Season 12 American Idol winner Candice Glover held a conference call with the media last Friday after her victorious announcement on the show Thursday night. Here is what she had to say:
Q: What was running through your head when you found out you won? What were your first thoughts and reactions?
CG: Well, I immediately thought about the album that I’m going to be
recording and the fact that my album was on preorder as soon as the show was
over on Thursday night and people could buy that. 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 had been here three
times already, this was my third time, so I was definitely excited.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about the tour?
CG: 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. Mostly just singing for the fans and getting my music out there and just being with the Top 10, or Top 11, again.
Q: I am wondering—you auditioned twice before and didn’t make it through to
the live rounds. That had to be really tough on your confidence. I’m wondering
why you decided to keep trying for Idol and what made you decide to give it another chance and then another chance and to think that this time it might be different?
CG: I definitely was hurt and broken hearted when I got cut, but for some
reason, even though I kept saying that I wasn’t coming back, I kept thinking
maybe this one time that it’ll work, this one time it’ll work. I would always say no, but then I would find myself looking at auditions again online.
Then going and saying if it doesn’t work this time, I’ll just find a way
to branch my music career another way. But I’m so glad that it worked.
Q: Was there an point during the competition that you thought maybe this time it won’t work, either? I’m just thinking particularly of that week that only Mariah Carey had you on her Top 3 list, which shocked me. I’m wondering what your response was to that?
CG: That was Top7 week, so I was definitely worried at the fact that Mariah
was the only one that picked me that week. At the same time, I felt like that was the week that I had one of my weaker performances, so I definitely understood. But, that is how “Don’t Make Me Over” by Burt Bacharach and “Love Song” by The Cure came about. 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. At the same time, while it hurt, it also gave me a boost to do my best the next week.
Q: When you look at all of the Idols that are more remembered than others,
aside from your amazing music, how are you going to stay in the spotlight in
all of our minds moving forward so we don’t forget about Candice?
CG: That’s why I’m definitely glad that Idol took a different approach as far as the album this year, because it’ll be out on July 16th and it’s on pre-order now. While I’m still fresh in people’s minds, they can order the album, because if they like me, if they voted for me, then they can order the album. That’s a good way to keep the American Idol winner in
the minds of everybody. Also, getting myself out there and probably trying to do
other things as far as acting and modeling after careers of the other people
that have won and even people that haven’t had the chance of winning, like
Jennifer Hudson, but she also did very well in her career.
Q: If you had the chance, and you were auditioning again next year, would
you want to audition in front of these same judges?
CG: Definitely. I told someone that these are my favorite judges. Not only
because I did a good job on the show but because they all were a great asset to
the panel. I can’t think of singing for anybody else.
Q: I just wanted to followup a little bit on what you just mentioned as far as the fast release of the album. I was just wondering was that all the more challenging to rehearse for the show while doing song writing and all that on the side.
CG: It was definitely a challenge. The night that we made the Top 3, before we flew home to our home towns, 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 three songs.
Then you also had to choose your single as if you had made Top 2.
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—not just got the chance, but I glad that I go the song that I got and how I came about doing that song, because I was definitely connecting with the lyrics and everything.
Q: Yes, as Keith said, it was definitely tailor made for you. One quick followup on that, as well. I wanted to ask—at points you came across a little bit shy in the competition. I was
just wondering how that played out. Was it difficult to be on the show being a little bit shy?
CG: Yes, it was definitely difficult to be on such a popular show and being
shy and reserved and stuff like that. You’ve got all these bubbly people that are so fun and stuff like that and you’re just more laid back. People tend to gravitate to the ones that are more excited. I’ll 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.
Q: In terms of looking back at your experience on Idol, do you have a favorite judge? If so, why? Or anyone that you respect in particular?
CG: I don’t know if I have a favorite judge, but I do know that I connect more with Randy 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. And Nicki also knows what it’s like
today. So I look up to all three of them and getting a chance to meet Keith Urban.
I think they all bring something good to the table.
Q: Last night, you talked a little bit about taking things to the next level with your career. Part of that is to dream really, really big. So, biggest picture you can imagine, do you see yourself being bigger than Mariah and Nicki?
CG: Do I see myself doing that?
Q: Yes, being bigger than those two?
CG: 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.
