Candice Glover, a soul singer from rural South Carolina, was named “American Idol” on Thursday, becoming the first female singer to win the television singing competition since 2007.
Runner-up Kree Harrison, from left, Angie Miller, winner Candice Glover, Lazaro Arbos and host Ryan Seacrest react after Glover is announced the winner at the American Idol finale at the Nokia Theatre at LA Live in Los Angeles. AP
Glover, 23, defeated country singer Kree Harrison in the popular vote with her powerful voice in what judges deemed a close contest to take the title on season 12 of the Fox network show.
“You are officially our American idol,” host Ryan Seacrest said as the crowd of more than 7,000 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles cheered.
With tears streaming down her face after hearing her name, Glover seemed lost for words. “Oh, my God,” she said. “Three years.”
The third time was lucky for Glover, who appeared in two earlier seasons of the show, and finally won the crown by making songs like “Somewhere” from the musical “West Side Story,” and the jazz tune “You’ve Changed” all her own.
“Three years, persistence, determination and a lot of talent. You deserve it,” said Seacrest.
He announced Glover as the winner at the end of Thursday’s two-hour show, which featured performances by judges Keith Urban and Mariah Carey, as well as Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Lopez, rapper Pitbull and South Korea’s Psy, who sang his new single “Gentleman.”