On tonight’s all-star “American Idol” finale, Candice Glover won the competition. One can only hope that she doesn’t fall victim to the syndrome of winners who haven’t achieved stellar careers. It seems as though, with the exception of Kelly Clarkson, America becomes more taken with those who haven’t won the talent competition. Glover is a true vocal talent deserving of the win. However, her performance with Jennifer Hudson didn’t impress me at all. It seemed to be more about the vocal acrobats than a genuine emotional connection to the song. It felt like they were trying to out-sing each other. By the end, it felt very ridiculous.

Mariah Carey was there not just as a judge, but as a performer. She took the stage to perform a medley of hits, including her new single, “#Beautiful.” The performance fell very flat for me. It was a mess. Mimi looked stiff as hell, barely moving a muscle… including her voice. Yes, if you paid close attention you would know that Carey was lip-syncing to pre-recorded vocals during the performance. At one point, she even talked to the audience while her pre-recorded vocal played in the background. Oops!  And when the high note at the end of “We Belong Together” ended so abruptly, it sounded painfully unnatural. It didn’t even feel like she was trying to convince us. As a lamb, it was a pretty disappointing performance.

Aretha Franklin was a breath of fresh air, though. Even via satellite, that woman showed them all how it’s done. Another outstanding number was Jennifer Lopez performing her new single, “Live It Up,” with Pitbull. The dancing was great. It’s clear that Lopez hasn’t forgotten or abandoned her “fly girl” days. And she sang the entire song live. No pre-recorded vocals here. Lopez sounded good, too. I love the song the more I hear it and it will surely be this year’s summer anthem!

So, tonight’s finale was packed with highs and lows. As a fan of J.Lo, I hope she keeps up the good work. I almost can’t contain my excitement for the video! And as a fan of Mariah, I hope she steps her game up. If she wants to continue to be taken seriously as a “singer,” then sing. And if Mariah insists on lip-syncing, she should at least get some tips from an experienced drag queen. They can show her how it’s done.

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