How Candice Glover won 'American Idol'
Finalist Candice Glover, left, and Jennifer Hudson perform at the "American Idol" finale at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live on Thursday, May 16, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — With a flawless voice that recalled past "American Idol" finalist Jennifer Hudson and a sense of determination after not making it in previous seasons, Candice Glover did the one thing Hudson wasn't able to do: She won the title of "American Idol."
"I always knew for some reason that it would happen if I kept going," said Glover backstage Thursday after her coronation.
The 23-year-old vocal powerhouse from St. Helena Island, S.C., auditioned for the ninth and 11th seasons of the Fox singing competition but didn't ascend to the finals until this season.
Contestants congratulate winner Candice Glover at the "American Idol" finale at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live on Thursday, May 16, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Glover looked stunned when "Idol" host Ryan Seacrest announced amid a flurry of confetti that she had bested soulful 22-year-old country singer Kree Harrison from Woodville, Texas.
"I don't remember him saying my name," said Glover. "I do remember confetti getting in my mouth."
After her crowning, an emotional Glover sobbed her way through her new single "I Am Beautiful."
It was fitting that Hudson, who went on to win a Grammy and an Oscar after being the sixth contestant eliminated during the third season, returned for Thursday's 12th season finale to duet with Glover on Natalie Cole's "Inseparable."
Winner Candice Glover performs at the "American Idol" finale at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live on Thursday, May 16, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
"I look up to her and, honestly, she is so successful after this show, and I really admire her," said Glover, who worked as an excursions coordinator renting scooters and golf carts back home. "I finally got a chance to not only meet her but sing with her."