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American Idol

Kree Harrison Felt Like She Was “Singing Karaoke” on American Idol — Interview

On American Idol last night, Kree Harrison’s hometown visit was both beautiful and heartbreaking. Celebrated by thousands of fans, surrounded by friends and family, Kree still had to deal with the sadness of not having her parents there to see her success.

Country singer Kree’s parents both died when she was very young. Her dad was killed in a plane crash not long after the family moved to Nashville to pursue her musical dreams. Then her mom passed away after a car accident when she was 16.

In an interview after the American Idol performances last night, Kree said her homecoming was bittersweet, but the support of her family, friends and fans means the world to her.

WP: So how does it feel to make Keith Urban cry?

Kree Harrison: I was so relieved more than anything. I feel like some of the ballads that I’ve sung have just been pretty and they didn’t feel them. So to see that reaction, whether he’s crying or whatever, did mean the world to me that everybody got so emotional, as emotional as I felt.

How was it to sing a song that emotional right after your hometown visit package, which was also emotional?

I was in there like (plugs her ears and closes her eyes) la la la la la!

You blocked yourself out?

I was trying so hard, but at the same time I was there and it was so emotional. I’m living in that moment already, this whole week has been an emotional rollercoaster. It really has been.

Was going home what you expected or how was it different?

NO! I mean I thought my family and friends were going to show up and give me like a party, are you kidding? There were thousands of people chanting and it was,more than anything,humbling to think that now you have to go back and make these fans — that’s weird to say out loud — proud of you because this is not just something that’s yours. This is not a selfish thing, this is something you have to give back.

Your hometown visit went from one end of the spectrum from complete joy to a lot of sorrow too, how hard was that having to go back and then having this amazing response?

That’s life, I’ve experienced that, that is just life. So I’m no stranger to it. The sweet was definitely after the bitter because obviously they loved it, and the crowd loved it, and that meant the world to me.

It was actually my favorite song you have done so far. The last song that you did, you got a lot of flack for, but you didn’t get to choose it!

I don’t know, I don’t even know. I literally was like, I’m just going to have fun with this and see what happens. I felt like I was singing karaoke a little bit. In a good way, like it was fun.

WP: I feel like you are Mariah’s favorite, do you feel that way?

Hopefully! I hope I’m her favorite. I think that each one of them likes us individually for so many different reasons. That’s the beauty of all of this is that we are so different. We are competing, but we are all going to be in totally different genres so that is the best part. I don’t think they could really have a favorite for that reason.

How do you think, in your own words, how your competitors did?

Are you kidding me? Angie, she’s flawless, and that Elton John song is one of my favorite songs, so of course that was my favorite by her and then she did “Try.” Hello rock star, I’ve arrived! Candy, can we just talk about that performance for a minute? Let’s not talk about me no more, let’s talk about her! I was like sister, yes! She killed it! We all looked at each other at the end and were just like, we did it, whatever happens we did it and we had a blast.

Did you know the one of the songs you performed tonight was written by former Idol finalist — Chris Sligh?

I heard that. Someone from the management company told me that. That's awesome. I hope that he thought I did it justice.

Can you talk a little about the exhaustion level at this point?

Yeah, we are definitely exhausted, drained and, more than anything, emotionally. But I couldn't imagine doing anything else right now, and I don't want to go home. It's pretty incredible. I just hope that I can stay another week. I really don't want to see you all tomorrow. I'm sorry.

We don't really want to see you either!

But in all honesty I never thought in a million years I would get this far. Going home to celebrate with my hometown was incredible.

Of the songs, whose pick was your favorite and captured you best?

The judges. I don’t know what made it different, but I think they understand. I'm not anything but country, whether I put Kree like soul or whatever into it, it's not going to be confused. That means the world to me because a lot of people do get confused, I will sing Aretha Franklin and whatever, but I am a country singer.

Why do you think Jimmy chose a rock song for you?

I don't know. I'm going to ask him!

I just like to know how the judges actually agree on the song considering they don't speak to each other?

Yeah, I know exactly! But I was so happy when I heard that was the song. I thought this could be really great.

Will you sleep at all [before the results]?

Probably not because we have rehearsals I believe after this, but I could be wrong about that. Either way… Coffee! Good morning!

05.9.2013 / 11:30 PM EDT by Lindsey Jordahl
Related: American Idol, Interviews, American Idol Season 12, Kree Harrison

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