American Idol finalists Kree Harrison and Candice Glover wowed the audience at the Nokia Theater at L.A. Live Wednesday evening with three show-stopping ballads each. After the performances, Glover, Harrison and judge Keith Urban came backstage to talk about their night, that coin flip, and singing those soulful songs.
“As different as they are, they have a lot of similarities. They have a lot of vulnerability and strength that are both apparent when they perform. They both come from very roots-y, earthy, real families and I think that’s what’s apparent in what they do. There’s no pageantry in either of them,” said first-time judge Urban. “They sing because they need to sing. Not because they want to be famous.”
But as to what he thought of their performances, Urban said: “I was really taken with the original songs, particularly Kree’s. Kree’s to me was the one that just hit me.” Harrison and Glover may not have Urban’s luxury of distance, but both offered up insights into their performances as well.
On those emotional songs and staying confident onstage
Harrison may own the stage when she’s belting out those ballads now, but she admitted she wasn’t always so comfortable going to those dark place. “The truth is before I committed to this competition, I wasn’t so good with emotional songs,” Harrison said. “I put a wall up because I didn’t want to get to that point where I couldn’t handle the lyrics and couldn’t get it out. But I found that there’s a happy medium of connecting and really showing your heart through your lyrics.” Glover was no different. Her swagger, she says, is just an act. “I always feel very unconfident, but I don’t show it onstage,” Glover said. And it was her drive to succeed that prevented her from getting lost in the sadness of her song. “I got emotional in the middle of the song but I couldn’t stop because I didn’t want to go off-key,” Glover said.
On that fateful coin flip
Reality television devotees may be surprised to learn that as Ryan Seacrest was flipping that coin last week that would give the winner the choice to go first or second in Wednesdays finals show, Kree was whispering to Candice to ask which position she preferred. “I was very surprised. She asked me while it was spinning. I said ‘I don’t know? Second?’ and she said ‘OK, I’ll go first,'” said Glover. “That’s Kree. Every day. She doesn’t think about herself at all. She puts everyone before herself.” Harrison said, “I think it comes down to the singing, the connection, the order doesn’t matter.” Though Glover wasn’t in the room to hear her say that, she echoed the sentiment in nearly the same words.
On what they’re going to do the day after tomorrow
Glover said that she’s just relieved that they don’t have to go through another round. “We’ve just been taking it one day at a time and doing our best, but I have to think about [plans] when I go home,” she said. Harrison, on the other hand, didn’t know exactly what she’d be doing, but knew that she’d have at least something to celebrate. “My birthday is the day after the finale,” Harrison said, adding with a laugh: “Vote for me for my birthday!”
As many know, Glover was an American Idol contestant before, but despite her success this year, she doesn’t feel as though she was robbed before. “Honestly I don’t think I would have won,” Glover said. “I think everything happens for a reason and I don’t think I would have made it as far as I did this year. I was just auditioning because I was a 19-year-old who happened to know how to sing. And this year I think I’m more of an artist and I think I know myself a little bit better.”
In less than 24 hours the world will know who was voted the Season 12 American Idol and who gets to go home in second place. With that kind of pressure, it’s tempting to think that Harrison and Glover are enemies, just playing friendly on stage. But just ask how they spent the night before the big show. “Me and Kree watched some TV together. She fell asleep on me. I made sure she was sleeping and then I went to my room,” said Glover. “We just chilled.”
There are no rivalries here.