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'American Idol' runner-up Kree Harrison: I still feel like I'm a winner despite losing


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/17/2013 

American Idol named Candice Glover its twelfth-season champion over Kree Harrison during Thursday night's live finale broadcast on Fox.

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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.

Reality TV World: Going into the results, did you feel like you had an equal shot to win against Candice, or based upon your set of performances Wednesday night and the judges' comments, did you kind of think or have a gut feeling the title was going to Candice?

Kree Harrison: I mean, I never know what's going to happen. It's always been in America's hands, and the truth is, the whole Top 10, we're all so completely different and especially me and Candice. It's apples and oranges as far as music goes and two totally different artists, so I had no idea what was going to happen. But either way, the result, I feel like, was a win-win situation for both of us.

Reality TV World: You seemed shocked when Ryan Seacrest announced you got voted into the finale and Angela "Angie" Miller was going home last week...

Kree Harrison: I was!

Reality TV World: Yeah, I was going to ask you if that was actually the case. What was going through your mind in that moment?

Kree Harrison: Yeah, if you can't tell, I'm not a very good actress. So what you see is what you get. I definitely was shocked, and not because, you know, I feel like all of us deserve it, but I think it was just a moment of reality.

I tried to live in the moment each step of this whole process, and whenever he called my name, I just could not believe that I was going to be able to perform another week. I was just so happy. And the support, you feel it that very moment, like, "Wow, all of you people voted for me to sing another week." And that was just such an amazing feeling. So yeah, I was shocked!

Below are some additional highlights from Kree's call with reporters.

After the finale performances, did you think that you were going to win and how much did you want to win?

Kree Harrison: I mean, I think that we were all wanting -- we were "in it to win it." (Laughs) But at the end of the day, the title, for me, is not just "the American Idol," because it's also like, I've already reached the limit of creating a following. And that's what each of us came here to do.

Just getting there last night with Candi, I was so freaking proud of her and she's so proud of me. We're living out our dreams right now whether or not I have that title. And I feel like I have won. I'm runner-up and I'm so blessed that I could be a part of this Idol journey, and I feel like it's made me even more of an artist. So, I'm happy. I'm over the moon about it.

When you were standing there with Candice waiting for Ryan to make the final announcement of who won, what was going through your mind?

Kree Harrison: I was saying out loud -- we were both telling each other how proud we were. And I said, "If you make it, if you win, you better sing your butt off." She was laughing at me. Yeah, I mean, have you heard her?! (Laughs) I'm so freaking proud of her. She's incredible and we're both rooting for each other. Go get both of our singles! (Laughs)

Think back to when you were younger and had a shot at a record deal. I understand you didn't end up doing it because you disagreed with the company in terms of the direction they wanted to go in. In what ways will your taste and style in this upcoming album be different than a record you might've put out way back then?

Kree Harrison: To tell you the truth, I didn't know then exactly what I wanted to do, because I was 10-years-old. But I knew exactly what I didn't want to do, which was more of the bubble gum-pop country that was kind of happening at the time. It wasn't the right time.

It wasn't necessarily that I was butting heads with the label; They were amazing to me and more than anything taught me to stay true to who I was. But yeah, there were a lot of things that had happened, like the tragedy in my family. And I think it was good to sit back and do some soul searching not just emotionally but as an artist.

And I feel like through this whole Idol journey, it's just taught me so much more that everything I've been through and all the experiences that I've had in the industry just makes you exactly who you are and it comes out in your music. So pretty much all of the above.

You have overcome a lot of tragedy and everyone on the show describes you as a very upbeat, friendly person. What is it about your persona that allows you to continue to be upbeat throughout it all?

Kree Harrison: I mean, I think at the end of the day, it's the choice. You can choose to live your life happy and whatever happens to you, you know, you take it with a grain of salt. And for me, this is the sweet after the bitter that I've had in my life. I like to share that and, you know, make people feel the same way.

How soon should we be expecting an album from you?

Kree Harrison: Well, I mean, my single is released -- which I can't even believe that I can say that out loud. It's on iTunes and I hope that ya'll are going to go purchase it. But I don't know, I mean, the tour is tomorrow and I feel like I have the world in my hands right now and to make a good record and I'm so happy about it.

So as soon as I can, I'm just going to start writing and collaborating with other singers and songwriters, and we'll see what happens. But I'll eventually let ya'll know because I can't wait to share it. I can't wait to make the record!

I was hoping you could talk about your new single and why this is the right choice for you right now.

Kree Harrison: I'm so happy that this song was pitched to me... I feel like it's 100% percent me and I couldn't be more thankful to call it my own, and I mean, it's definitely got the traditional country roots and the soul that I want, and I feel like lyrically, I couldn't have written the song better myself. I hope that people love it, I really do, and I look forward to the rest of the record as well.

Check back with Reality TV World on Monday for more with Kree.

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