As we get closer to the American Idol finale, it’s becoming harder to say goodbye to the beloved Season 11 contestants. Elise Testone was the the latest to go, making her exit last night after 58 million votes were cast.
The soulful songstress discussed her game plan now that Idol is over for her during a media press conference this morning. Unapologetically honest, Elise says she has few regrets except that she wishes she had sang “The Greatest Love of All” during Whitney Houston week, which was her original choice. “I feel like it would have been a better first impression,” said the Charleston, South Carolina native, who sang “I’m Your Baby Tonight” instead. “I felt like I was misunderstood or taken the wrong way, and I didn’t like that.” She also mentioned her album guest star wishlist, which includes Stevie Nicks, Steven Tyler, and Queen’s Brian May.
What else did Elise talk about? We’ve compiled her best quotes below:
Her reaction toward her elimination last night: “I was a bit surprised, just because in my heart I didn’t feel it was time for me to go. But it wasn’t a total shock.”
On whether she dreaded landing in the Bottom 3 each week: “I never really thought about the results show until it hit me about half an hour before the show... I guess I don’t really prepare myself too much, I just try to go with the flow and stay fun the whole day.”
On why she may not have connected strongly with voters: “I think that the majority of voting really comes from middle America. If I can’t win them over, it’s just kind of not gonna happen, you know? That’s just a theory. I really don’t know. I felt like I was honest and sang with my heart and passion, and that’s the best thing to do.”
On what kind of album she hopes to make: “Throughout Idol, I definitely learned that my forte is the rock genre, but I definitely will have the elements of blues, soul, jazz, and funk.”
On whether the judges were harder on her than on other contestants: “Some [criticism] I thought was really great, but some stuff I didn’t agree with. I think that was what was complicated about it because people are just getting to know me... sometimes it felt like they were discrediting me or what I have accomplished.”
On whether she’ll continue working as a vocal coach back home: “I formed such great bonds with the students I’ve had in Charleston, I’ve had them for three years... the coolest thing is watching someone come in [inside] their shell, but then have them come out of it... I’d definitely like to continue doing that.”
On whether the younger contestants would come to her for advice: “They definitely would come to me for advice, which I was excited about... During group songs I felt like a leader, because I’ve arranged shows before.”