LOS ANGELES — When Phillip Phillips won "American Idol" last year, critics were skeptical whether he could have a successful career after a string of similar winners (Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, David Cook) had failed to make much of an impact. Then came his coronation anthem, "Home," which soundtracked the 2012 Summer Olympics and became the best-selling "Idol" winning song ever.
So a lot is riding on the original songs that season 12 "American Idol" top two Candice Glover and Kree Harrison debuted Wednesday night. Could Glover's "I Am Beautiful" or Harrison's "All Cried Out" top Phillips' ubiquitous ode to domesticity?
At Thursday night's (May 16) "Idol" finale, we went straight to Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban to ask which diva has a hit under her belt — and, appropriately enough for this antagonistic season at the judges' table, they disagreed.
"I enjoy Candice's song a little bit better," Minaj admitted, before giving props to Harrison's tear-stained ballad. "But I know Kree's original song will be great for country radio."
Urban, however, had his fellow country singer's back, voting for "All Cried Out" as the song of the season.
"All due respect to Candice's song, the Kree one just hit me a little bit deeper emotionally. But both of them have great messages, so I applaud the songwriters of both of those songs and the fact that they really had substantive lyrics in both of them."
But Minaj and Urban don't have the real deciding vote in this contest: It's all about which song appeals most to the record-buying public. Who knows? "I Am Beautiful" or "All Cried Out" could be the sonic backdrop to the 2014 Winter Olympics!
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