When Candice Glover auditioned this season for "American Idol," she didn't think about it too much.
It was her third time auditioning for the show, and even as she advanced in the Hollywood and Vegas rounds of the show, the St. Helena Island native said she was going through the motions.
She'd been there before.
But as a finalist on the show, things started to get real for Glover. Each week she returned to the "Idol" stage after being voted through by viewers, and she received consistent and enthusiastic praise from the judges.
Before performing in the show's Top 7, she was asked in a phone interview if she believed she could win American Idol.
"Yes," she said, sounding almost surprised by her response. "I actually do."
It was the kind of yes that you have to build yourself up to say, the kind of confidence she knew she'd earned, but had tempered thus far.
But now, being voted in the show's 12th finale, Glover will finally have her shot next week at becoming the next "American Idol."
On Wednesday night, judge Nicki Minaj was moved to tears during the airing of Glover's hometown visit to Beaufort last weekend. She said Glover is now an inspiration to women everywhere.
"Women suffer from so much insecurity about who they are and how they look, and I have to say, you seem to be the most confident woman on that stage every single night. And I love that about you because you're going to inspire so many women all around the world," Minaj said after Glover's performance of Emeli Sande's "Next To Me."
"And that's not just black, it's every woman, no matter who they are, no matter what they look like. You just come on that stage and you just own who you are. And it's reflected when you sing, every time you sing."
In an interview with E! News that aired Thursday evening, Minaj said she was so emotional because Glover's mom, Carole, reminded her of her own mother. She was touched by Beaufort County's support of Glover, saying Glover's hometown sees themselves in her.
Glover, along with contestant Kree Harrison, will perform in the "Idol" finale next Wednesday, which airs from 8 to 10 p.m. on Fox. The next "American Idol" will be announced during the results show, which airs from 8 to 10 p.m. on Fox.