Another one bites the dust.
After several trips to the bottom three, the top six proved to be the end of the American Idol journey for Elise Testone. While the rocker chick had been a consistent performer on the Fox hit show, she seemed to have trouble connecting with the audience. Does she think her willingness to talk back to the judges after their critiques hurt her in the end?
We chatted with Elise about her sometimes heated interactions with the judges, if she was surprised by her elimination last night and why she thinks she had trouble connecting with voters. Plus, she reveals which artist, in addition to judge Steven Tyler, she'd love to duet with in the future...
Elise admits she was surprised when Ryan Seacrest told her she was going home: "I was a little bit surprised, just because in my heart I didn't feel like it was time for me to go. But also it wasn't a total shock because when you're in the bottom three that many times it's kind of inevitable that it would happen sometime. I guess I just felt sort of like a fighter and that I was going to push through."
While the 28-year-old calls herself a fighter, some viewers felt she sometimes copped an attitude with the judges after their critiques.
"Some stuff they said was really great, but then some stuff I didn't agree with. That's what was frustrating about it, because people are getting to know me and this is their first impression of me. I felt like sometimes the criticism didn't line up or was discrediting to the things I have achieved and worked hard to achieve. That was hard," Elise explains.
"I'm confident in myself and that's why I did speak up sometimes, because I believe in certain things and I didn't want to keep my mouth shut and smile," she continues. "I never was trying to be rude or argumentative—it was just honesty."
The South Carolina native admits a recent critique by Randy Jackson in which he told her she was "boxing" a song rubbed her the wrong way. "I didn't feel like I was boxing with the song. I didn't feel that way at all, she says. "Randy kind of bothered me, but whatever. I just let it roll off."
But Elise is quick to praise Jennifer Lopez for "fighting" for her.
The judges often came down on the hopeful when it came to her song choice (especially Wednesday night when she sang Jimi Hendrix's "Bold as Love"), but Elise is quick to defend her sometimes obscure choices.
"Those were the best choices for me, and I felt that and I believed in it," she says. "Everyone's definition of what's right is different. I guess they think what's right is what the majority of people are going to take a liking to. I think what Steven was saying...was maybe that the melody wasn't one people could sing along to at home and I think that probably the majority of people want to sing along to a song."
Still, there are no hard feelings between Elise when it comes to Steven, who she says she would love to duet with in the future. "Steven Tyler would be a great duet!" she gushes. Someone else she'd love to work with? "I would love to do something with Stevie Nicks since she mentioned it!"
So why does Elise think she had a hard time connecting with viewers? "I think the majority of voting really comes from middle America, so if I can't win them over I know it's just not going to happen. That's just a theory, I really don't know," she says. "I felt like I was honest and singing with my heart and passion. That's the best I can do."
Were you sad to see Elise go? Do you think she had an attitude with the judges? Sound off in the comments!