Cupid's Pulse Article: For ‘American Idol’ Winner Candice Glover, Third Time’s A CharmCupid's Pulse Article: For ‘American Idol’ Winner Candice Glover, Third Time’s A Charm

By Whitney Baker Johnson

Soul singer Candice Glover has been a frontrunner since the start of season 12 of American Idol, so it wasn’t surprising when she took home the crown on last night’s finale. Glover, though, was sure to take things slow. “My goal was to make it to the top 20. If I got that far, I knew I’d have a fan base that would keep voting for me,” she shares. “Then, I made it to the top ten, the top five, and finally the top two. That’s when I knew I could win this whole thing.”

Of course, the 23-year-old had judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey in her corner from the beginning. “Nicki told me at my original audition that if I didn’t make it to the finale, something was wrong with the competition. That really stuck with me. And Mariah asked for a mix-tape.”

Related Link: Janelle Arthur Talks About Her “Incredible Journey” on ‘American Idol’

Glover’s journey wasn’t always such smooth sailing though. This year was her third-time to audition; the best she’d done previously was end up in the top 60. So what did she do differently this time around? “I definitely increased my musical knowledge — I listened to every genre of music,” she explains. “I was more confident too. I really focused on being myself and being different.”

“I was hurt and broken-hearted when I got cut. I kept saying that I wasn’t going to come back, but I always thought it may work next time,” the songstress adds. “I’m so glad I was right this year!”

When Ryan Seacrest announced her name, Glover immediately thought of her upcoming album, out on July 16th, and the American Idol summer tour, which begins on June 29th. She says that she “really connects” to the lyrics of her first single “I Am Beautiful” and even likes “the touch of pop.” In fact, she wants to keep that unexpectedness going when it comes to her entire album.

As for her career, she hopes to model it after the likes of Minaj, Carey and Jennifer Hudson, who she sang with on last night’s show. “I was so nervous to do a duet with Jennifer – I didn’t think I was good enough to be up there,” she shares of the experience. “She’s so phenomenal, and I look up to her.”

Related Link: ‘American Idol’ Runner-Up Kree Harrison Has “The World in Her Hands”

Glover is walking away from the Idol stage with more than just a title; she made lifelong friends too, including runner-up Kree Harrison. They may have been competing for the coveted crown, but that doesn’t mean there’s any animosity between the two talents. “Kree’s amazing!” the winner exclaims. “While we were waiting for the results to be called, we were both saying, ‘You won!’ and ‘No, you won!’”

Given her unique path to the top, the commanding singer is in the perfect position to offer advice to future contestants and says, “Just pace yourself and take it one day at a time. Always be yourself.” It’s important that Glovers keeps these words of wisdom in mind as she takes her own next steps as well.

Be sure to catch Glover on the American Idol tour this summer! You can also follow her on Twitter.