Kree Harrison is headed to the "American Idol" finals, where she will compete against Candice Glover to become this year’s champion and the beneficiary of a major label recording contract. The Nashville-based “Idol” contestant began singing at the age of three when she belted out songs in her hometown church. She’s opened for Percy Sledge, performed several times on "The Rosie O’Donnell Show" and accompanied Mindy McCready onstage at the 2011 Country Music Awards. But while Harrison has contributed backup vocals to the likes of Kacey Musgraves and the Eli Young Band, she hasn’t yet fulfilled her dream of making a living as an original recording artist. Thursday night will take her one step closer to achieving her childhood goal.
Following Thursday’s elimination show, Harrison gushed over making it this far in the competition. She also divulged her plans for prepping for this week’s finale, during which she will sing first as per the show's ceremonial pre-finals coin toss.
Has it sunk in yet that you’re headed to the finale?
No! It hasn't sunk in.
Did you have your bags packed in case you were headed home?
I bought suitcases. Yes, I did. I thought at some point I'm gonna go home and I really felt tonight was it. And I just can't even believe it! I feel so thankful that people believe in me enough to give me the opportunity to sing again. Now I'm one step closer to making a record, and that is crazy. All I want to do is make good music. I can't believe it!
What did you tell Angie after she got the news that she was going home?
We were just telling each other how proud we are of each other no matter what happens. She’s my little sister at this point. I'm so proud of all of us; we've grown so much as artists. When they called my name I was like, “Girl, you're about to go record '[You] Set Me Free.' You have to. How amazing is that? To know that you can go do that.” I'm so proud of all of us.
Did the judges give you any tips or advice after the show about heading into the finals?
Randy was so sweet. He just said, “You sing from here [points to her heart]. Don't think about it, just sing your heart out.” That's exactly what I'm going to do. I'm so happy.
Speaking of Randy, how do you feel that you're one of his last finalists?
I know! I feel honored, actually. This whole experience…I can't imagine it without Randy or Mariah or Nicki or Keith. We respect them so much and Randy has always been so nice and humble. He always comes up after the show and gives us constructive criticism or tells us, “Keep doing that.” I feel good about everything right now. I don't even know what to say.
How do you feel about the results of the coin toss?
That was weird. We were just looking at it and it was just two people! It's so crazy. I feel good about it. I'm going first. It's cool.
What are you going to do to prepare for next week?
Sleep as much as possible. Just literally try to sink in everything and I'm going to give it my all just so I'll have no regrets. Whatever happens, I'll know that I did my very best.
What did you learn from Mariah Carey last week when she gave you guys advice and walked you through her new video?
First of all, how amazing does she look? Apparently that car that was in the video is in her family. So that's really cool as well. I mean, she's a goddess. I love that song. I love Miguel, too.
Speaking of a car, you'll be getting one next week.
Oh my God!
Which one do you want?
The truck [laughs].