matt almost leaped in blocking it, but Rebekah steadied him. He whispered to her that he was wearing the Gilbert never-die ring, so maybe they’d both make it through the blast. He kissed him goodbye, then told him to run. “I can’t be killed and you can’t miss graduation.” Aleksandar returned, asking what she’d done. Rebekah’s response, as the lot erupted in flames: “I finally chose one of the good ones.”
And Damon got a visit from Vaughn, the hunter he’d run into before. They all were on a mission – they wanted the Cure, so they could do what they were meant to do: kill Silas. Irritated with Vaughn’s lecture, Stefan decided to pull the dude’s heart right out of his chest.
At the bar, Connor showed Alaric how well-wrapped and ready-to-detonate his bomb was. When Alaric told him to blow the joint – not literally – he did.
At school, a red cap-and-gowned Bonnie was stalked by Katherine, who wanted the immortality Bonnie had promised her. Bonnie said only Katsia knew that spell, and she was no where to be found. But Katherine was tantrum-y. “My shadow self is living a better life than me,” she aid. “So if I don’t get that immortality, I may have to just get rid of her all together.”
Elena, still not a school, told Damon they needed to talk. But first, he offered up a graduation present. The little vial containing the Cure. She told him she couldn’t. “Obviously I want it, but that’s the only one,” she said. “And the hunters have made it clear that they’ll kill everyone in Mystic Falls until they get it.” That’s when Jeremy showed up. He told her he loved her, no matter what she chose. As Damon tried to talk some sense into Elena, he flinched in pain. The knife Vaughn had stabbed him with was laced with werewolf venom. It wasn’t healing. It would kill him. “What about the Cure?” Elena said. If he took it, if he was human, the werewolf bite wouldn’t kill him. Damon asked her about her plan to save mankind.
Lexie needled Stefan about Elena, too. Stefan pointed out that Elena’s sire bond to Damon was gone. She knew now exactly how she felt. About Damon. And about him. “She’s the love of my life,” he said. “I’d go back to her in a heartbeat. But if that’s not how she feels, maybe that’s exactly what I need to hear to get my ass out the door.” He said he’d move to Australia, live in a yurt. They were about to drink to that, but Vaughn awoke again.
Just then, Damon came out, the Cure vial in hand, and threw it to Vaughn. “Come on,” he said. “We’re digging up Silas. You coming or not?”
He took the hunter to the falls, and told Vaughn that he’d dumped the body somewhere in the lake. “Guess I should have brought some scuba gear, huh?” Vaughn pondered the lake as Damon smirked. That’s when he noticed that Damon’s wound hadn’t healed, that the bullets had been laced with werewolf venom. “This is all a lie, eh? You knew you were a dead man.” He shot Damon a few more times, demanding he tell him where Silas was. “One more bullet and you’re a dead man.” Vaughn was just about to fire again when Alaric appeared, attacked, and tossed him into the lake. Damon was relieved, except for one thing. The Cure. Which, it turns out, Alaric had smartly grabbed before tossing Vaughn over.
Elena was freaking, but Stefan told her Damon was just stalling the hunters, that he’d be fine. Stefan would go to Klaus himself to ask him to heal the bite if he had to. Meanwhile, Jeremy said to Elena, “You’re going to your graduation. Mom and Dad would kill you if there wasn’t a photo of you in your graduation get-up.”
Caroline was calling everyone, too, reaming them out in phone messages. That’s when Matt, Stefan and Elena showed up. The old gang, reunited, in red caps and gowns. “We’re actually all here! We’re all here together!” Caroline waxed poetic on college roomie plans, and insisted on a group hug. Then the ceremony started, the bleachers filled with well-wishers, Bonnie’s dad on the stage, handing out diplomas. When it was her turn, she hugged him and thanked him. For everything.
As Elena’s name was called, Bonnie grinned. Until she heard that creepy British accent in her ear. Kol. “Greetings little witch,” he said. Then he pointed out all the walking dead sitting in the audience, ready for his cue. He told her that he didn’t want the veil to go back up. He wanted her to drop it completely, so he and his friends could live once more. “It’s time to pay the piper.” She told him the Kol she remembered was against hell on Earth. She took him to see her body. “I’m a ghost. I want what you want,” she said. “I want my parents to see me off to college, I want to decorate a dorm room with my best friends. I want to stay here, Kol, more than anything.”
