Candice Glover Wins American Idol: "It Feels Amazing"
A star is born! R&B singer Candice Glover was crowned the season 12 winner during the finale show on Thursday, May 16, and it seems no one could be in more shock than her.
Speaking with reporters shortly after Ryan Seacrest announced that Glover, 23, had beat out country singer Kree Harrison, she hardly had let the news sink in.
"I'm still trying to process it," she explained. "I don't even know my name! Oh my gosh! I don't know what's happening!"
The St. Helena's Island, S.C. singer, who failed to advance in two Idol seasons before (past judge Simon Cowell once told Glover that she'd never be more than "a lounge singer"), acknowledged just how long she's waited for this type of recognition.
"It feels amazing to finally have gotten to this point after working so hard for so long," she said, explaining why she never gave up. "I always knew for some reason that it would happen if I kept going. I even said at some point, 'American Idol obviously doesn't want me why would I go back?' But I found myself on the website looking at the auditions again."
She continued, "I just couldn't turn away because I knew that if I kept trying that it would happen."
Glover recalled other highlights of the finale night, including singing "Inseparable" with Idol alum Jennifer Hudson.
"I was so nervous backstage," she admitted. "I was like, 'Oh my gosh you cannot suck. This is Jennifer Hudson. Don't mess up. 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.
Noting that she had plans to "sleep as much as I can," Glover also gave major props to her competitor, 23-year-old Harrison, who she formed a tight bond with.
"We are super-supportive of each other and I know no matter what, I'm going to be buying Kree's album," Glover said. "I think the whole world will."
Harrison, 23, of Woodville, Tex., expressed no disappointment of coming in second place while talking to reporters.
"The beauty of Candice and I is that we are both totally different artists," the "All Cried Out" singer said. "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."
Glover's debut album, Music Speaks, is anticipated for a July 16 release. Her first single "I Am Beautiful" is on iTunes now.
Both Glover and Harrison will be on the 40-date Idol tour, which kicks off June 29 in St. Louis, Mo.