Q: You also, the other night, didn’t know what you wanted to splurge on. I wondered if you had some time to think about that since you’ve won. What do you
want to get yourself as a surprise, kind of, thanks myself thing?
CG: Well, I got a car. That’s it, and I would probably just pay all my bills.
That’s the most thing—I still haven’t even gotten a chance to. I know you asked me that yesterday, but I still haven’t even gotten a chance to really think. But now that I think about it, I have some bills that need to be paid.
Q: I wanted to ask you, when you gave your grandma the Ford Fiesta, what did she whisper in your ear?
CG: She just said “I love you.” I think she was pretty speechless. She
didn’t really know what to think. 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 think she was just—I don’t know, I would have to ask my
mom. I was kind of worried about her. But she was just overwhelmed with the whole
thing. Just saying she loves me and she supports me through whatever.
Q: What did your parents say to you before the show and afterwards?
CG: Before the show, they’d just say whatever happens, you’ve done a good job. This is your third time, Top 2 is definitely an accomplishment, don’t be sad if you don’t win. I’ve always said I’m content either way it goes. Then, after the show, just saying how proud of me. We all just kind of sat there and realized that I actually came on the show a third time and won. It was just an amazing feeling; we just all soaked it in.
Q: By the end of Wednesday night’s performance show, based on the judges critiques, they seemed to think you kind of had the edge on Kree. What impact did
that have on you afterwards? Like the next day when you were waiting for the results.
Did you grow confident that you might be the winner?
CG: You mean when I got a good critique on Top 2 night?
Q: Yes, like you had the edge that night?
CG: I don’t know. Because the judges, when they give you good critique, they’re not the ones that are voting. So they give you their input and everything, but at the end of the day, it all depends on your fans and everything.
Kree is amazing, so at the same time, when we were waiting for the result to be called, we were calling each other’s names and saying you won, and she was like, no you won. We definitely had no idea what was going to happen because America is so unpredictable sometimes.
Q: Up until the last couple weeks, Angie was presented as the clear front runner throughout most of the competition. Looking back, I guess, did
you ever think you had a chance to beat her and win? And did the fact she was considered the front runner and had so much hype surrounding her, did that that almost take the pressure off a little bit, and maybe even work to your benefit?
CG: I know that Angie has a humongous fan base, and her fans are very dedicated to her. I even would go as far as saying that I knew that Angie would possibly be the winner, all because of her fan base and how big her fan base was.
CG: I don’t know if I would say it was like a benefit that she went home, but I
definitely know that, no matter, I knew she would be successful. I knew it was a shock to America and everything when she got cut because she’s phenomenal. I know that no matter what, she’ll be fine, like I said.
I don’t know if she was a threat. Everybody in the Top 5, all the girls were so different and we had our different fan bases for different reasons.
So I wouldn’t say she was a threat to anyone.
Q: I would like to know is, what would you say is the single best thing that
you’ve learned about yourself as an artist throughout this process?
CG: I’ve learned that I’m very, very different and some of the ideas that I
have are really odd to some people. Like doing a Drake song. Drake is a hip-hop
or rap artist and I surprised a lot of people by doing that.
I think that I learned that I need to just take those ideas on full-force and go
with them. Don’t hide behind, you know, trying to do what I think America loves.
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.
Q: As a follow-up, do you feel comfortable that you’ll be able to express
that on your first album?
CG: Yes, I’m definitely confident. Some of the stuff that I’ve been doing and listening to, I definitely know that it’ll be different.
Q: Your duet with Jennifer Hudson was amazing. How did you feel before
that? Did you think you would keep up with her? Were you nervous? How did you feel? You killed it.
CG: 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, Michael Orland, and I 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. I was so nervous and so scared, but I’m really glad I got a chance to do that with her.
Q: Well, you did keep up with her, and you actually surpassed that. Do you
think you’ll do a future collab with her, or anybody else in the future, like
CG: I would definitely love to do a collaboration with her if she’s willing to do it. She’s so phenomenal and I look up to her and people
like Jazmine Sullivan, who’s my favorite singer of all time, and Kim Burrell,
and even Drake and Nicki Minaj—I would love to do some different things with
them and have different aspects of my album.
