Candice Glover is busier than she's ever been in her life.
There are long, daily bus rides through multiple times zones, physically demanding rehearsals, flights back to Los Angeles to record in the studio, and the stress and anxiety that come with performing in front of thousands.
"I am tired, but at the same time it's the most fun I've ever had in my life," said the "American Idol" winner, who has been on a national tour since July 19.
Best of all, Glover gets to come face to face with the fans who made it possible for the St. Helena Island native to go from her sleepy sea island to winning "Idol."
Some scream, some cry, some later tweet about how happy they were to meet the girl who has inspired them so much.
"It's so fun to see people face-to-face and tell them 'thank you,'" Glover said. "Thank you for ordering my album and for staying up and voting for me. Especially the people who have been tweeting at me for the longest time, thank you for that."
The IDOL Live! tour -- featuring Glover and the 10 other "Idol" finalists from season 12 -- will perform in North Charleston at the North Charleston Colesium on Aug. 5. With no arena in Beaufort, it serves as Glover's hometown stop.
And Glover says she has been counting down the days to Charleston, and especially the meet and greet, which comes as part of the VIP ticket package, as she expects to see the familiar faces of those who have supported her since her "Idol" journey began three years ago.
She is excited to sign autographs and take pictures with those from her hometown, the heart of her fanbase -- those who were aware of a local girl making it to Hollywood in season 9, who were sad when she was cut in the Top 40 of season 11, who cheered when she finally advanced to the semi-finals in season 12 and who voted her all the way to the finale.
"All of Beaufort was so supportive and they were behind me the whole time," Glover said. "I want Charleston to be like a celebration."
Glover won "Idol" on May 16, and fans can now watch her perform without the accompanying stress of results shows and eliminations.
"This is going to be way more fun because you don't have to bite your nails when you watch this," she said.
Indeed, Glover no longer has to worry about being sent home. In fact, she feels like she's coming home.
Glover talks about her upcoming album, Beyonce and preparing for live performances.
Question. How is the "Idol" tour different from competiting on the show?
Answer. We don't get as nervous. There's not this sense of "Oh My Gosh, if I do this wrong I'm going to get eliminated tomorrow." The dancing on the tour is a lot more fun than it was on the show. We just had camera blocking on the show. There's actually dancing, getting the crowd moving with you, all of that.
Q. How has the dancing aspect of the tour been?
A. We had Justin Bieber's choreographer's and Beyonce's choreographer's assistant, so these people did not play any games. When we go to rehearsals, we call it the gym. We were all in it because this is something we've never done before, and I'm pretty sure all singers wish that they could dance. If we could all dance like Beyonce, the world would just be a better place.
I know that it's probably going to surprise a lot of people, especially since on the show I don't think I did any dancing. I probably did a little grooving from side-to-side.
Q. How is the "Idol" tour preparing you for a tour of your own?
A. I'm not a talker. I can sing all day long, but I don't necessarily know how to talk to a crowd. I say "um" a lot and I stutter. This is letting me know that the people in the audience aren't rooting for you to mess up your words, and they're not going to laugh at you if you don't say the right thing. This is letting me know that you can talk to the crowd, and you can be natural with them.
Coming to Charleston, I'm going to be really nervous because I know that I have a lot of people there. I hope by time Charleston comes I'll have everything down pat.
Q. Your debut album "Music Speaks" was originally expected to be released on July 16, but then got pushed back to Oct. 8. What has the extra time allowed you to do with the album?
A. It definitely gave me a chance to find more songs that were more me. On the show I made sure every single performance was 100 percent. And I don't want to just put out an album that's 50 percent because we want to put it out two months after I win. I want to make sure I have the time to put my all in it just like I did with my performances on the show. And I know there are songs out there that are more me than what we had, so I'm more focused on getting songs that are more true to who I am more than anything.
Q. How are you balancing the tour with finishing the album?
A. I want to make sure I put my all into this tour. When they had a 22-hour drive from Phoenix to Grand Prarie, Texas, I wasn't on that ride because I had to go to the recording studio in L.A. to record with Rodney Jerkins, who is a legend. I'm glad that I get a chance to still do that. I still get a chance to record with these people and sing songs that are more me. And also getting the chance to promote the album after the tour is over. We'll have more time to do that as well.