Thursday night saw both the season finale of Fox's American Idol and the final episode of the long-running NBC comedy The Office. One was sedate; the other was a tearjerker.
Candice Glover was crowned the 12th winner of Idol. The 23-year-old from St. Helena Island, S.C., may have cinched the win with her final competitive performance, a stirring reprise of Ben E. King's "I (Who Have Nothing)." Glover's win over Texas country singer Kree Harrison was one of the most subdued in the history of the Fox series.
It was a fitting end to a year that saw Idol's ratings dip to an all-time low, especially with coveted viewers age 18 to 49. Heads apparently will roll. Original judge Randy Jackson has already announced that he is leaving the show, and Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, and Nicki Minaj may all be shown the door.
Many stars turned out anyway. The night's most extravagant moment belonged to Carey, who did a medley of a dozen songs in three minutes backed by a string section, a gospel choir, six chandeliers, and a rooting-section mosh pit, all provided with "Mariah Is Beautiful" signs.
For The Office, three questions remained: (1) Would Steve Carell, star of the show for most of its run, return for the finale? (2) What would happen to lovebirds Pam and Jim? (3) What did these PBS people (the show was supposed to be a workplace documentary) want?
Answers: (1) Yes! Michael Scott shows up as the "bestest Mensch" at Dwight's hilarious wedding to Angela. (2) Pam and Jim, they're good. (3) The docu was a metaphor for life and for the show itself. The finale went for the heartstrings The Office had pulled all along. Carell, as Scott, put it best: "I feel like all my kids grew up, and then they married each other!"
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