Candice Glover Candice Glover

Candice Glover made American Idol history last week, becoming the only returning contestant to win the competition. Glover had auditioned in Seasons 9 and 11, making it as far as the Top 40 Vegas round last season before being eliminated.

"I said, 'Just this one more time. If it doesn't work this time, then I'll think of another avenue,'" Glover said she told her parents before her Season 12 audition. "I didn't really know who I was the first two years. ... I think this year I turned myself into more of an artist and I took a lot more chances."

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Her risks paid off, including a sultry, Adele-inspired take on The Cure's "Lovesong" that was widely hailed (by Randy Jackson, among others) as the best performance in Idol history.

Check out our two-part interview with Candice below to get her thoughts on Season 12, including why she was stunned by the judges' reaction to "Lovesong," and what she and runner-up Kree Harrison said to each other during Ryan Seacrest's excruciatingly long pause ahead of announcing the winner: 

Candice Glover's debut album, Music Speaks, will be released on July 16 and is available for pre-order now. Her single, "I Am Beautiful" is available for purchase on iTunes. See all the American Idol summer tour dates here.