American Idol Backstage Scoop: Booted Girl Talks Special Bond With Mariah Carey

Plus why she may soon be singing with Shania Twain

By Shawna Malcom Apr 19, 2013 5:25 AMTags
American Idol, Top 5 FinalistsRay Mickshaw/FOX

We knew Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey on the same page was too good to last.

The dueling American Idol judges seemed to call a truce after last night's performance show but they couldn't agree tonight to use the coveted judges' save on Janelle Arthur. Backstage after the show, Janelle left little doubt as to which female chart-topper was the holdout. 

"Throughout the live shows, I've felt the most connected to Mariah," she told us. "On results shows, she's always like lookin' at me. When I'm over on the couch, she's always just like glancing over and she'll give me some sort of wink or like a 'you look pretty,' and it makes me feel so good." 

And what did the supportive Mimi have to say to her after her elimination? "She was saying she was excited for my future and what's coming up for me," revealed the country singer. "She said, 'I'll see you on the road, girl.' It was sweet."

It's been an emotional season for the 23-year-old Oliver Springs, TN, native and longtime diehard Idol fan. There was the exhilaration of making the Top 10 and the total annoyance of watching Nicki walk out of the studio wearing her favorite pair of custom-made cowgirl boots (a pair, she told us with a smile, we just may see her rockin' again on finale night—and this time, you can bet she won't let Nicki get anywhere near them!).

Right after the elimination, we heard Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe promise Janell he'd get her someone awesome to perform with on the May finale. Her top picks? Personal idols Dolly Parton, Vince Gill or Shania Twain. "But if I had to sing with Vince, I would just be crying," she said with a laugh, "so maybe I'd wanna work with the females!"

While Janelle was clearly bummed to be sent packing ("I thought they were gonna use the save, just not on me"), she's determined to still realize her dream of making a traditional country record, y'all! "I honestly feel like it's only up from here if I don't just give up," she said, "and I don't know why I would now."

Were you sad to see Janelle go home tonight? Or did the right person get the boot? Sound off in the comments below!