Candice Glover's American Idol win still sinking in

loberle@islandpacket.comMay 17, 2013 

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FILE PHOTO: American Idol finalist and St. Helena Island native Candice Glover smiles after her mother Carole passes her some homemade tuna casserole at her parent's home on St. Helena Island.

SARAH WELLIVER — Island Packet

After being selected the new “American Idol” on Thursday night, Candice Glover sang her coronation song, “I Am Beautiful,” through a voice choked with tears.

She struggled to get through her final performance on the show, and for the first time this season, her pitch wasn’t perfect.

She was thinking about all she’d gone through to get to that moment.

“Mostly I just thought about the fact that I’ve been here three times already,” the 23-year-old, who had auditioned for the show’s ninth and 11th seasons, said in a conference call Friday afternoon.

Her mother, Carole Glover, struggled to find the words to describe that moment.

“Oh gosh, I can’t tell you the feeling,” she said. “It’s really a story there, seeing how hurt she was and coming back a third time to win it.”

Candice’s siblings watched the show Thursday at a community party in Port Royal. As soon as Ryan Seacrest said, “Candice,” no one could hear him say “Glover” over the cheers.

At the show, Carole Glover said she jumped up as soon as she heard the “Ca” sound from Seacrest.

“I knew, and that’s when I started jumping and dancing,” she said.

But it would be a few hours until Carole and John Glover could congratulate their daughter in person.

While Candice’s grandmother Albertha Middleton and aunt Bernadette Middleton had special tickets to attend the “Idol” after-party with Candice, her parents and the rest of the St. Helena Island group that had traveled to see her — cousins Lindsey, Ashley and Melony Middleton and church friend Lisa Greene — had to wait to see the “Idol.”

“We waited for hours,” Carole Glover said. “We were just like the fans.”

The eventual reunion was an emotional one.

“We just hugged her tight,” Carole Glover said.

“It was an amazing feel,” Candice said. “We just all soaked it in.”

Carole and John Glover will return home this weekend, but said that with an album to record, it’s unlikely their daughter will come home before the “Idol LIVE 2013” tour, which includes 40 cities and starts June 30. Candice will be in Charleston on Aug. 5.

Carole Glover still hopes Candice will make it back for brother Jonathan and sister Shaquoya’s graduation from Beaufort High School on June 6.

Her daughter’s fame hasn’t fully settled in for Carole. She also said she hasn’t yet heard on the radio Candice’s newly released single, “I Am Beautiful,” which was No. 10 on iTunes on Friday.

“Oh, wow, to hear Candice on the radio,” Carole said. “That’d be crazy.”

The proud mother said the excitement of Thursday’s show hit her when Candice sang a duet of “Inseparable” with former “Idol” contestant and Grammy-winning artist Jennifer Hudson.

“When Candice and Jennifer Hudson did that song, it just changed the atmosphere,” she said. “It was just awesome.”

Candice said that as she stood on stage with contestant Kree Harrison, 23, waiting to find out who had won, they told each other, “You won,” to which the other responded, “No, you won.”

Harrison said in a conference call Friday that she told Candice, “If you win, you better sing your butt off.”

Carole Glover said both young women were on a radio station in Los Angeles on Friday morning, and when Kree was asked whom she looks up to, she said, “Candice.”

“You know how sometimes when you look at a person you see fake?” Carole Glover said. “There is no fake in Kree.”

Candice is scheduled as a guest on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on Friday night. She will be on “Live! with Kelly and Michael” on Monday at 9 a.m. on ABC.

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