With “American Idol” Season 12 going into the Top 4 performances, the stakes are higher than ever. The last remaining contestants — Kree Harrison, Candice Glover, Angie Miller and Amber Holcomb — will each be singing three times (two solos and a duet) in an attempt to make the Top 3.

So how are they feeling? We talked to Top 4 singers before their performances for a preview of what’s to come.

The girls were all shocked to have made it this far in the competition. Angie described the surreality of it all by sharing a memory from the earliest stages of her journey. “When I auditioned, in you sit in the audience of 1000s of people, they play this video that’s like, ‘You could be the next American Idol!’ And you’re just like, ‘Aw … That’s cute. Whatever.,'” Angie said with a laugh. “But then it happened. I’m here! I feel so blessed to be Top 4. It’s a small number! Four is small.”

Candice, meanwhile, just found it crazy that she was even in the Top 4. “Everybody here is good,” she said. “So it doesn’t matter how good your performances are or how good a critique you got, you can still be in the bottom and go home.”

How did each of the Top 4 make it this far? Kree attributed her success to the audience understanding her true personality. “I think maybe that I’m sincere with everything,” she said of her appeal to voters. “I’m sincere with my music. I don’t know — I’m just myself. I think maybe that’s refreshing.”

This view was shared by at least two of the others, Angie and Candice. Angie pointed out that her early performance of an original song meant that the audience understood her artistic perspective right away. “I think that people just understood me as an artist quicker than most people,” she said. “And I think that’s so important.”

Showing her true self helped Candice out as well. “At first I was just doing songs that I thought America … I was like, ‘Oh, okay. They will like this!’ But I wasn’t really happy,” she explained. “I was doing what they wanted me to do. And if you try to please other people, you will never be truly happy. So now, I’ve never been happier now that I’m doing my own stuff. I’m doing whatever I want to do … I think I got a lot more people to look forward to what I do.”

Amber wasn’t entirely sure why she has done well over the season. When asked about her success dring the Top 5 week, the singer merely joked “I have no idea … I guess people like Barbra Streisand.”

Of course, at this point everyone is thinking about the finale. “It would mean a lot to me,” Kree said. “We’ve worked so hard — all of us have — to get here and to just be able to stand on that stage and be like, ‘Wow. I can put out my record immediately.’ It’s not about winning.” Candice had a similar response: “I think about it every day, and I think about just being in the finale with one of these ladies.”

Two of the singers will indeed make it to the finale. But which two? We will get closer to an answer after the “Idol” Top 4 perform on Wednesday, April 24 at 8pm on FOX.

Posted by:Laurel Brown