Q: You mentioned the upside of getting to release the album early in that you’re going to be fresh on people’s minds and they’re going to know you, they’re going to be craving your music, and it’s going to be, probably, more beneficial to sales as far as that’s
concerned. But I’m wondering if there might be a downside as far as so quickly recording everything, if it might, maybe, 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?
CG: 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.
Q: Earlier on the call, you referenced a lot of the success Idol
winners and contestants have had outside of just music. I’m wondering, though, now that you’ve won this and this was such a huge goal for you for such a long time, what is your next big goal? What can you say once you achieve that that you’ve done it, you’ve don’t what you wanted to do and whatever happens after that point doesn’t really matter? What’s that overarching goal for you right now?
CG: I think having an album is a pretty good goal to accomplish. I think,
definitely to model 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.
Q: My question is, it’s not easy to make a professional like Nicki Minaj break down in 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 just crying when you did that song?
CG: 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 you 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.
Q: What performance were you most proud of this season?
CG: 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.
Q: My question for you is, did you ever, when you did receive any negative
feedback from the judges, take it to heart, or go online, like I did, and read
nasty stuff online. If you did, how did you push past some of the negativity?
Or, if you had a down night, which you rarely did, and just deliver just
powerhouse vocals every time?
CG: 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 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 three, 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.
Q: Well, and look where it got you: you won. Did you ever have a number in
mind? Like when I was cut from the original Top 32, I didn’t make it and then was called back for a wild card, I remember thinking if I can just make the Top 12, and then if I can just make the Top 10 and go on tour, and then if I can just make it halfway, and that’s when I was voted off. Did you ever have a number in mind? Like, okay, Top 3 is my goal? Or Top 5 is my goal?
CG: 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, Top3. 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.
Q: You said that this was your third time trying out for American Idol. Can you tell us how far you go the first two times you tried out?
CG: 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.
Q: What was your favorite part about this whole process, other than winning, of course?
CG: 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.
Q: Your album is now, obviously, going to be released a lot earlier than most Idol winners’ albums are. 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? How much have it have you done already? Do you have songs picked out?
CG: 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 16th, and the tour starts on June 29th. 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.
Q: Are you going to be able to do any song writing for the album, then?
Because you don’t have much time.
CG: I definitely would hope so. If there’s no time, then there’s no time, but I definitely would love to get that done.
Q: Looking back, again, to last year, 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?
CG: 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.
Q: Remember earlier in the year when they gave you some inkling of how the voting went? They told you that South Carolina voted 90% for you or something like that. Did they give you any inkling last night on how the voting went?
CG: No, no. The only thing I got was the card that Ryan 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.
Q: What about, not when they just did the percentages, but the weeks that no one went home? Did you ever find out exactly what the vote was?
CG: 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.
Q: What’s the thing that surprised you the most, through your whole
CG: 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.
Q: I wanted to ask you, when you would practice your autograph, … and when you would make the YouTube videos in your house of yourself singing, what did you daydream about that fame would look like?
CG: I would dream about it ever since I was younger than that. When 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.
Q: What would you tell that person now?
CG: 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.
Q: Was there ever a particular point when you first began to feel you might actually have a chance of winning the whole thing? If so, when was it during the season?
CG: I think, when I first auditioned, Nicki said if you don’t make it to the last round of this entire competition, then something is definitely wrong. That stuck with me throughout the whole competition. And I stuck with that, and
I said okay, I just have to make it to the last round.
I just want to make Nicki proud and my family.
Mariah had asked me for a mix tape at my audition, she was asking for an
album. Ever since then, I said okay, this is going to turn out to be something good.
So I just stuck with my plans of what I’ve been doing the whole time and
it just worked out.
Q: You got to close out the show Wednesday night with that powerhouse performance of “I, Who Have Nothing,” and Kree also got awesome reviews for her final performance.
So did you almost feel like you had a slight advantage because you got to finish out the show and were obviously fresh on home viewers’ minds right before voting began?
CG: I don’t know if it was an advantage, because there was only two of us.
Usually, like in Top 10, if you get the order, you worry about being
forgotten if you go early in the show. But there was only me and Kree and it was only one hour, so I was just confident in all three of my performances. But at the same time, so was Kree, and she did a real good job. We went into on Thursday night not really
knowing what was going to happen.
Q: What did you do in the past year that made the biggest difference in being better and better prepared for this year?
CG: 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’s closing remarks:
CG: 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.