You were so happy for Candice…?
Were you the slightest bit disappointed?
You know what, we’re both standing there and the beauty of Candice and I is that we are both totally different artists. We are both so driven for each other's careers and I just felt like it was the beginning. This is not the end of the road for any of us. I'm so proud of her and I am proud of myself for getting this far and I couldn't believe I was standing there with her at the finale.
How will you celebrate your birthday?
Sleep in? Obviously tonight I'm going to celebrate with my family and I feel like I have so much to celebrate.
What was your favorite moment performance wise or in the [finale] packages, was this something that really moved you?
Honestly the whole night was magical for me and Candice. We kept looking at each other asking, “what are we doing?” The fact that I kept looking down and seeing my whole family, my brother is here tonight, I felt so relieved to have the support that I have had. I couldn't possibly just pick one moment.
How has American Idol made you a better performer?
I think before this whole journey that emotionally I had a wall up on stage. It's really taught me how to tear that down and connect with an audience because you have to on the show, you have to sing into a camera and that's really important. I just feel like it's taught me to be a better performer.
Your fans have been tweeting you like crazy today and they want to know how is the support team with all of the new fans and those people that were with you from the 2nd you audition?
I have my family but all of the following I have created, it's unbelievable. The Kree’s Crew made the best birthday video and at the end of it they knew how much the children's hospital visit meant to me and they donated $50 each in my name to the Children's Hospital; which is so incredibly nice. I do feel the love.
Did you share anything with Randy given you had that moment on stage?
Oh yes, I'm so happy I got to be on the season with him and I'm sad that he’s leaving, but I'm sure he will move on to bigger and better things. Hopefully we can work together one day, I just adore him.
WP: Have you been able to speak with your sister yet?
Yes I have. All of my siblings so proud of me, my brother is here somewhere; it’s such an amazing thing to have them here with me.
What was it like singing with Aretha in that video moment?
I mean Aretha Franklin? Are you kidding me? I would sing to her video any day. I’m so happy that I can be one of the people in the world to say that I sang with Aretha Franklin. That's insane right?
Were you hoping that she would sing Kreedom (instead of freedom) during “Respect”?
We kept joking about that actually, I really like that nickname and it stuck.
What was your initial reaction when you found out that you would be kind of singing with her?
I thought it was a joke. Really, I was like, “oh that's so funny. That's hilarious.” All of us girls were like are you kidding me? Aretha Franklin is the Queen of soul and what artist would want to sing with her so we were just so happy.
Has Rosie O'Donnell reached out to you after they showed that clip in your package of you on her show?
She has tweeted me. She's been very supportive and I love her. She had me on her show four different times and I hope to reconnect with her one day because she was always so lovely.