NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 9, 2013 – American Idol hopeful and promising Country star Kree Harrison struck gold with a series of performances on last night’s (May 8) Top 3 live show. Taking on Rascal Flatts‘ hit “Here Comes Goodbye,” the 22-year-old delivered an emotional, show-stopping rendition, paying tribute to her late parents. At a very early age, Harrison’s father died in a plane crash. A few years later, she lost her mother in an unfortunate car accident, leaving the young starlet and her sister Lacy to pick up the pieces.
Following the two-hour broadcast, Harrison spoke with reporters about the experience and her recent hometown visit to Woodville, Texas. “I mean, I thought my family and friends were going to show up and give me like a party, are you kidding?” she says, noting that the return home was not quite what she expected. “There were thousands of people chanting and it was,more than anything,humbling to think that now you have to go back and make these fans — that’s weird to say out loud — proud of you because this is not just something that’s yours.”
She adds, “This is not a selfish thing, this is something you have to give back.”
During her hometown trip, Harrison and her sister revisited her childhood home, the only remaining physical link to her parents. Needless to say, she shed a few tears along the way. “That’s life, I’ve experienced that, that is just life,” she says. “So I’m no stranger to it. The sweet was definitely after the bitter because obviously they loved it, and the crowd loved it, and that meant the world to me.”
Harrison’s last performance of the night, a rousing take on The Band Perry‘s No. 1 smash “Better Dig Two,” received a lukewarm response from the esteemed panel of judges — comprised of Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey and Randy Jackson. “I literally was like, I’m just going to have fun with this and see what happens,” she notes. “I felt like I was singing karaoke a little bit. In a good way, like it was fun.”
Her journey on the show might be a fierce competition, but she says her worthy opponents, Angie Miller and Candice Glover, are just as talented. “Angie, she’s flawless, and that Elton John song is one of my favorite songs, so of course that was my favorite by her and then she did ‘Try.’ Hello rock star, I’ve arrived!” she exclaims. “Candy, can we just talk about that performance for a minute? Let’s not talk about me no more, let’s talk about her! I was like sister, yes! She killed it! We all looked at each other at the end and were just like, we did it, whatever happens we did it and we had a blast.”
Of course, with such a music industry boot camp, there comes a time when the contestants are simply exhausted from the enjoyment of it all. She explains, “We are definitely exhausted, drained and, more than anything, emotionally. But I couldn’t imagine doing anything else right now, and I don’t want to go home. It’s pretty incredible. I just hope that I can stay another week.”
This week’s themes allowed the contestants to perform three songs apiece, consisting of a judges’ choice, Jimmy Iovine’s choices and producers’ choice. Of her song selections, Harrison says the judges’ pick for her was her favorite. “I don’t know what made it different, but I think they understand. I’m not anything but country, whether I put Kree like soul or whatever into it, it’s not going to be confused. That means the world to me because a lot of people do get confused, I will sing Aretha Franklin and whatever, but I am a country singer.” [Quotes via Wetpaint]
Even before hitting it big on FOX’s ratings juggernaut this season, she had already been working the scene in Music City, making career connections along the way. In fact, her good friend and newcomer Kacey Musgraves (“Merry Go ‘Round”) sat in the audience to cheer for her pal.
Musgraves posted on Instagram, “It was SO incredible being able to support one of the most amazing girls I’ve ever met first hand. Her spirit & voice is captivating and at 22 is more a legend than most could ever dream of becoming. Proud. We love you, Kree!! @kreeai12.”
Check out Harrison’s emotional “Here Comes Goodbye” to the left.
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