Last night’s elimination of Pia Toscano was one of the most shocking moments in Idol history. Speaking to reporters on a conference call today, the 22-year-old New Yorker was gracious and relentlessly upbeat about the future.
On why the voters didn't show up for her Wednesday night:
"I really don't know. There's no exact formula, you really don't know. The night before I had a weird feeling in my stomach. I felt good about my performance, I tried something different, I had a blast doing it. But I told my parents I feel like I could be in the Bottom 3 tomorrow. I kind of expected it, it was weird. I don't know why I had that feeling, but it kind of prepared me."
On whether she regrets finally choosing an uptempo song:
"Absolutely not. I feel like if you make a mistake, it's helping you grow. I wouldn't change a thing. I truly agreed with everything the judges said to me; it was constructive criticism... I needed to change it up. I was really excited about this performance and I had no regrets going into it. It wasn't even that much out of my comfort zone. I was singing uptempo songs at home, even more than ballads."
On covering “untouchable” artists like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, and Celine Dion:
“I like to challenge myself and I like to take risks... I just tried my best. Those are singers that I’ve grown up listening to.”
On whether not showing enough personality was an issue:
“What a lot of people don’t know about me is that I’ve been performing a long time but I do get kind of shy. I get a little bit of stage fright on stage which is something I feel everyone can relate to. It’s intimidating to go out there. It’s something I have to work on as a performer. I’m going to make sure on the tour I really own that stage.”
On what did the judges said to her after the elimination:
"I really have a connection with Randy, Steven and Jennifer. They have this quality about them, they're so nurturing. Last night was such a blur, it was so emotional, I could barely get through the song. When they came up to me, I was very, very overwhelmed... they were just shocked. They were like, 'If you ever need anything, call us. We're here for you, we love you.' They were just so supportive and I really needed that at that time."
On Jennifer Lopez, in one word:
“Perfection. She really is, she absolutely is. Every constructive critique that I’ve gotten, it helped me and it was true. She’s stunning inside and out.”
About the reactions of celebrities like Tom Hanks and Snooki on her elimination:
"It's amazing. It just helps me in the situation. Last night — it's not that I was shocked, I was just upset to be leaving the contestants, I was upset that next week I wasn't going to be able to perform again... to have the support of a lot of celebrities and my fans right now is amazing, it's the best feeling in the world."
On whether the judges’ “everyone is awesome!” judging style hurt her:
“You can’t really say why I got voted off, it could’ve been people assumed I was safe... or they didn’t... maybe it was the lack of connection. It was just my time to go on the show and I’m excited to see what the future holds, I really am.”
On whether she thinks female contestants are doomed by the teen girl voters:
"I guess there are a lot of young girls who watch the show and vote, but I don't know. I don't have an answer for that question."
On whether a woman can win Idol again:
“Definitely, I mean, it’s anybody’s game right now. I feel like every single one of the contestants are extremely strong... I could never say for sure if a girl’s gonna win or a guy’s gonna win. Truly, I love every single one of the contestants... you can’t pick one because you truly just don’t know.”
On the Idol tour this summer:
“The tour’s going to be so much fun! It’s more of a laid-back situation, you just go out there and perform. I’m gonna do my uptempos and do my ballads, kind of a nice mix. Right now I’m just getting prepared, y’know, just staying sharp and vocally ready — that’s all I can really do right now.”
On her plans moving forward:
"Moving forward, I would definitely go in the pop genre with an R&B influence. I definitely want to have those big power ballads as well as those dance hits. I’ve met so many incredible producers... I definitely enjoyed working with Rodney Jerkins — I worked with Harvey Mason Jr., Ron Fair, and I would love to work with Ryan Tedder in the future. There are so many good things that are going to come from this experience. So many doors are going to open for me... it's going to be great, I'm excited to see what my future holds."