But she couldn’t have that. And neither could she. She’d cast a spell, one to lock him there, in that room, till after the full moon. “We don’t always get what we want, do we?”
Alaric called Stefan, frantic. Damon refused to take the Cure. “We are past the point of hail Mary phone calls,” he said. “What do you want me to do? Stand here and watch him die? Or force feed him the Cure?”
Instead of answering, Stefan crumbled in pain. So did Caroline and Elena. It was the witches, now ghosts. And they were plenty mad. “Remember us, Caroline?” the head witch asked. That’s when Klaus showed up, flung a graduation cap so fast it sliced the witch’s head clean off. “Who’s next?” he asked. “I can do this all day.”
Back at the Salvatore manse, Elena smacked Damon, all healed up, “fresh as a daisy.” Then she went to go talk to Stefan. She thanked him. For never giving up on her. Then she handed him the vial with the Cure. “It’s yours. I want you to have it.” When he resisted, she said, “the only person worse at being a vampire than me is you. The rest of us will be fine. You deserve whatever you want out of life. You deserve this.”
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Alaric and Lexie eavesdropped. And talked about the other side. “You know there’s something else out there, right?” she said. “There has to be. Silas’s whole agenda was to find peace with his one true love. Whatever peace is, it’s out there.” She said they had to let go and move on. His take: “How are we supposed to do that when the knuckleheads we love can’t seem to keep their lives straight.
Caroline stood amongst the now-empty bleachers, satisfied with the world. She turned, Klaus waited. She asked how he’d gotten there so fast – but he was already on his way. He’d gotten her graduation announcement. “It’s very subtle,” he said. “I assume you’re expecting cash?” Certainly not the ticket to New Orleans he’d like to give her. So he had another gift. “Tyler is now free to return to Mystic Falls,” he said. “He’s your first love. I intend to be your last. However long it takes.” Then he kissed her goodbye. “Congratulations, Caroline.”
Stepping outside, Elena ran into Damon again. He said he wanted to apologize. But just like Damon, he wouldn’t. He wasn’t sorry. “You know what I really am? Selfish. Because yes, I’d rather die than be human. I’d rather die right now than spend a handful of years with you, only to lose you when I’m too old and sick and miserable. I’d rather die right now, than spend my last few years remembering how good I had it. There’s no apology in the world that encompasses all the reasons I’m wrong for you.” So she said she wasn’t sorry either. “I’m not sorry that I met you. That knowing you has made me question everything. I’m not sorry that I’m in love with you. I love you, Damon. I love you.” Seal that one with a kiss.
And of course, Stefan felt it. Deep down, in his centuries-old bones. In that old soul of his. Lexie held his hand, consoled him. But there was no getting over it.
Later, the brothers put the body in the car. Things were definitely awkward. “Hey Damon,” Stefan said. “I’m not happy about Elena. But I’m not ‘not happy’ for you, either. I just wanted you to know that.”
Jeremy went to go see Bonnie, who was preparing to close the veil. He was ready, and he wanted to be with Bonnie when it happened. What about Elena? He couldn’t say goodbye to her.
Alaric stared in to the distance, waiting. When Damon came by to offer a final drink, Alaric reminded him, “you got the girl, man. Now don’t screw it up.” Then he disappeared.
In the car, Lexie offered Stefan similar words of wisdom. “It’s time to start living your life.” But he asked her: “What if Elena was the one?” She told him: “Contrary to popular belief, there are actually multiple ones. Especially for vampires. Now go.” When he turned to tell her maybe he’d head to Portland, she was gone.
Elena looked for Bonnie, and for Jeremy. Instead, she found Kol, who attacked. “Well, well, speaking of unfinished business.” But before he could do any damage, he disappeared. But the same couldn’t be said for Katherine. And she was mad as hell.
Bonnie and Jeremy worked on the veil. But first, a last kiss. “There are a million things I wanted to say to you, but nothing seems right anymore,” he said, desperate to get the last words out. Then he convulsed in pain. “Oh my god,” she said. “It worked Jer. I didn’t think it would work.” She’d done a spell to bring him back. And the veil was up, but he was still there. “I’m alive,” he asked, and she smiled. She embraced him. But then he couldn’t feel her. She said it was okay. He could see ghosts. They could talk whenever he wanted. He needed to tell the others she was spending the summer with her mom, far away. “For the first time in forever, my friends are okay. I don’t want to take that from them. I’m going to be okay, I promise.” Then she walked away with Gram.
