April 27, 2012 at 3:59 PM ET
Elise Testone had a "permanent vacation home" in "American Idol's" bottom three, as mentor Jimmy Iovine has said, and on Thursday night, she was finally eliminated.
"I was a little bit surprised just because in my heart, I didn't feel like it was time for me to go," Elise told reporters during a conference call on Friday. But don't get her wrong. "It wasn't a total shock. I've been in the bottom three that many times, it's kind of inevitable that it would happen. ... I guess I just felt sort of like a fighter in that I was going to push through."
During Wednesday's performances, the judges all praised her performance of Queen's "I Want It All," but Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson criticized her for picking the wrong Jimi Hendrix tune for her second act. Jimmy agreed, but also slammed her pick for the first song.
"Steven did love my performance, he just worried about the song choice not being right for America," she said of "Bold As Love." "Randy kind of bothered me, but whatever. I just let it roll off. ... I didn't feel like I was boxing with the song, and that's what Randy said. I didn't feel that way at all. I felt like the song flowed out of me very naturally and I was painting the picture and feeling the lyrics."
Though the trio (and definitely Jimmy) has had some tough criticisms for her, the singer and vocal coach said it didn't wear on her confidence. But it didn't make her feel very good either.
"What's frustrating about it ... this is (people's) first impression of me and sometimes I felt like the criticism didn't line up or was discrediting to things I have achieved and worked hard to achieve," she said.
But she's not -- and she didn't, even during the competition -- taking it sitting down. "I'm confident in myself and that's why I did speak up sometimes. Because I believe in certain things, and I don't want to just keep my mouth shut and smile. I'm never trying to be rude or argumentative, it's just honesty."
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