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'American Idol' runner-up Kree Harrison: I learned so much while on the show

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/21/2013 

American Idol crowned Candice Glover its twelfth-season winner over runner-up Kree Harrison during Thursday night's live finale broadcast on Fox.

Candice, a 23-year-old from St. Helena Island, SC, defeated Kree, a 22-year-old from Nashville, TN, after she received the majority of home viewer votes cast immediately following Wednesday night's performance broadcast which featured the Top 2 finalists each singing three songs.

During a Friday conference call with reporters, Kree talked to Reality TV World about her American Idol experience. To read what she had to say, click here. Below are some additional highlight's from Kree's call. Click here for more.

Could you tell us a little bit about the tour? I heard you're hoping to sing "Up to the Mountain" and your single, anything else?

Kree Harrison: Yes. You know what, honestly, I don't know. But I would hope that people would give me suggestions for what they want to hear, because I think that I could pretty much pick anything -- not just the songs that I performed on the show.

But I would love to sing "Up to the Mountain." I've always been a huge fan of Patty Griffin. She wrote that song and she's an amazing singer, and there's just a connection with that song. I've always loved it; My mom loved that song. So, I would love to bring in that energy every night.

Do you have any advice for upcoming Idol contestants?

Kree Harrison: Sure I do. Pace yourself, first of all. But more than anything, I feel like the duty of coming into such an intense situation and competition is that you have to know who you are as an artist, because you know, I feel like that's what will make you stand out.

After all was said and done last night, what did you do? Did you go out and celebrate or just sit back and relax?

Kree Harrison: I did a little bit of both. I mean, the adrenaline that me and Candi were feeling last night was over the moon, so it was hard to just go and sit down. But we were physically exhausted, so we went out to the after party, the wrap party, got to hug everybody that we've made friendly with basically.

And they all sang "Happy Birthday" and obviously we celebrated just the Top 10 and each other and the fact we're going to go on tour. Yeah, it was a really fun night, and then I went to sleep because I was exhausted.

What did you learn from the other contestants?

Kree Harrison: Oh my God, so many things. I mean, I'm inspired every day by how much we've all grown, to be honest. I mean, we all bring something just totally different to the table. And the fact we get to go on tour together and get to do that every single night is such an amazing thing. They've taught me so many things. I've learned a ton.

Whom are you most looking forward to hearing on the tour other than your set?

Kree Harrison: Everyone! I couldn't possibly choose one. But I am excited to collaborate for sure. I mean, hopefully me and Candi get to do another duet and obviously Angie and just all the girls really! Angie's like my little sister at this point.

We roomed together since Vegas and I'm so fricking proud of all of them. I mean, Janelle, [Amber Holcomb] -- like Janelle's performance last night, I couldn't believe, like she's a star. She killed it, she really did. I was so proud of everyone.

So throughout the whole season, what surprised you most that you found out that you weren't expecting? 

Kree Harrison: Just how much work goes into the show -- not just for us, but for everybody. There's so much hard working people behind the scenes, and I had no idea that that really happened that way.  I'm happy to be a part of that experience and to make such good friends throughout this process.

What will you miss most about American Idol?

Kree Harrison: The Idol family, really.  I know I've said that a thousand times, but really the cast and crew I adore.  I really do, and then we've spent every day together for a while and I'm really going to miss them.  I'm going to try and stay in touch with as many of them as I can.

How do you feel like this experience has changed you, not only as a person, but as an entertainer?  What lessons have you learned about yourself being on the show?

Kree Harrison: I've learned to just keep being myself and staying true to who I am as an artist.  I feel like more than anything, that's what people love and it's relatable to just be who you are, especially as a performer.  I've really put down that wall as much as possible.

What kind of fun stuff did you guys do to get pumped up and energized and ready for the show? Any rituals or anything like that?

Kree Harrison:  Right before [the show], like literally we would all walk out, especially us girls, and we would just dance around and be silly and kind of take in the moment... It's fast-paced.  Yes, it was really cool to share that experience with such an amazing crew, cast.

Who is someone that you would like to work with in the future? 

Kree Harrison: Oh man, honestly there's so many people for so many different reasons I couldn't possibly name one.  I know that June 4 I'm playing the Opry now and I can't even really fathom that, and saying it out loud, it's so crazy.  But I know Keith Urban will be there, so maybe something will happen.  I would love to collaborate with him, we'll see.

What do you think about the panel of judges next year?  Who would you like to see become a judge? 

Kree Harrison: Oh man, I don't know.  Whoever will be great.  I haven't really thought about it. 

Kree, one of the key things about when you let Candice sing last is Candice had such as big knock-out song for her last song.  When you let her sing last, were you aware of that?  Had you heard her sing it?  Did you know how powerful her last song was going to be? 

Kree Harrison: Every song that Candice will ever sing is powerful.  Of course I did.  I'm so fricking proud of her and I thought it was the best idea ever to start that a cappella.  It brought something different to that, her second rendition of that song.  Yes, we're so fricking proud of each other and go buy both of our singles. 

Idol used to pin bad songs on people for their first single and they used to force them to take it. But nowadays, people have been getting good songs for their first song out.  You said that the song was pitched to you, so describe for me, did you get several choices of songs, or how did that go? 

Kree Harrison: There's a team of people constantly working throughout this whole experience, and I honestly really do trust them.  Yes, they've worked their butts off trying to find songs for all of the Top 10.  I'm lucky enough to be able to have found the perfect single. 

Yes, I definitely trusted them and whenever they did play it for me, I knew immediately that that was the one because lyrically I mean every word and I just believe that it's such a good country song. And I think people seem to really like it and hopefully buy the rest of the record. 

Any closing remarks, Kree?

Kree Harrison: I just want to thank you all so much.  Wherever you all are, you all should come out to the tour.  I know it starts June 29. And, yes, I'd love to meet all of you. 

To read what Kree had to say to Reality TV World during her Friday conference call with reporters, click here. Above are some additional highlight's from Kree's call. Click here for more.

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