Simon once said you were the best 16-year-old contestant ever, but he later cooled toward you. What happened?
To be honest, I really, really don't know. I mean, all I could do is go out and do my best every week, and that's what I tried to do. But I guess it's just his opinion.
There are lots of nicknames this season: Mandiva (Mandisa), Chicken Little (Kevin Covais), McPhever (Katharine McPhee). Did you have a nickname?
My fan base in the audience called themselves the Mighty Tucks after the Anaheim Mighty Ducks hockey team. So I guess that was my nickname. But who knows if it helped me?
Not at all. It was her first time in the bottom, so I wasn't surprised at all. It didn't hurt my feelings. I don't sweat the small stuff. I'm always smiling and optimistic – that's just how I am.
Why did you decide to sing Kelly Clarkson's "Because of You"?
I was going through a whole list of songs, and I just made a full turn around back to this song. I thoroughly thought out all the risks that I was taking, and I just wanted a real singer's song and I wanted to show everyone that I could sing. I was considering some Alicia Keys songs and some Gavin Degraw songs, but you have to get things cleared (to get permission to perform them).
Do you think your age played a part in your elimination?
I don't think age really plays a factor in it. It's just what America votes on.
How did it feel to be onstage in the bottom two?
I was prepared for anything that was going to happen, so I just took it in stride. I knew that I was going to be okay whether or not I was going home.