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Candice Glover is Crowned the Winner of 'American Idol' Season 12 and Jennifer Hudson Returns to Idol!

Congrats to 23-year-old South Carolina native Candice Glover for winning season 12 of American Idol! The winner was revealed in last night's season finale. Candice beat out runner-up Kree Harrison, the Texas country singer who just turned 23-years-old today.

Candice looked shocked as Idol host Ryan Seacrest announced that she won. They say third time's a charm and my was it a charm for Candice who auditioned in season's 9 and 11, and on season 12 made it to the finals for the first time... and won! 

The women dominated in the top 10 finale, and Candice is the first female to win Idol since Jordan Sparks in 2007. Candice is a vocal powerhouse whose voice has soared, in my opinion, over the other ladies. Her R&B style is a style that I've missed. When Candice sung throughout the season, her voice reminded me of R&B and soul singer Chrisette Michele and past Idol contestant and Grammy and Oscar winner, Jennifer Hudson.

It just so happened that Jennifer Hudson returned to Idol and sung along with Candice to Natalie Cole's "Inseparable," and what a powerful performance it was!

***Scroll to the bottom to watch Jennifer Hudson and Candice Glover sing!

Jennifer was among the guest stars who helped fill out the two-hour finale show, including Psy, Frankie Valli, Emeli Sande, Jessie J, Aretha Franklin and former Idol judge Jennifer Lopez. Current Idol judges Keith Urban and Mariah Carey — along with Randy Jackson on bass — also performed.

Last night's finale also served as a final farewell for Randy Jackson, the show's last remaining original judge who announced last week that he's leaving Idol.

Also, on last night's finale, Candice sung her debut single "I Am Beautiful" as she was crowned the winner. She debuted the song on Wednesday night during the competition. Her new single is now available on iTunes.

American Idol will return for its 13th season next year in January, possibly with a whole new judging panel. Also, look out for this season's Top 10 when they kick off their Idol tour this summer!

Idol judge Mariah Carey preforms a medley of her hits, watch below:

My favorite Candice performance earlier in the season: "I Who Have Nothing."

In the video below, Candice changes it up a bit on Wednesday night, and starts off singing a cappella, performing "I Who Have Nothing" again. She murdered this song... twice!