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 last week's final 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. Click here for more. 

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

You mentioned the upside of getting to release your album early in that you're going to be fresh on people's minds and it's probably going to be more beneficial to sales.  But I'm wondering if there might be a downside as far as so quickly recording everything. Do you think it might rush you into a certain niche or maybe box you into a style that you might not be comfortable with?  How are you attacking that quick turnaround time?

Candice Glover: I'm definitely focusing on not being put in a box.  That's the one thing that I don't want to happen.  I want to be able to be broad and expand my -- not to go as far as to say create a new genre, but do my own thing and not worry about being, "Oh, she's just the R&B diva." 

The single that I have out right now is R&B with a touch of pop, and I know pop is something nobody expected me to ever do.  So I just want to keep that unexpected aspect going.

Now that you've won American Idol, and this was such a huge goal for you for such a long time, what is your next big goal?  What's that overarching goal for you right now when, once you attain it, it'll seem like what comes after that doesn't really matter?

Candice Glover: I think having an album is a pretty good goal to accomplish.  I think, definitely to model [myself] after the career of Jennifer Hudson, and be in movies and do different things like that -- actually go further than music.  And I would definitely love to do something like that.

It's not easy to make a professional like Nicki Minaj break down into tears, and you did it with an amazing song.  I'm absolutely in love with "Next To Me" right now.  Can you remember what went through your head at the time when Nicki was crying when you did that song?

Candice Glover: Well, she had seen my hometown visit before that.  I saw her crying while the tape was being played and everything.  I think she knows what it's like to have your career take off after coming from just living a normal life and trying to pay your bills and stay on top of things.  So I think that connected with her.

We had that moment because I know how it feels to work a 10-hour job and want your music to work but then having all these different things stopping you.  Then she also talked about my confidence, and that's also something that I used to struggle with.  I'm glad that I had that time to connect with her.

What performance were you most proud of this season?

Candice Glover: I was definitely proud of the way that "Lovesong" turned out.  I was so excited to do that song and I finally got a chance to.  I'm really glad about how it turned out. 
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I first want to tell you that you are very beautiful and I think your single fits you perfectly and your personality.

Candice Glover: Thank you so much.  That means a lot that you said that.  Thank you.

When you did receive any negative feedback from the judges or read nasty stuff about you online, did you ever take it to heart?  If you did, how did you push past some of the negativity and dealing with one of your rare down-nights?

Candice Glover: I'm glad you said the thing about reading online because that is poison.  It's so bad to get on there and read that type of stuff.  But at the same time -- and it hurt my feelings, as I'm sure it [would] hurt yours -- but seeing all that stuff about you, all it did was push me to do better the next week.

When I did "Satisfaction" in Top 7, when all the judges didn't put me in their Top 3 but Mariah did, and just seeing, on top of that, seeing what online thought about me and saying stuff about me, I pushed forward and did "Lovesong" and I did the other songs.  It pushed me.  When I got back critiques from the judges, I just used it as fuel to be better the next week.

Did you ever have a number in mind while you were competing? Like, "Okay, Top 3 is my goal?" Or "Top 5 is my goal?"

Candice Glover: Yes.  I remember speaking to my parents and saying, "If I could just make it to the Top 20 and get to voting, I know that I would have a fan base that would vote me into the Top 10.  If I could just do Top 10, Top 5, Top 3" -- Then when I got to Top 2, I said, "Oh my gosh, next Wednesday I could probably win this entire show." Then it happened.  I still can't even believe that it did.

You said that this was your third time trying out for American Idol.  Can you tell us how far you got the first two times you auditioned?

Candice Glover: The first time, I made it to the Top 70 and I got cut when they split you into the different rooms.  The second time, Season 11, I was in a group with Jessica Sanchez and Deandre Brackensick and we sang "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" by Buddy Holly.  I was Top 60 and I got cut at that point.

What was your favorite part about this whole process, other than winning, of course?

Candice Glover: My favorite part, I would think, would have to be meeting Smokey Robinson and having Aretha Franklin know who you are, and Drake surprising me on the show, and Paula Abdul -- all those different people that are stars that you look up to and having them acknowledge your talent.

Your album is going to be released a lot earlier than most Idol winners' albums before you.  Normally they're released in November.  I'm just wondering, how are you going to get it all done?  Are you going to do it all before the tour starts and how much of it have you done already?  Do you have songs picked out?

Candice Glover: I have songs that I've been listening to and focusing on.  But the one song that's on iTunes right now is the only one that I've actually gone and recorded.  It comes out on July 16, and the tour starts on June 29.  I'm just excited to see how it goes, as well as being on tour.  I'm definitely going to have to work hard, to be in a studio late hours and doing the album.

Are you going to be able to do any song writing for the album, then?  Because you don't have much time.

Candice Glover: I definitely would hope so.  If there's no time, then there's no time, but I definitely would love to get that done.

Looking back to last year again, when you were in that group with Jessica, have you maintained a friendship with her?  Have you talked to her, or did you talk to her last night?  Has she given you any advice?

Candice Glover: Definitely.  She was at the party last night.  I talked to her all the time on the season last year, encouraging her and voting for her and being there when she needed someone to talk to.  So I definitely maintained that friendship.  She always would tell me, "Be yourself and just go through the whole thing and pace yourself, because it's going to get harder down the road."

Remember earlier in the year when they gave you some inkling of how the voting went?  They told you that South Carolina voted 90% percent for you or something like that.  Did they give you any inkling last night on how the voting went?

Candice Glover: No, no.  The only thing I got was the card that [Ryan Seacrest] read off of.  It didn't say anything but announcing my name.  But ever since that first week, that Top 10 week, I didn't know.

What about the weeks when no contestants went home?  Did you ever find out exactly what the vote was?

Candice Glover: No, we never find out what the vote is.  Even when they announce it, they say it in no particular order, so we never know what the exact vote is.  I think it's a good thing that we don't, because it might mess with our confidence a little bit.

What's the thing that surprised you the most throughout your whole experience?

Candice Glover: I knew that it was going to be a lot of work, but I did not know that it was going to be this much work.  Joshua Ledet and Jessica, all of them would tell me last year, "This is going to be a lot of hard work and you're going to do the Ford commercials and everything on Sundays."  I thought it was going to be easy breezy, whatever, but we worked super hard.

I wanted to ask you, when you would practice your autograph and make YouTube videos in your house of yourself singing, what did you daydream about? What did you think fame would look like?

Candice Glover: I would dream about it ever since I was younger than that.  I would be in the living room when no one was home and just blasting the music from the computer and having the remote in my hand, and I just imagined there being a sea of people below me, reaching for my hand -- me being on a tour or in a place of 7,000 people like I was this past week. 

I definitely would fantasize about what would actually happen or what it would feel like to have people ask for your autograph, which is why I would practice it at work and stuff like that.  And it's finally happening.

What would you tell that person now?

Candice Glover: I would tell her to be yourself and not worry about what America thinks about you or what anybody thinks about you.  Just go out there and be confident in who you are.

What did you do in the past year that made the biggest difference in being better and better prepared for this year?

Candice Glover: I just listened to every single genre of music out there and got my musical knowledge up.  I just focused on being myself more and being different and not worrying about being accepted.  In the previous two years, I cared about that a little bit more than I should have, and I think that's why it didn't really work out.  This time, I was confident and it worked out.

Candice, any final remarks?

Candice Glover: I just want to tell everybody thank you for being on the call.  I appreciate you supporting me and I had fun talking to you.  Thank you.

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. Click here for more.

To begin reading our separate interview with Kree, click 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.