How to politely lose on "American Idol"


This may have taken Southern manners to
an extreme:

Twice lately, an “American Idol”
finalist handed a big advantage to a competitor. In 2011, Scotty
McCreery survived the gesture; this year, Kree Harrison didn't.

“Idol” logic says the winner of the
coin-flip will choose to go last, making the final impression on
voters: When McCreery (from North Carolina) won the flip, he handed
the choice to Lauren Alaina; when Harrison (from Texas) won the flip
last week, she also deferred.

“I didn't care ,” Harrison said. “I
asked Candace (Glover) and she said she wanted to go last.”

So she let her; Glover's powerhouse “I
Who Have Nothing” seemed to seal her victory.

Yes, Harrison knew her opponent would
finish strong. “Everything Candace Glover sings is awesome,”she
said.

Letting her sing last was a major
mistake … or just a sign that Harrison was happy either way. “I've
already reached the level of my dreams,” she said.

Two hours after “Idol” ended,
Harrison turned 23. Her country single (“All Cried Out”) was
ready and she'd been invited to sing June 4 at the Grand Ole Opry,
“the best birthday present I've ever had.”

Actually, her first single almost
happened long ago. When Harrison was 10, she sang on Rosie
O'Donnell's show; she returned three more times, and landed a record
deal. Nothing got released, however; “what I didn't want to do was
something bubble-gummy.” She returned home at 11, after her
father's death in a plane crash; eight years later, her mother died
in a car crash.

After a string of tragedies, it would
be logical for Harrison to be distant or bitter; fellow contestants
say she's the opposite. “Kree is like a mom,” Angie Miller said.
“She's so nice and never thinks of herself.”

That peaked when she didn't choose to
go last. Candice Glover promptly blasted her way to the title,
surprising no one. “Have you heard her?” Harrison asked. “She's
incredible.”