American Idol crowned Candice Glover its twelfth-season winner over 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, Candice talked to Reality TV World about her American Idol experience. To read what she had to say, click here. Below are some additional highlights from her call. Check back with us soon for more.

To begin reading our separate interview with Kree, click here and here.

What went through your head when you found out you had won? What were your first thoughts and reactions?

Candice Glover: Well my first thought, I immediately thought about the album that I'm going to be recording and the fact that my album was on pre-order as soon as the show was over on Thursday night and people could buy that.

So, I was super excited about that and going on tour and just getting myself out there, but mostly, I just thought about the fact that I've been here three times already, like this was my third time. So I was definitely excited.

What are you most looking forward to about the tour?

Candice Glover: I'm looking forward to singing and not having to worry about being judged or being eliminated the following day or getting votes or anything -- and mostly just singing for the fans and getting my music out there and just mostly being with the Top 10 or the Top 11 again.

Not making it through to the live performances on Idol twice in a row must've been tough on your confidence. Why did you decide to keep trying over and over again? Why did you think this time might be different?

Candice Glover: Well I definitely was hurt and brokenhearted when I got cut. But for some reason, even though I kept saying that I wasn't coming back, I kept thinking, you know, "Maybe this one time it will work. Maybe this one time it will work."

I would always say no but then I would find myself looking at auditions again online and then going and saying, "If it doesn't work this time, I'll just find a way to branch my music career in another way," but I'm so glad that it worked.

Was there any point during the competition that you thought, "Maybe this isn't going to happen for me. I don't think it'll be this time?" I'm thinking in particular that week when only Mariah Carey had listed you in her Top 3. What was your response to that?

Candice Glover: Well, I think that was Top 7 week, so I was definitely hurt at the fact that Mariah was the only one that picked me that week. But at the same time, I felt like that was the week that I had one of my weaker performances.
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So I definitely understood, but that is how "Don't Make Me Over" by Burt Bacharach and "Love Song" by The Cure came about, because I decided that I needed something that would put me over the edge and show people why I was in the competition to begin with. So that, at the same time while it hurt, it also gave me a boost to do my best the next week.

When you look at past Idols, some of them are more remembered than others. How are you going to stay, aside from your great music, in the spotlight in viewers' minds moving forward?

Candice Glover: Well, that's why I'm definitely glad that Idol took a different approach as far as the album this year, because it will be out on July 16 and it's also on pre-order now. So if people, while I'm still fresh on people's minds, they can order the album. Because if they like me and they voted for me, then they can order the album.

And I think that's a good way to keep the American Idol winners in the minds of everybody -- and just also getting myself out there and probably trying to do other things as far as acting and modeling [myself] after the careers of the other people that have won, even people that haven't had the chance of winning like Jennifer Hudson, she also did very well in her career.

If you were auditioning for American Idol again next year, would you want to audition in front of the same judges?

Candice Glover: Definitely. I think I just told someone that these are my favorite judges, and not only because I did a good job on the show, but because they all had something. They all were a great asset to the panel and I can't think about singing for anybody else.

With the fast release of your album, does that make it all the more challenging to rehearse for the show while kind of doing songwriting and such on the side?

Candice Glover: It was definitely a challenge. And the night that we made, I think, the Top 3, before we flew home to our hometowns, we were approached with the songs just in case we made the Top 2.

So you had going home on your mind, you had singing your hometown concert on your mind, but you also had the fact that when you flew back, you had to sing two songs -- well you had to sing three songs -- and then you also had to choose your single as if you had made Top 2.

So there was so much to think about, but at the same time, if you just pace yourself and take it one day at a time -- I think that's why I was really happy that I got a chance to do three songs, like not just got the chance, but I'm glad that I got the song that I got and how I came about doing that song. Because I was definitely connecting with the lyrics and everything.

At points, you came across a little shy on the show. Was it difficult to be on the show having that type of personality?

Candice Glover: Yes. It was definitely difficult to be on such a popular show and being shy and reserved and stuff like that, because you've got all these bubbly people that are so fun and stuff like that and you're just more laid-back. And people tend to gravitate more towards the ones that are more excited.