Rebekah went to see Matt. He was okay. She was okay. She told him no worry about their travel plans. “You and I,” he said, “this isn’t going to work. I need to keep my love life a low vampire zone, too. So whatever happens on the road, stays on the road. That little wedding town it Italy, don’t get any ideas.” Rebekah was shocked. “I do know it’s time I actually start living. And since you almost killed me, I think it’s your obligation to show me how.”
Katherine was trying to take her doppelganger out. She was really mad. “You have everything, and it’s not because you’re a good little girl who deserves happiness,” she said. “It’s because you stole mine.” Elena pointed out that Katherine had killed her brother. Amongst other things. Katherine admitted, “that was nasty. But I have nothing. And I’m about to change that.” Then she stabbed her in the neck with a stake.
Flashback to the moment with Stefan, when she handed him the Cure. He didn’t take it from her. It was hers. And it was her choice what she did with it.
So as Katherine stabbed and tortured her, she took it out of her pocket. Then she shoved it down Katherine’s throat. “Have a nice human life, Katherine,” she said, a satisfied smirk on her bloody face.
Stefan got to the quarry and unpacked Silas’s body. But it wasn’t his body at all, just a bag of rocks. “Don’t bother, I’m not there,” Elena said, appearing out of nowhere. Silas. “You were stone, I saw you, the spell worked.” Silas-as-Elena informed him that every spell had a loophole – and this one was bound by a witch. “A living witch. When that witch died, the spell broke.” Stefan tried to absorb this information, but Silas said it didn’t matter. “I created the immortality spell 2,000 years ago. I can never die. So nature needed to find a balance. A version of me that could die. A shadow self. A doppelganger.” So Stefan said, “This is finally your real face? Another one of them.” Not exactly. Silas-as-Elena’s reflection in the car window? Stefan. “Hello my shadow self.” Then he stabbed Stefan, whispering, “Do you have any idea what it’s like to starve for 2,000 years?” Then he tossed him in a box and into the quarry, where Stefan screamed in his watery grave.
"The Vampire Diaries" will return to the CW with Season 5 in September.
Juliette's world imploded, and so did Rayna's - she doesn't know it yet
With the first leg of their tour wrapped, Rayna was splitting her time between getting her label Highway 65 Records on track and making out with Deacon. She wasn't ready to tell her girls they were a couple yet, but had no problem bringing Uncle Deacon home for dinner. Needless to say, Teddy was pissed when he showed up and found Deacon and Maddie having a little singalong. Rayna firmly told Teddy to but out of her life, but also again confirmed Maddie would always be his daughter. Instead of trusting Rayna, Teddy served her with a temporary restraining order that demanded Deacon stay over 100 feet away from their girls. "I'm the mayor of this city," he smirked. "Trust me, it'll stick."
When Rayna called to tell Deacon about being served, Maddie overheard her say, "I love you." Rayna confirmed she was back with Deacon, but didn't answer Maddie's "adult" questions about their past.
Juliette was being squeezed by Dante, and not in a good way. Her scheming ex wanted $2 million for the sex tape he'd recorded. Her security guy wanted to get Dante locked up, but with the CMA nomination hanging over her, Juliette just wanted to sweep it under the rug and avoid a scandal. Unfortunately, Dante realized that and decided to up the price to $10 mil.
At the CMA run-through, Juliette and Rayna ran their lines and Juliette got annoyed with the insulting script. Then she diva'd out over bottled water. Rayna told her to grow up and act like a pro. Juliette sniffed that she'd be happy to once she received a bit of respect. "You gotta earn that," Rayna sighed, warning her that even if she won Best Artist, it wouldn't give her what she was looking for.
After that, Juliette decided not to pay Dante. She could pull together the money, but he'd probably ask for more. She was going let him sell the tape, but get in front of it by giving "The View" an exclusive interview.
"This way, he makes less money and the world just finds out what they already know," she shrugged. "I'm a train wreck."
Jolene felt responsible, in part because Juliette kept blaming her, and decided to handle it another way. She snorted some Oxy, threw back a drink and called Dante. She told him Juliette wasn't going to pay him, but she was willing to give him the $2 mil for the SD card. She cried about loving him and made it sound like he was on his side.
