American Idol 2013 winner Candice Glover may have seemed cool and confident during her final performances on Season 12, but she was far from convinced she would win. In fact, during the final moments before the results were announced, she was certain Ryan Seacrest would be calling Kree Harrison’s name as the winner.
In a post-finale press interview, Candice Glover talks about the shock of finding out she had won American Idol, the close bond between her and Kree, and the thrill of having music stars like Drake and Aretha Franklin praise her talents.
How does it feel to win?
I'm still trying to process it. I don't even know my name! Oh my gosh! I don't know what's happening! It feels amazing though to finally have gotten to this point after working so hard for so long.
What made you keep coming back and auditioning for the third time?
Well I actually have some friends that decided not to come back and stuff like that but I always knew for some reason that it would happen if I kept going. I even said at some point said you know, American Idol obviously doesn't want me why would I go back? But I found myself on the website looking at the auditions again. Just being determined. I just couldn't turn away because I knew that if I kept trying that it would happen.
Keith was saying you held your own against Jennifer Hudson...
I was so nervous backstage. I was like oh my gosh you cannot suck. This is Jennifer Hudson. Don't mess up. Practice. Get it together. I'm just so glad that I got the chance to even do that with her because I look up to her.
You were saying Kree's name over and over just before Ryan announced you as the winner.
I was saying her name because I was just certain he was going to say the name so I was like "oh yeah, Kree, Kree, Kree" and she was like "no. Candice, Candice, Candice." We are super supportive of each other and I know no matter what I'm going to be buying Kree's album. I think the whole world will.
Do you remember even singing your winning song?
I don't remember him saying my name. I do remember... singing. I wanted to laugh but I was crying and there was just so much happening in that one moment but it felt great.
What was your favorite song you performed?
I think it's pretty obvious that "Lovesong" Is probably my favorite one. And only because I was so connected to the lyrics and I knew what it felt like. And then for Keith Urban to start getting on his knees and bowing and Randy being here for 12 years and saying it was the best vocals of his whole 12 years on the show. It felt great because I didn't expect the reception that I got to be so big. And Mariah threw glitter at me! That was the best moment.
How nervous were you... and how did you feel about your performances?
I was really nervous because I had never performed in front of 7,000 people before but it also gave me that adrenaline that I needed, so I was really excited at the same time. I'm a perfectionist so I found something wrong with every performance, just a lot of things that I could've done better. But I'm glad it all worked out!
Was it weird when Aretha basically said that you won?
I don't know, I didn't really hear that, the fact that she even knows my name or knows who I was. But I love her so much; the whole night was just amazing!
When will you direct message Drake to be on your album?
Isn't it even crazy that I can do that though? That he even follows me on Twitter! I don't know, he knows that I want to talk to him because people have been tweeting him, and he did say that he was proud of me!
WP: When is the wedding?
I'll get back to you on that!
What was it like this season with Randy?
I got his final critique ever last night, I told him that I was so glad that I was able to experience this with him, he knows how long its been and wanting this so... I love Randy!
Did Nicki & Mariah say anything to you?
Nicki came up to me and said I was a superstar! She wanted to hug me! She was joking when she was saying ‘can I hug the American Idol’? Every time I say that, I just can't believe it! She always tells me to have fun and be myself! I love Nicki and would love to collab with her to be honest! I didn't see Mariah and get to speak to her but I hope that I do.
What do you think you learned the most?
I think I've definitely learned how to be confident and how to be myself and to be okay with who I am. Because in previous seasons I was doing what I thought America wanted or what the judges or whoever wanted, but this year I just did whatever I wanted to do, hence I would do a rappers song on the show, or I would do the cure when nobody expected me to. In previous seasons I wouldn't have done any of that because I wasn't confident in who I was so I think that's the difference between now and the previous seasons.
What's the first conversation you had with Kree after you found out you won?
We tell each other we love each other probably 90,000 times a day but it really meant a lot for her to hug me and say I love you and I'm so happy for you. And I said the same to her. I'm so proud of her, and I don't know, I can't wait to see her again so we can have fun tonight.