BEAUFORT, SC — On the finale of “American Idol” on Wednesday night, the judges gave all three rounds to Candice Glover.
“That girl can plumb, flat out sing,” judge Randy Jackson said after Glover’s final performance of the night of Ben E. King’s “I (Who Have Nothing).”
“That was a winning performance,” Jackson said. “You just shot this night to a whole other level.”
It was the last of three emotional performances for the St. Helena Island native. The night was billed as “soul verses country,” with Glover competing against the soulful, bluesy sound of Kree Harrison of Woodville, Texas.
Judge Keith Urban was touched by the presence of Glover’s family in the audience.
“You’re mom’s crying over here, which is just breaking my heart,” Urban said, gesturing to Carole Glover.
Glover’s second song of the night was her coronation song, “I Am Beautiful,” an emotional R&B power ballad with a hint of pop and rock. It elicited a standing ovation from the judges. The camera showed her tearful father in the crowd.
Urban said the song was “tailor made” for Glover. Judge Nicki Minaj agreed.
“I loved Candice’s song. It makes so much sense for her to sing it,” she said .
The show began with Glover and Harrison taking the stage together. Both said they couldn’t believe they were about to perform in the “Idol” finale.
“Yeah, where are we?” Glover asked with a laugh.
The first round of songs were chosen by the show’s creator Simon Fuller. Harrison sang Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” and Glover sang Adele’s “Chasing Pavement.
Jackson said he didn’t think either were good song choices, but gave the round to Glover.
Voting was open for four hours after the show. The next American Idol will be crowned tonight during the results show, which airs from 8 to 10 p.m. on Fox.
Back at home, about 200 people gathered at the University of South Carolina Beaufort Center for the Arts for an “American Idol” watch party.
“Candice” chants broke out during commercial breaks. The crowd cheered when the show’s host Ryan Seacrest asked, “Who is team Candice tonight?” and was silent when he asked “Where are our Kree fans?” Supporters of Glover from across the Lowcountry filled the auditorium at USCB.
In matching purple shirts with a picture of Glover and the words “#1 Fan,” Savannah native Michelle George and her son, Isaiah, traveled to Beaufort just for the party.
Michelle George came to Glover’s homecoming visit earlier this month, where she got her shirt signed by Glover. She said the local support she saw during the visit drew her back.
“I just liked the atmosphere when I came to the homecoming, like the crowd that was supporting her so hard,” she said. “And I just decided I wanted to be a part of that crowd (and) just the idea of being with a group of people supporting her all the way.”
Cyndi Allison of Lady’s Island said she doesn’t own a TV, but watches videos of Glover’s performances online.
She first said her favorite performance was when Glover sang The Cure’s “Lovesong” in the Top 6, but she stopped herself.
“Actually, her hometown visit, when she performed downtown on Bay Street, that was my favorite,” Allison said.