When he showed up for the exchange, she pulled out a gun and shot him!
Gunnar was playing the outlaw and building a reputation on his brother's songs, which left little time for sleep or Scarlett. Scarlett seemed to be fine with it, until he went on the radio and made it sound like he was a ladies' man. Scarlett reminded him why he'd walked away from his brother's lifestyle and sniffed that he didn't have to come to her big debut at the Grand Ole Opry if it wasn't "outlaw" enough. He promised to be there.
Scarlett's big debut had her listed with the likes of Darius Rucker, Vince Gill and Carrie Underwood. Will was hoping he'd also get on stage as Highway 65 Records's second new act and snuck into Rayna's top-secret tryouts. She hadn't seen anyone she liked, so she gave him a chance. The cowboy dropped his cocky hard sell approach and sang the quiet song "A Showman's Life." Rayna was hooked, though Will wasn't going to get to play the Opry just yet. Scarlett asked Will to return the favor by having a talk with Gunnar, so he showed up at Gunnar's grungy gig and tried to talk some sense to him. Gunnar told him to back off so he could finish his set and get to the Opry for Scarlett. That's when a patron got in Gunnar face about whether he'd really done time in prison or was just a poser. A fight ensued, landing the boys in the slammer.
While in lock up, Gunnar admitted he was lost and Will apologized for the kiss, revealing his father had kicked him out after catching him with a boy. Will still didn't understand those feelings. What he did know was that the only time he was happy was on stage, so he was going to be a country star, "no matter what." "Me too," Gunnar agreed.
Deacon escorted Scarlett to the Opry, where he introduced her to Steve Buchanan, real life Opry and CMA board president (and "Nashville" executive producer). He showed her to the Intro the Circle dressing room, which all first-timer's used. Overwhelmed, she called Gunnar, hoping to bring him backstage for support. He wasn't there, but Avery, who'd recently told Juliette he believed in love, was. He sent Scarlett a whisk for good luck, reminding the shy poet just how far she'd come since he'd helped her work on her performance anxiety in their kitchen. Avery grinned up at Scarlett from the audience and with Deacon backing her up, she earned a standing ovation.
Then she went to bail out her boys. She understood Gunnar was hurting over his brother's death, but couldn't stand by him the way he was acting. "I've tried to fix it and I can't," she told him. "I fell in love with you, not your brother."
Lamar wasn't paying attention during a meeting, so Tandy decided it was time to make her play. She called a board meeting to replace him. No one was fooled into thinking it was "pure concern" on Tandy's part, but they agreed it was time. As the official ousting got underway, however, Lamar strolled in and reclaimed his seat - literally and metaphorically - from Tandy.
Juliette was about to go on "The View" when her mother called, babbling incoherently. She rushed home and barely even noticed Dante on the floor as she ran to cradle her mother. Jolene had OD'ed on the couch. Juliette cried alone in the dark as the news reported the story of her mother's murder-suicide.
Rayna approached Lamar for her first favor since she was a teenager, and he was more than happy to take care of Teddy for her. After the judge sided with Rayna and rescinded the restraining order, she tried to make nice with Teddy. She once again promised she'd protect his relationship with Maddie. This time he believed her, but it was out of her hands. At home, Maddie went through her mother's hidden lockbox and found a paternity test.
"I don't think that my dad is my father," she cried to one of her girlfriends.
Find the 411 on the music in this episode on ABC's Nashville website.
"Nashville" airs on Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
The Dunphys live road rage, Mitch gets evil, Jay and Gloria snoop
Manny (Rico Rodriguez) has a poetry reading. But his poems are in his backpack, which he thinks he left at the Dunphys'. He accepts a ride from Gloria (Sofia Vergara) and Jay (Ed O'Neill), even though it's dangerous because he doesn't want them aware of the reading. (He's exploring darker themes -- including poems entitled "The Umbilical Noose" and "Smother Nature.")
But wait. Pictionary is out, as are the guest soaps. And Claire's lipstick is on the wine glasses. A game night was had at Cam and Mitch's without an invite extended to Jay and Gloria. And not only were they not invited; they were made fun of. Jay notices a sketch of a pile of money and an outline of a voluptuous woman. This is too much. Jay retorts with a sketch of his own: a kiss and an ass. Gloria can't decipher it and she and Jay begin screaming at each other. Manny observes that the question isn't why they weren't invited to this game night, but why they are ever invited.
