Syesha Mercado, American Idol: Season 7

Frank Micelotta / FOX

No, Syesha Mercado wasn't exactly ecstatic about Happy Feet.

"It's not like I could change it," Mercado said of being required, per American Idol producers, to perform the penguin movie ditty "Hit Me Up" on Tuesday's show. "So, I could try to make the best of it."

Mercado, who was dismissed from Idol last night, one week shy of the finale, didn't pin her exit on the so-called producer's choice song, one of three she belted on Tuesday.

But, while upbeat in a conference call with reporters this morning, she didn't disagree with a suggestion that "Hit Me Up" wasn't a singer's song.

 

"Not, it really wasn't," Mercado said. "Most of the song was backup singers."

Mercado, 21, was insistent she was perfectly happy with her Idol stint. After surviving the bottom three five times, not including Tuesday, she placed third, higher than distinguished Idol alums Chris Daughtry and Tamyra Gray.

"I'm just so proud of myself for making it this far, and being the last girl," she said.

Next week's finale will feature the battle of the Davids—early favorite David Archuleta and emerging favorite David Cook.

"I feel like I'm a big sister, and a little sister to both of the Davids," said Mercado, meaning, no, she wasn't making a pick or prediction.

Mercado, who said she refused to prepack her bags each week in order to keep her eye on the prize, allowed she had a feeling Tuesday night that her run was about done.

"I got too many bad comments from the judges," she said. "At this point in the game, you couldn't have too many bad comments.

"And I moved on. I made peace with it."

Other tidbits:

  • Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber was her favorite mentor—no surprise, since her performance of his "One Rock & Roll Too Many" changed her previously low profile in the competition. "That was my shining moment on stage," she said. "He just encouraged me to perform the song the way I wanted to perform it."
  • Vocal problems during Hollywood week "separated me from everyone else, and it kinda put this negative eye on me, and it kinda started me off on a bad note," she said on Idol host Ryan Seacrest's morning radio show.
  • Mercado wants to do everything—seriously, everything: "I want to make an album. I want to star in a film, star on Broadway...Open an organic restaurant."
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