NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 13, 2013 - American Idol hopeful Kree Harrison has made quite the splash on Fox's hit singing competition this year. From her Southern charm to her velvety-rich voice, the Nashville-native is blazing a trail to her predicted confetti shower at the show's season 12 finale as the current frontrunner in the competition. With song choices such as Faith Hill's "Stronger" and Patti Griffin's "Up to the Mountain," Harrison's feet are firmly planted in the rich history of Country music.
"I was just telling them Otis Redding is probably one of my favorite artists in the world. But as far as like country goes, there's definitely some modern people that I love and I look up to. Kasey Musgraves is one of my best friends," Harrison explains to Wetpaint of her musical influences. "I'm so proud of her, and I think she's one of the best songwriters in town right now in Nashville. And Little Big Town, they're kicking butt. I've always loved Lee Ann Womack. Her voice is so amazing, and how she's always stayed true to traditional country. I respect that."
As part of the competition, Harrison will have to tackle a wide range of themes (from rock and pop to standards), but the singer says she doesn't really have a strategy heading into the finals. "I mean, I think every week you just have to be smart about it," she says. "I'm not really sure, and except for every theme, there's probably a list of songs. And I'm just going to try and pick the one that is more suited for my voice, melodic even."
Needless to say, the 22-year-old has received overwhelmingly positive reviews for her performances up to this point. "It's amazing. It really is. I can't even describe how amazing it makes me feel," she says of the judges' praise. "Even if they had negative comments, I would listen to every word because I respect all of them so much and because they've been rooting for me from the very beginning, and apparently I’m now married to Nicki. It's just crazy. I hope I continue to do them proud and impress them, and we'll see. I'm so happy."
With 10 weeks still remaining in the competition, fans can probably expect her to break out the guitar at some point. "I love playing guitar," she reveals with a smirk. "Drums is my guilty pleasure, but don't tell anybody."
This week, Harrison -- and the rest of the Top 10 -- take on the "Music of American Idols," and the brunette singer says she's looking forward to the next round. "There's not as much pressure," Harrison tells The Tennessean. "Because either way, I get to go on tour with people that I've grown to love and adore. But at the same time, I want to do America proud and keep the judges rooting for me. I'm excited. I'm ready to get back on that stage."
Check out Harrison's performance of "Stronger" to the left.