Lowcountry contestant an Idol finalist

This May 2, 2013 photo released by Fox shows, from left, Candice Glover, Angie Miller and Kree Harrison, finalists in the singing competition series "American Idol," in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Fox, Michael Becker)

Michael Becker

When Candice Glover auditioned this season for “American Idol,” it was nothing she hadn’t been through before.

It was her third time trying out for the show, and even as she advanced this season in Hollywood and Las Vegas, the St. Helena Island native said she was going through the motions with no real thought of winning.

After all, she’d been there before.

Now, as a finalist on the show, her thoughts are on one thing: winning.

As she returned to the “Idol” stage each week, she won consistent and enthusiastic praise from the judges and thousands of votes from viewers.

Before performing in the show’s Top 7, she was asked in a phone interview if she believed she could win.

“Yes,” she said, sounding almost surprised by her response. “I actually do.”

It was the kind of ‘yes’ that comes with growing confidence, a ‘yes’ earned through strong performances.

On next week’s finale, Glover will have her shot 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 spoke 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, everytime you sing.”

Angie Miller was eliminated Thursday night.

Glover and contestant Kree Harrison will perform on the finale Wednesday. It airs from 8 to 10 p.m. on Fox.

The winner will be announced during next Thursday’s results show, which airs from 8 to 10 p.m. on Fox.