American Idol: Candice Glover & Kree Harrison Reflect on Finale and Friendship

Time slowed down, and when the moment of truth arrived, Candice Glover and Kree Harrison both found themselves muttering the other’s name – each believing the night belonged to their close friend and rival.

“I was saying her name, because I was just certain he was going to say it, so I was like, ‘Oh yeah, Kree, Kree, Kree,’ and she was like, ‘No, Candice, Candice, Candice,’ ” a stunned Glover told reporters shortly after Wednesday’s American Idol finale.

American Idol Crowns Candice Glover Its Winner!

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.

American Idol: Does Kree Harrison or Candice Glover Deserve to Win?

It couldn’t be closer.

Candice Glover and Kree Harrison are in a virtual dead heat as they prepare to find out Thursday night which of them will be the next American Idol.

American Idol: Kree Harrison and Candice Glover Compete in the Finale

The entire season of American Idol came down to three final performances from two dueling divas, country crooner Kree Harrison and R&B singer Candice Glover, on Wednesday night at the Nokia Theater L.A. Live.

At the end of the night, Mariah Carey summed up the competition best. After noting that both women offered something special, she said, “It’s going to be very, very difficult for America tonight.”

American Idol: Readers Take Sides in Kree Harrison vs. Candice Glover

It’s an American Idol showdown!

Season 12’s top two, Kree Harrison and Candice Glover, are facing off Wednesday on the final night of competition at the Nokia Theater L.A. Live. And they couldn’t be more talented – or different. Kree has an authentic country vibe while Candice is pure R&B diva. They each will sing their “coronation song,” a song of their choice from the season and a song chosen by producer Simon Fuller.

Alicia Keys Is Sad That Randy Jackson's Leaving American Idol

With Randy Jackson’s announcement that he is leaving American Idol, who will take the veteran judge’s place?

The answer is probably not Alicia Keys, who performed her new single “Tears Always Win” on the Fox show Thursday night.

“I don’t know if I’d want to be a judge,” she told reporters after her performance.

American Idol Season 12 Finalists Revealed!

Ryan Seacrest opened up Thursday’s American Idol episode with a nod to Randy Jackson’s announcement that he’s moving on after 12 seasons.

“A little later on we’ll be revealing who is leaving our show,” Ryan said, standing behind the only remaining original judge. “A little heads up?”

Randy just chuckled.

American Idol's Kree Harrison Wants to Rebuild Her Late Parents' Home

Kree Harrison’s personal history is among saddest of any contestant in American Idol history. But for everything that fell apart in her life, she is planning to put some of the pieces back together – quite literally.

The singer, who turns 23 next week, lost her father in a plane crash a decade ago, and her mother in a car accident a few years after that.

American Idol's Top 3 Visit Home Before Finale

Familiar roads, fried chicken and plenty of tears – that’s what awaited American Idol’s final three contestants when they ventured back to their hometowns as newly-minted stars.

On Saturday, Angie Miller, Kree Harrison and Candice Glover returned to Massachusetts, Texas and South Carolina, respectively.

Here’s what they had to tell PEOPLE about their emotional visits:

American Idol Names Its Top 3

After performing two songs each – a pop hit and a standard – on Wednesday night, American Idol’s fabulous final four women faced elimination on Thursday.

Last week, Amber Holcomb and frontrunner Candice Glover were in the bottom two. But in a twist, no one was sent home. This week, the singer with the lowest number of votes wasn’t so lucky.