Like I'd be excited, but you would never know by looking at my face because I'm such a reserved and laid-back person. But I think it definitely brought out the inner-crazy in me and it brought me out of my shell a little bit.

Did you have a favorite judge on Idol, and if so, why? Was there anyone you respected in particular?

Candice Glover: I don't know if I have a favorite judge, but I do know that I connect more with [Randy Jackson] because he's been there the whole time that I was there in the three years. He's seen me grow and I definitely look forward to his opinion as well as Mariah Carey's, because she's been doing this forever and she knows what it's like.

[Nicki Minaj] also knows what it's like today. So I look up to all three of them and getting a chance to meet Keith Urban. So I think all of them have like a good -- they all bring something good to the table.

What's the biggest picture you can imagine for yourself? Do you envision yourself being bigger than Mariah and Nicki?

Candice Glover: Do I see myself doing that? Well, I would definitely model my career after them. I don't know. It's a pretty hard act to follow because Mariah and Nicki are both great in their different genres, so I don't know. I would just have to hope for the best and hope that I can do as well as they are.

Is there anything you'd like to splurge on now that you've won American Idol? Is there anything you'd like to buy yourself?

Candice Glover: Well I mean, I got a car. That's it and I'll probably just pay my bills. (Laughs) That's like the [top] thing. I still haven't even gotten a chance to... I still haven't really gotten a chance to think, but now that I think about it, I do have some bills that need to be paid.

When you gave your grandma the new car, what did she whisper in your ear?

Candice Glover: She just said, "I love you." I think she was pretty speechless. She didn't really know what to think, but she was really having a hard time. She was really overwhelmed, especially when I won.

I think she almost passed out, so I don't know what happened over there. I don't know. I would have to ask my mom, but I was kind of worried about her. But she was just overwhelmed with the whole thing and just saying she loves me and she supports me through whatever.

What did your parents say to you before the show and afterwards?

Candice Glover: Before the show, they just said, "Whatever happens, you've done a good job. This is your third time. Top 2 is definitely an accomplishment and don't be sad if you don't win." And I always say I'm content either way it goes.

And then after the show, just saying how proud they were of me, and we all kind of sat there and realized that I actually came on the show the third time and won. So it was just an amazing feeling. We just all soaked it in.

What would you say is the single best thing you learned about yourself as an artist throughout this process?

Candice Glover: I've learned that I'm very, very different. Some of the creativity -- some of the ideas that I have are really odd to some people, like doing the Drake song. Drake is a hip-hop, a rap, artist. And I surprised a lot of people by doing that.

And I think that I learned that I need to just take those ideas on like full force and go with them and don't hide behind trying to do what I think America loves or I think the previous seasons, I kind of fell short because of that, because I was so worried. But this year, I finally realized that I'm different and I need to embrace it.

Do you feel comfortable to express that notion on your first album?

Candice Glover: Yes, I'm definitely confident. Some of the stuff I've been doing and listening to, I definitely know that it will be different.

How did you feel before your duet with Jennifer Hudson? Did you think you could keep up with her? Were you nervous?

Candice Glover: All of the above. I was nervous. I didn't know if I was going to keep up. I thought I was going to suck, actually. I called my vocal coach and said, "Can we please practice one more time? Because I don't think that I'm good enough to be up there and do this."

But he said, "I don't think we have time to practice. Just go over it in your head and everything will be fine." But I was so nervous and so scared, but I'm really glad I got a chance to do that with her.

Do you think you'll collaborate with Jennifer Hudson in the future or anyone else like her?

Candice Glover: I would definitely love to do a collaboration with her if she's willing to do it, because she's so phenomenal and I look up to her. And people like Jazmine Sullivan, who's my favorite singer of all time, Kim Burrell and even like Drake and Nicki Minaj. I would love to do some different things with them and just have like different aspects of my album.

To read what Candice had to say to Reality TV World during her Friday conference call with reporters, click here. Above are some additional highlights from her call. Check back with us soon for more.

To begin reading our separate interview with Kree, click here and here.

About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.