For 'Idol' contestant Candice Glover, growing fame comes with a cost

loberle@islandpacket.comApril 27, 2013 

When Candice Glover's "American Idol" audition aired in January, her cousin and best friend Lindsey Middleton looked at her and said, "Well, it was nice knowing you."

Glover was confused. The then Fripp Island excursions worker wasn't thinking about what her upcoming trip to Hollywood to compete on the show meant. She wasn't thinking about where that road would take her and the promise of fame it held.

And she wasn't thinking of the possibility that she wouldn't return to St. Helena Island, where she'd lived her whole life.

But her family was.


Growing up, Glover's grandmother, Albertha Middleton, always had a story with a moral at the end.

The one that Glover remembers most is about crabs in a bucket.

All of the crabs knew they were going to get cooked, her grandmother said, and the one at the top had the best chance of getting out. But the ones at the bottom would pull it down.

"You're the crab at the top of the bucket," her grandmother told her. But the story would have a different ending.

"You're going to get out," her grandmother said.

Albertha Middleton knew her granddaughter had the talent to take her away from St. Helena.

"People will be upset because you're going somewhere," Glover said as she recalled the story. "They're going to try to pull you down every chance they get. It's just like the crabs.

"She always believed I was going to be something in life," Glover said. "She always knew that I was going to go somewhere."


Competing on the show, Glover sometimes gets homesick.

It helps that she's gotten to see her parents, grandmother and three of her cousins, who have traveled to the shows. She says they bring a little bit of home with them. And that allows her to be herself more.

"Here, I try to act professional and try to be very poised and act like a lady," Glover said. "When my family's here, I can get a little crazy."

While the short visits help, the 23 year old misses her six younger siblings. They are still in school, and Glover hasn't seen them since leaving the island in late February.

She misses knowing what's going on back home, and hopes she'll be able to be there when her oldest brother, Jonathan, graduates from Beaufort High School on June 3.

But she knows all of that comes with a life in the music industry.

"I'm finally coming to the realization that after the show, this is what my life is going to be ... times ten," Glover said.

But her mother, Carole, says with a laugh, "I told Candice (that) when she gets really big, we're just going to leave St. Helena and come live with you."


Before leaving for Hollywood, Glover told co-workers on Fripp Island that if she did well on the show, she wouldn't be coming back.

So far, her path out has been relatively smooth. It's rare for judge Randy Jackson not to say "This girl is in it to win it," after each of her performances.

She received her first criticism last week during the Top 4 show.

As the show moves toward its May 15 finale, Glover is beginning to think about what her post-"Idol" life will be like. Some contestants have gone on to perform in Broadway shows.

"A lot of people lately are telling me that I really need to get into that," Glover said. "I don't know much about it, but I know that it is a good place to showcase your talent."

But wherever she lands, she knows it won't be at home.

"There are no musical opportunities on St. Helena," Glover said. "'Idol' was my way out."

Her family already misses her, but knows this is just the beginning for Glover.

"I can't walk to her house now," cousin Lindsey Middleton said. "I know that's how it's going to be, that she's going to be huge. But she knows that we'll always be here for her."

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