Credit: Michael Becker/FOX Photo: Thia Megia Slows it Down in American Idol Season 10: The Top 11 Perform Again

After struggling to find her footing for most of the finals, last night 16-year-old Thia Megia was eliminated from American Idol. The high school student spoke to journalists today about having to do school along with Idol, her favorite musical artists, and all those ballads she sang.

On whether her elimination came as a surprise to her:
I didn’t know what to expect at all; there are a lot of great singers in this competition. I wanted this so bad, but since everyone else is so incredible, you kind of prepare yourself for whatever happens. I know that we’re all gonna be going on tour, and the exposure that we got from the show is incredible.

On having school every day in addition to everything else:
We had to do about four hours of school every day, so I thought that we didn’t really get enough rehearsal time, but it was sort of an advantage for us, being minors — it was like an escape for all of us. There were some disadvantages and some advantages to that. I guess it was cool to have that time to bond with the other minors, especially me and Lauren Alaina. It wasn’t too bad, I guess.

On her favorite part of the competition:
I enjoyed every bit of the competition. I guess that was what made it really hard to say goodbye last night, ‘cause you think of every single thing that you’ve experienced on the show and you kind of think to yourself “I’m gonna miss that so much.”But it’s really not the end of the competition — we’re all gonna see each other in a couple weeks anyway. I guess every single bit of the whole experience is what I’m gonna miss.

On only girls having been eliminated so far and whether the female contestants had been concerned about it:
Well, we sort of figured since there are more females watch the show that the votes would be more for the guys, you know? But it’s not only that, because the guys are all so incredible. But... we were a bit worried about that, we were a bit intimidated by all the girls watching the show and knowing their votes would be going to the guys.

On her extensive performance experience, and getting nervous:
I lost count of how many performances I’ve done [at sporting events]. It’s funny, because I get nervous every time, for every single performance, before getting up on that stage and once I’m up there, I’m usually taken in by the music and the moment and I just feel the energy of the audience, and I basically go from extremely nervous to show mode, and I let it all go, and my heart starts going with the music and I’m just releasing it all. I’m not even nervous once I’m on stage, when the music starts playing. But... yeah.

On dream musical collaborations:
One of my most favorite musical inspirations would have to be Adele. And Jazon Mraz, because their lyrics are so beautiful and complex and I really admire them for that. I also love listening to older music like Billie Holliday.

On whether she wished she’d done more upbeat songs:
I guess for the previous weeks that I’ve done ballads, I do regret not choosing more upbeat songs, but the last performance that I did, I don’t regret at all, because I dedicated that song to my brother and I poured all the emotion that I had inside of me into that song. For the previous weeks I would’ve done more upbeat songs, because I just don’t want to come off as just a ballad singer... which I probably did, but I hope America knows I can do so much more.

On how tough it was being eliminated:
I felt a bit devastated last night, but I didn’t cry for more than 15 minutes — I just told myself that things happen for reason, this not the end of it, and from all the exposure I’ve gotten on the show this is definitely not the end of the road. I feel like this is my chance to actually show America I don’t just sing ballads — during the tour we’ll be able to sing songs we haven’t been able to on the show.

On the one song she would’ve liked to be able to sing on the show:
For “Idol” week I couldn’t decide between Michael Jackson or Adele. The reason why I chose “Smile” was because it’s a beautiful song and it’s from my idol Michael Jackson, but I also wanted to sing “Chasing Pavements” from Adele. I already sang it during my audition, but I didn’t get to sing a 90-second version.

On whether she’s excited about her future:
I’m very excited about the future. I know in my heart this is not the end of my music career.