Manny discovers an envelope he forgot to give to his parents. It was the invitation to game night. But how can he tell them now, after he has just shamed them? Gloria the snoop figures it out, though, when she finds the invite planted back in Cam's bag. She also realizes that Manny has been hiding his poetry reading from them. Manny is an evil sneak. And she and Jay couldn't be happier to discover that their son is just like them.
Sleepy night disrupted by a final magic moment from Glover
She who has everything: Candice Glover reprised 'I (Who Have Nothing)' to close out the 'Idol' performance finale and walked away with the episode -- and likely the crown.
So much for the suspense. Candice Glover detonated a final performance on the "Idol" finale Wednesday that demolished all that came before it and ensured that, if she somehow doesn't win, it won't be because of musical reasons.
Going into it and looking for an angle, I realized that this was the first "Idol" finale ever when I didn't have a dog in the hunt. In every previous season, whether I was supporting the foregone conclusion that Kelly Clarkson would beat Justin Guarini or hoping for an upset Jessica Sanchez victory because Phillip Phillips was boring me half to death, I had a firm preference coming into the last week. This time, I would be perfectly happy with either Kree Harrison or Candice taking the crown.
But it doesn't seem as if there's much doubt left, unless Kree had amassed more voter support before the show and all of her voters had made up their minds so irrevocably that even an amphibian in her throat combined with a fainting spell on finale night wouldn't have swayed them. But that scenario seems far-fetched now.
The one-hour length forced a few procedural changes. For instance, we were deprived of the grand processional of the judges: Mariah and Nicki carefully separated by Randy and Keith as they swan their way down the stairs, across the stage and into their seats. Judges' comments were also structured differently and condensed.
Songs chosen by "Idol" architect Simon Fuller made up the first round, and while it's far too easy to say he should stick to producing, there's also some merit in the thought. Kree, we were informed, won a coin toss and elected to go first, evidence of a temporary brain cramp, since the only idea worse than handing the closing spot to Candice would have been skipping her own final performance. Simon gave her Sarah McLachlan's ballad "Angel," which nearly got the gifted Sarah Simmons knocked off "The Voice" last week. Kree did a very good job with it, in fine voice throughout, but the excitement factor was minimal.
Playing fair, Simon gave Candice an even less exciting song, "Chasing Pavements" by the early, pre-"21" Adele, who was considerably inferior. Candice didn't add a whole lot to the rather featureless song, resulting in a forgettable performance. Two of the judges, Randy and Mariah, were allowed to comment on both Kree and Candice after the latter finished. Mariah was at a loss for words, not for the first time, and eventually said, as if signing off on her "Idol" career, that she was "so proud to have been part of this season." Randy was more interesting, feeling liberated enough after announcing his departure to say he wasn't sure either song choice was particularly appropriate, both being too "sleepy." He gave the round to Candice for her deft use of her lower register.
The season-long promotion in which viewers were given the chance to suggest lyrics and performance gimmicks for a new Carly Rae Jepsen release, "Take a Picture," culminated in Carly Rae – desperately seeking that elusive second solo hit – unveiling the finished product. It was better than her previous follow-ups, but the verses running up to the chorus were a little too blatantly modeled on "Call Me Maybe" and the zeitgeist magic wasn't apparent.
The second round allowed "Idol" commentators to indulge in their favorite blood sport – trashing the "Idol" coronation songs crafted to serve as a first single for the winner. Last season the commentators were shocked when Phillip's "Home" was not only the first good trophy song in the show's history but also presciently got out in front of the latest pop-folk revival fad and became a massive hit. (And even Jessica's song was considerably better than usual.)
The coronation-song winning streak looked to continue with "All Cried Out," a country ballad (no relation to the old Dusty Springfield hit) designed for Kree. It wasn't great, or even particularly memorable, but it wasn't the usual "I can do anything if I just feel good about myself" drivel, and you wouldn't kick it off the radio if you heard it.
