11:28 PM EDT 10/16/2013
Originally posted 05/17/2013 05:15PM
Time slowed down, and when the moment of truth arrived, Candice Glover and Kree Harrison both found themselves muttering the other's name – each believing the night belonged to their close friend and rival.
"I was saying her name, because I was just certain he was going to say it, so I was like, 'Oh yeah, Kree, Kree, Kree,' and she was like, 'No, Candice, Candice, Candice,' " a stunned Glover told reporters shortly after Wednesday's American Idol finale.
In the end, Harrison was right. But while there is only one American Idol, these two women both found, in each other, a friend for life.
Originally posted 05/16/2013 10:05PM
After months of auditions, eliminations, performances and judges' feedback, American Idol finally has its season 12 winner.
Candice Glover and Kree Harrison each performed three songs on Wednesday night – a favorite of their choice from the season, one picked by producer Simon Fuller and the song that would become the winner's first single – in front of fans, friends, family and the Idol judges at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live.
Mariah Carey said, "It's going to be very, very difficult for America" to decide a winner. Indeed, PEOPLE readers voted, giving R&B diva Candice only a slight edge over authentic country girl Kree.
So, who's the winner? Candice Glover is the new American Idol! And Kree Harrison is season 12's runner-up.
Originally posted 05/16/2013 06:00PM
It couldn't be closer.
Candice Glover and Kree Harrison are in a virtual dead heat as they prepare to find out Thursday night which of them will be the next American Idol.
At this stage, it's less a battle than the final leg of a journey for these two powerful singers, who have become close friends – Harrison even fell asleep on Glover as they lounged around watching TV on Tuesday night, ahead of Wednesday's final performances. ("We just chilled and then she ordered some food," Candice told reporters Wednesday. "Me and Kree are, we get our fix by like coming to the center and knowing what we have to do the next day and getting as much rest as we possibly can.")
Each of them wants to win, of course, but neither seems to feel like the favorite.
Originally posted 05/15/2013 09:55PM
The entire season of American Idol came down to three final performances from two dueling divas, country crooner Kree Harrison and R&B singer Candice Glover, on Wednesday night at the Nokia Theater L.A. Live.
At the end of the night, Mariah Carey summed up the competition best. After noting that both women offered something special, she said, "It's going to be very, very difficult for America tonight."
But before one note was sung, Kree seemed to have an edge – she got a more rousing round of applause when host Ryan Seacrest asked the studio audience to cheer for their favorite. Then round one seemed to change up the momentum. Here's how it all played out ...
Originally posted 05/15/2013 08:00PM
It's an American Idol showdown!
Season 12's top two, Kree Harrison and Candice Glover, are facing off Wednesday on the final night of competition at the Nokia Theater L.A. Live. And they couldn't be more talented – or different. Kree has an authentic country vibe while Candice is pure R&B diva. They each will sing their "coronation song," a song of their choice from the season and a song chosen by producer Simon Fuller.
Judges Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey and the departing Randy Jackson are definitely making their opinions known as the contestants sing one more time for America's votes. But we want to know what you think about the all-female finale as it's happening.
Tweet your thoughts @peoplemag and your comment may end up right here on People.com.
Originally posted 05/10/2013 07:00PM
With Randy Jackson's announcement that he is leaving American Idol, who will take the veteran judge's place?
The answer is probably not Alicia Keys, who performed her new single "Tears Always Win" on the Fox show Thursday night.
"I don't know if I'd want to be a judge," she told reporters after her performance.
The "Girl on Fire" singer did express her dismay that Jackson would be leaving the panel after 12 seasons.
Originally posted 05/09/2013 09:05PM
Ryan Seacrest opened up Thursday's American Idol episode with a nod to Randy Jackson's announcement that he's moving on after 12 seasons.
"A little later on we'll be revealing who is leaving our show," Ryan said, standing behind the only remaining original judge. "A little heads up?"
Randy just chuckled.
The joke is that Ryan could have been talking about Idol's super talented top three – Kree Harrison, Angie Miller and Candice Glover, who performed three songs each on Wednesday. They faced one last hurdle before the season 12 finale: another elimination night.
Originally posted 05/09/2013 03:30PM
Kree Harrison's personal history is among saddest of any contestant in American Idol history. But for everything that fell apart in her life, she is planning to put some of the pieces back together – quite literally.
The singer, who turns 23 next week, lost her father in a plane crash a decade ago, and her mother in a car accident a few years after that.
But now she is planning a project that will help her reconnect with her parents – rebuilding the Texas house she grew up in, which she visited during this week's hometown trips.
Originally posted 05/09/2013 08:10AM
After traveling to their hometowns to perform for huge crowds of cheering fans and to reconnect with their families, American Idol's final three contestants took the stage Wednesday night to try to sing their way into the finale.
By the end of the night, during which the gals sang three songs – one picked by mentor Jimmy Iovine, one chosen by the judges and one by the show's production team – it was clear that the emotional hometown visits had a powerful effect on the performances.
Kree started off the night with Iovine's choice, "Perfect" by Pink, which left the judges underwhelmed.
"You sang it good but it didn't have a lot pizzazz for me," Randy Jackson said.
Originally posted 05/06/2013 11:00AM
Familiar roads, fried chicken and plenty of tears – that's what awaited American Idol's final three contestants when they ventured back to their hometowns as newly-minted stars.
On Saturday, Angie Miller, Kree Harrison and Candice Glover returned to Massachusetts, Texas and South Carolina, respectively.
Here's what they had to tell PEOPLE about their emotional visits:
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