Update

American Idol Crowns Candice Glover Its Winner!

Candice Glover (left) and Kree Harrison

Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup

updated 05/17/2013 AT 8:30 AM ET

originally published 05/16/2013 AT 10:05 PM ET

After months of auditions, eliminations, performances and judges’ feedback, American Idol finally has its season 12 winner.

Candice Glover and Kree Harrison each performed three songs on Wednesday night – a favorite of their choice from the season, one picked by producer Simon Fuller and the song that would become the winner’s first single – in front of fans, friends, family and the Idol judges at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live.

Mariah Carey said, “It’s going to be very, very difficult for America” to decide a winner. Indeed, PEOPLE readers voted, giving R&B diva Candice only a slight edge over authentic country girl Kree.

So, who’s the winner? Candice Glover is the new American Idol! And Kree Harrison is season 12’s runner-up.

Candice and Kree held their heads together and closed their eyes as Ryan read the results. When he said her name, Candice stood up, looked shocked and then burst into tears. Kree was the first one to hug her. Soon, the rest of the top 10 were taking turns embracing Candice, who had been a frontrunner all along.

Meanwhile, the judges were standing in ovation.

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