Billboard Music Awards
'American Idol' Finalists Candice and Kree Talk Nerves, Style Regrets and Winner Songs
Today's the big day. Millions of Americans will huddle around their television screens to watch Kree Harrison and Candice Glover battle it out for the title of Season 12's "American Idol" winner.
While fans prep for the show's biggest night of the year, the ladies are hard at work getting ready for their final performance night. Yesterday, on a break from rehearsing at L.A.'s Nokia Theatre, Harrison and Glover sat down in front of a crew of reporters for one final candid chat. The "American Idol" Top 2 talked nerves going into the finals, their finale strategy, pre show rituals and "Idol" regrets.
Are you guys nervous for this week or are you going into it acting like it's any other performance show?
Kree: We're nervous. I'm nervous!
Candice: I get nervous every week but like I was telling Kree the other week, this Thursday -- it's not going to be like any other Thursday when there's a weird air in the room because everybody's like, "Oh my gosh is it me? Am I going home?" You're trying to read everybody's faces, trying to see if they know if you're going home or not. I feel like this Thursday we're just going to have the time of our lives doing the finale with all the amazing people that are on there and whatever happens, we'll be happy either way.
Kree: It's a win/win situation. We feel that way.
Was it hard to come back to the "American Idol" stage after the hometown visit?
Candice: Not necessarily hard but you had to just come back to that center and focus on what you're here to do. When you're home, you're having fun, you're yelling and screaming with your family but you still have to save your voice because you still have a show to do.
Kree: If anything, I feel like we came back and we were almost rejuvenated because of all these people that believe in us so much. We had more drive than ever to come back.
Define the competition between you two. Is it friendly?
Candice: We definitely love each other like sisters and it doesn't even feel like a competition.
Obviously American Idol has changed both of your lives. No matter whether or not you win this week, where do you see yourselves down the road?
Kree: Making music. I just want to be on the road. I want to make a good record and go on tour.
Candice: I think definitely a tour of my own after the tour's over and making an album and just making music and doing what I love.
What kind of preparations are you guys doing for the finale?
Candice: Well we're up pretty early in the morning and we do wardrobe and get everything together and then we do our songs a bunch of times and make sure we've got that together and we have interviews and all that stuff. At the same time, we want to come to that center and mentally prepare for everything that's about to happen tomorrow and Thursday.
Can you say a little something each about the winner song that was given to you guys each to perform tomorrow?
Candice: The potential single?
Kree: We are both so excited to do our songs. I think more than anything, throughout this show as artists we want to stand for our originality and I think these songs do that for us personally.
Candice: I think mine is definitely going to surprise a lot of people. It's definitely different from what I have been doing all season but it's just another side of me that I wanted to show to America. I like it.
Kree: I love it. I love her song.
Do you remember where you were last year when you were watching Season 11's finale?
Candice: Last year around this time I was working and renting out golf karts and mopeds to people but still watching the show. I was on the show last year so I had friends on the show. Jessica was like a little sister to me, Josh, and Philip… so I was watching the show and supporting them but I just can't actually believe that I'm here and in their shoes this year.
Kree: Like she said, we were both back in our towns working our butts off and to be here – even rehearsals at this theater is really insane. It's all starting to sink it that we're really here.
Do you have any rituals or little things that you'll be doing before the show tomorrow before you take the stage?
Candice: Well I definitely just say a prayer and give myself a little pep talk before I go onstage. That usually helps because I get really nervous and I just let myself know, "If this is what you want to do for the rest of your life, get it together" and stuff like that.
Kree: I just try to get in a good place mentally but there's never a strategy for me. I just am kind of taking it second by second.
What are you guys looking forward to most about the tour?
Candice: I'm looking forward to the fact that we're not competing with each other and worrying about if America is voting for us or if we're going to get into the next round.
Kree: If somebody's going to go home or not. We're all going to be together…
Candice: All summer long. I think that's going to be a lot of fun. I can't wait.
If you guys could go back today and give advice to yourselves as you were waiting to sing for the judges in your initial auditions, what would your advice be?
Kree: Just be confident in who you are. Stay true to who you are.
Candice: I think I would definitely tell my old self in the audition, "First of all don't wear what you had on!" I don't like what I had on "but definitely be yourself and don't sing what you think people want to hear and don't say what you think people want you to say. Just be yourself." I feel like being myself has gotten me further this year than last year because last year I wasn't really sure who I was.
What is the best advice that you got from the guest mentors throughout the whole season?
Candice: I remember Smokey Robinson said, "No matter how high your head gets in the clouds, don't ever let your feet come off the ground."
Kree: Yes! I always say that!
Candice: I let that go with me everywhere because it just means stay grounded in whatever you do.
Kree: And it's so incredible to see him and he's such a massive superstar and he's so humble.
Candice, can you look at Kree and tell her how much she's grown this season and vice versa, Kree tell Candice how much she's grown this season.
Candice: I remember telling Kree actually that was going to go to the absolute end of this entire thing back in Hollywood when she sang "Stars." She's always been a laid back person but I think she's always been hilarious and has a great sense of humor and she's let that out more now than she used to. Back then, she was more reserved but I notice a light about her now. You've grown a lot. She's always been amazing and I always tell her that.
Kree: I mean for Candi…I always thought she was so witty and a lot of people didn't see that on camera. I don't even have to tell you how talented she is because everybody knows that. I'm so proud of you though! It's frickin' crazy! She's come out of her shell I think more than anybody.
Do you have any regrets? A song choice or something you wore? Is there anything you wish you could go back and change?
Kree: I regret dressing myself a couple of times.
Candice: I regret dressing myself before Top 10. I should have had a stylist back then. I think that and I regret not fully being myself before. Before Top 10, I think I was still in that, "Oh my gosh are they going to like this?" type thing but then as I went on and I realized that being yourself is the only key to making it far… that's how performances like The Cure "Lovesong" and that song by Drake – that's how that came about. I just started to say, "You know what? Who cares! This is who I am" and I think the only thing that I regret is not doing that sooner.