But most of that fragile good will came crashing down when Candice's song was announced as "I Am Beautiful," a title even a Disney Radio program director might reject as too trite. Musically, it was OK, especially in the verses, but the chorus was strictly banal. Candice did as good a job as you could possibly hope for, with a gorgeously restrained finish, but silk purses, sow's ears and all that mystifying old folk wisdom held sway here.
It was Keith and Nicki's turn to comment. Nicki liked the way Kree was reaching down "in the gut," and thought the message of Candice's trophy song was ideal. Keith said both Kree and Candice were soul singers, and thought the trophy songs were "tailor-made" for both contestants, with Candice's fitting her "like a Glover." Keith thought Kree won the round; Nicki preferred Candice.
The last round allowed each singer to pick her favorite song from the season to reprise. This is traditionally a massive anticlimax, a description that fit Kree's choice, Patty Griffin's "Up to the Mountain," which is pretty enough but was her third sluggish ballad and suffered from an appearance by the dreaded choir. Kree sounded very gospel, which is not necessarily her forte. The judges were finally allowed to specifically focus on a contestant and her song, not that it inspired them to new heights of eloquence. Keith praised the "spirituality and soulfulness you tap into." Nicki thought the choir added energy (she was clearly having a judicial off-night) and liked it better than the trophy song. Randy thought it was Kree's best of the night, but Mariah "felt" her on both performances.
Candice was considerably smarter in her rerun choice, picking Ben E. King's "I (Who Have Nothing)," one of her two most triumphant performances of the season, and one that seemed likely to seal the deal in her favor. But she didn't opt for a pat recapitulation; instead, she sang the entire opening chorus without accompaniment, then swelled the performance into a tidal wave of passion and power. Even considering we had heard her sing the song spectacularly two months ago, she once again reached all-time "Idol" heights. The judges were suitably enraptured and piled on the superlatives, Randy expressing it best when he said she "shot the whole night to another level."
Directly afterward, he squandered his new-found credibility when he said the competition was "so close" after the night's performances. Hardly.
Wednesday's winner: Candice. Thanks for "Nothing."
Predicted champ: Candice. Or questions will be asked.
"American Idol" airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
Competition tightens with no weak links left, but spare us the reruns
V for ... Vedo? Eliminated 'Voice' contestant Vedo and his coach, Usher, put up a brave front, while coach Shakira mourns the loss of her contestant Garrett Gardner. Garrett is the only singer in this shot with two names, not that it helped him one way or another, and also the only one smiling, possibly because his lip ring makes it harder to compress his expression.
NBC must really be desperate. So eager is the network to procure two hours of Tuesday programming from their hot property, "The Voice," that it aired a rerun … of Monday night's episode! It was a condensed rerun, consisting of just the 12 performances and the coaches' comments, minus the back stories, rehearsal footage and the vital contributions of social media correspondent Christina Milian.
Not sure who's calling the shots about Christina Aguilera and reportedly Cee Lo Green returning for Season 5, NBC or the show itself, but whoever it is, there's a severe misjudgment there. Cee Lo, despite sometimes-dubious taste in contestants, will be more than welcome (not that Usher's a disappointment, just that no one can match Cee Lo's flamboyance and verbal conundrums).
But Shakira has already proved herself every bit as smart and knowledgeable as Christina, without either the ever-present fan or (somewhat more crucially) the equally ever-present ego. (When it comes to relating everything back to herself, Christina is essentially an articulate Mariah Carey.) Maybe it's a contractual thing, but even if you take the reported $12.5 million compensation to Christina for gracing the show with her regal presence, it's a bad sign.
Anyway, after the rerun hour was over, the results show proper started … with a recap of Monday's performances! Mercifully, it was very brief and was bolstered by new coach comments. Former "Voice" mentor and "Duets" coach Robin Thicke began the new programming segment with his current single, the extremely catchy retro-soul "Blurred Lines." With Pharrell and T.I. participating prominently, there was little room for contestants Vedo and Kris Thomas, who were briefly glimpsed singing backgrounds.
As is its custom, the show scattered results throughout the hour, two at a time, in the usual "no particular order." The first two saved by the voters were R&B-with-altitude singer Kris Thomas (of Shakira's team) and Blake's country duo, the Swon Brothers, whose George Jones tribute turned out to be a shrewd move.
Blake and his team ran through Brooks & Dunn's routine country rocker "Play Something Country," after which the gifted Sarah Simmons (Adam) and Usher's increasingly impressive Josiah Hawley were called safe.
