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Cast off ‘Idol,’ Overmyer banking on momentum

Nobody was buying it when Amanda Overmyer, the Harley-riding, rock 'n' roll nurse who got voted off “American Idol” last week, said she’s prepared to go back home if that’s how things work out.
/ Source: TODAY contributor

Nobody was buying it when Amanda Overmyer, the Harley-riding, rock ’n’ roll nurse who got voted off “American Idol” last week, said she’s prepared to go back home if that’s how things work out.

Appearing on Rockefeller Plaza on Tuesday with TODAY’s Matt Lauer, Ann Curry and Natalie Morales, Overmyer said she hopes that making it to the popular show’s final dozen will be enough to kick-start her musical career. But she understands it might not work out that way.

“Hopefully, I’ve created enough momentum out of this to gain a career out of it in music,” said the woman who dared to challenge the “Idol” pop-music audience with some old-fashioned, hard-driving rock ’n’ roll. “But if not — if my 15 minutes are up — I’ll be back in Indiana, doing what I do.”

The TODAY crew thought that was unlikely. Though she failed to make the cut to the final 10 contestants, Overmyer was impossible not to notice during her time on the show. With an audience that tends to go for soft and emotional, Overmyer belted out classic rock songs in a voice that was a lot like that of her musical idol, Janis Joplin, with a good dose of Tina Turner thrown in.

Ryan Seacrest lauded her as “one of the most fearless contestants we have ever had.”

In the end, judge Simon Cowell said, Overmyer went because her music was too predictable. She was urged to mix in a change-up — a sultry ballad — but she stuck to her guns and her music and went out on her terms.

“Ballads are boring,” she said last week when she was voted off. “I have a minute and a half to show America what they would see if they bought a ticket to my show.”

She expressed no regrets.

“I think that part of it could be that I was such a different genre for that specific show,” she said in discussing why she was voted off. “I was thankful to make it as far as I did, being of the rock genre and not necessarily the pop, ‘American Idol’ genre.”

Despite her love of motorcycles and her daring approach to “Idol,” the 23-year-old singer said she’s anything but a risk-taker. She admitted that she was scared when she quit her job to pursue her singing dream.

“I was proud of the fact that I was able to go out of my comfort zone and go to Atlanta and try out and make it as far as I did,” she said. “I’m the type of person who takes a calculated risk. So to ship off to California and go be a rock star just wasn’t in the cards for me. This was the best way for me to get the exposure I needed to hopefully start something here.”

The TODAY crew clearly felt she wouldn’t have to go back to nursing, given the buzz she created on “Idol.”

Before she left, they asked her if she has any predictions about which of the 10 finalists will prevail.

“I’ve seen some favorites go out and not do very well,” she said. “And I’ve seen some that weren’t necessarily the favorites come out and kill it. I honestly believe it’s a week-to-week deal.”