Candice Glover Wins ‘American Idol’

Candice Glover on Thursday night became the first girl to win American Idol in six years, capping off a season filled with feuding judges and plummeting ratings. Kree Harrison finished in second place.

The 23-year-old from St. Helena’s Island, S.C. was the heavy favorite heading into last night’s finale, thanks to performances early on in the season that won her rave reviews from the judges and America; many labeled her take on “I Who Have Nothing” one of the best performances in Idol history.

With a win last night, Glover — who auditioned for the show three times — landed a contract with 19 Recordings and, this being American Idol, a Ford Escape. Her new single, “I Am Beautiful,” was released after her victory, and is slowly making its way up the iTunes singles charts. You can have a listen to the song, below.

In the meantime, Idol faces an uncertain future heading into its thirteenth season next year. This season saw its lowest ratings in over 10 years. It was also plagued by a brand-new judges panel, comprised of Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj and the recently departed Randy Jackson, that simply didn’t get along.

Fox is expected to take a chainsaw to the panel in the coming months, according to many rumors.

Check back later today for a full recap of last night’s Idol finale.