Lady Antebellum, featuring Adam's mentor assistant this season, Hillary Scott, sang their pleasant, mid-tempo new single, "Goodbye Town," generously granting featured lines to Adam's squad of female singers, Amber, Sarah and Judith.
Judith Hill then completed a happy night by being declared safe, along with Blake's Danielle Bradbery. Neither result was a huge surprise.
Adam trotted his gals out one more time for a version of the Cure's "Lovesong" that diverged significantly from Candice Glover's epic cover earlier in the "American Idol" season. Still, it's hard to think of another reason that song would be dredged up if not for its new notoriety, and "The Voice" should be above that.
Two more safe results followed. One was Usher's Michelle Chamuel, whom I was worried about because she's one of the more interesting contestants and also because I didn't want Robyn, whose sublime "Call Your Girlfriend" Michelle sang Monday, to become an instant-jinx artist. The other safe singer was, unsurprisingly, Adam's Amber Carrington, who presented a most moving performance Monday.
That left four contestants and two slots, and also about three minutes of airtime, half of which were consumed by Garrett Gardner explaining what a thrill it was for him to make it this far. Unable to prolong the suspense as he would have liked, Carson Daly announced the last two safe calls: Blake's Holly Tucker and Shakira's Sasha Allen, two of the competition's strongest pure voices.
So Garrett Gardner and Vedo, who had also had an opportunity to tell the viewers how much making it this far meant to him, won't be going any farther.
Analyzing the eliminations: Vedo had the handicap of opening the show Monday, which increases the chances that a singer's impact will fade more quickly, and Michael Jackson's "Rock With You" was just too unexciting a song choice. Garrett took a risk by rocking up the Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way," and although it worked well enough, it rubbed voters the wrong way.
"The Voice" airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
Zombies and Eric turn up in Portland
I suppose it was only a matter of time for zombies to find their way to Portland.
But, this week’s episode actually began in Vienna, where a pregnant and powerless Adalind was seducing Eric (an intense James Frain) when he was called away for a phone call with his father. Adalind eavesdropped and what she heard was not promising: something big was coming. Big and bad.
The same could be said for Portland. Even while our erstwhile lovers Nick and Juliette finally seemed back on the right track, her memories continuing to return and her apologies, too, continuing, across town a man tore up a house only to be violently gunned down when the police arrived. A man in a top hat was later spotted by Nick at the scene. Other than that odd sight, it was just another day in Nick's paradise. That is, until Hank later discovered the dead man’s death certificate already in the system – entered three days prior.
Back in Vienna, Adalind was visited by Stefania again, who suggested they forge a contract so as to make certain all went well with the royal she was carrying. The lawyer side of Adalind was apprehensive but Stefania simply took her hand into her own, surged heat through it, placed Adalind’s down on the contract and got a workable, albeit handprint, signature. Later, Adalind would be told by the gypsy woman not to let her womb be her tomb. The advice did not fall on deaf ears.
While Nick and Hank visited the morgue to follow up on the twice-deceased man, Nick spotted the one in the top hat again. He told Hank he had seen him earlier but, still, did little more than raise an eyebrow. Meanwhile, Juliette was in the midst of her own investigation. She went to Monroe to implore him to show her all of the things that Nick sees, the final piece to the big puzzle that has taken over her life. Bud (Danny Bruno) was visiting, pulling double duty on the comedy front in this installment so a nervous Monroe could finally show Juliette what she wanted to see: a blutbat. Despite being vehemently opposed to a Volga, Bud relented, with the caveat that it would have to take place at the spice shop, with Rosalee in attendance. Monroe agreed.
At the morgue, of course, one bed was empty. What’s more, the woman who had been attacked where the man was gunned down went all zombie turned mid-autopsy.
Across the globe, a frantic Adalind told Stefania of the words of caution she received at the café, which enraged Stefania, unbeknownst to Adalind. I suspected there would be an old woman face-off by episode’s end. One knew Adalind might be worth more dead than alive and the other knew only one thing for certain: she must have that baby. Stefania had to be the only one getting into Adalind’s head during this pregnancy.
The spice shop sideshow proved to be as entertaining as expected. Bud tore a page out of a "Three Stooges" short, alternately muttering and hiding behind bookcases. Rosalee showed herself to Juliette first. Juliette promptly walked out of the shop, only to immediately return. Next it was Bud, then Monroe, easily the most frightening of the lot. Juliette only had one question when all was said and done: Was Nick something too?
By this point Nick had made his way to the trailer. In one of his aunt’s many books he came upon a drawing of the man in the top hat. A voodoo priest, he was known as "The Bookman," due to teaching slaves how to read. He also had the ability to spew a green goo that turned folks into zombies, the dead part not being necessary. In fact, he was in the process of doing just that at the time. Before the commercial break he would emit his goo on an entire bus full of people.
Renard’s reunion with brother Eric inched ever closer, his spy in Vienna alerting him to Eric’s travel plans, among many other curious things. His next stop was Portland. He arrived while on the phone with his brother, but put their get-together off for the time being.
"The Bookman" created a zombie army as Monroe brought Nick up to speed on how things went with the Volga. At first angry, Rosalee soothed Nick's frazzled nerves. She told him that he had finally reached the point of no return; either Juliette would accept it all – including even her, Monroe and the babbling Bud – or she just wouldn’t be able to. Nick showed for his rain-check dinner date with flowers in hand and Juliette said she wanted to put them in water "before they volga’d." Nick entered behind her, smiling and optimistic.
High above Portland, Eric settled in, looking out of over the city. "This is no Vienna," he lamented to his servants. "We have Beethoven and Mozart. They have Nike." Then, a knock on the door. Imagine my surprise when it wasn’t Renard who entered and was instead ... "The Bookman."
To be continued indeed.
"Grimm" airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
Soap veteran Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson eliminated from competition
It wasn't a huge shock when Ingo Rademacher and his partner Kym Johnson were cut this week, but that doesn’t mean we’re not sorry to see them go. Ingo himself admitted that he never expected to make it to the semifinals, and it's a testament to his work ethic, passion and talent that he made it as far as he did. Len called Ingo's Charleston his best dance ever, so he did exit on a high note.
Ingo was such a good sport as the results came in. He gave the audience a big smile and gave hugs to Kym, Zendaya and Val. Ingo called his run on the show "an amazing experience" and praised Kym's choreography and patience. The judges gave him a standing ovation.
Next week's finals will include four celebrities rather than the usual three. Who made the cut? Both Aly Raisman and Jacoby Jones, who tied for first in this round, are in it to win it. Joining them are Kellie Pickler and Zendaya Coleman.
Here's a rundown of this week's performances:
Jacoby and Karina's moody Argentine tango included some unbelievable lifts. During critique Len actually shouted out: "Ka-ching, right on the money, Jacoby!" Jacoby is always up for a challenge – good thing, because the Lindy hop is certainly that. The dance Karina choreographed had the pair of them jumping, kicking and spinning on just about every inch of the stage. They even hopped up onto the judges' table. Carrie Ann loved the dance and dubbed Jacoby the number one entertainer the season. The fans have been rooting for Jacoby all along, and this week the judges were too. Could Jacoby take home the Mirrorball Trophy?
Kellie and Derek's measured, staccato Argentine tango had Bruno cooing about "the world of the sublime." Carrie Ann was floored by Kellie's level of skill after only eight weeks' training in ballroom dancing. The flamenco let Derek take his often-dramatic choreography to a new level. Kudos to Kellie for holding her own! This was a great week for Kellie and Derek, and I can't wait to see what they do in the finals.
The slow, sensual rumba should have been a stretch for bubbly Aly, but she absolutely sold the quiet routine Mark crafted. Len praised Aly's growth as a dancer, and Bruno compared her to a butterfly. Aly and Mark's Afro jazz routine was so intense it must have been physically punishing. Bruno told Aly she had exceeded all expectations and showed an incredible range in every type of dance. This was Aly and Mark’s best week ever – will they go on to win it all?
Val and Zendaya turned in a racy quickstep that wasn’t quite the judges' cup of tea. Carrie Ann described the routine as "kind of a mess" even though she found it innovative. Zendaya and Val's hip-hop routine included some old school moves along with what looked to be some brand new ones. Bruno said the dance was "so cool it gave me chills." Zendaya is a great dancer, but does she have the votes it will take to win?
Who won the week: Aly and Jacoby
Who needs to step it up: Zendaya
"Dancing With the Stars" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.