Idol's Kellie Pickler: I Deserved the Boot

04/27/2006 at 02:55 PM EDT

Idol's Kellie Pickler: I Deserved the Boot
Ray Mickshaw/FOX
When Kellie Pickler was voted off American Idol Wednesday night, she went out with her signature sunny attitude.

After the cameras stopped rolling, she sang "Unchained Melody" to the audience and judges (Paula gave her a kiss on the forehead), ending the song with hugs all around.

The 19-year-old from Albemarle, N.C., told reporters the next day that she wasn't surprised she got cut from the competition. "To tell you the truth, I thought I was going home last week," she said. "But the fans voted and kept me in for another week. I deserved to get the boot this week because I had two bad performances back to back."

Next up, she'll head to New York for a whirlwind week of media appearances. "I'm gonna do Regis & Kelly, TRL and VH1 – all those cool shows that I never thought I would ever be on. I think I'm going to do Jay Leno and The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which is like my favorite show. I'm so excited to go and dance!"

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As for what the future holds, Pickler said she'd love to get into acting, but would be open to doing another reality show because "it's so much easier to just be Kellie than to try to be somebody you're not." She'll also tour and release an album with other Idol finalists. The American Idols Live Tour 2006 kicks off July 6, in Manchester, N.H.

Pickler also addressed rumors that she was dating former Idol finalist Constantine Maroulis or recent contestant Ace Young: "Oh, I'm dating Ace now?" she laughed. "No. And no to Constantine, too. We're friends. He's a great guy. Ace is a great guy too. In all honesty, no contestant is dating another contestant. It's kind of gross because we're like brother and sister. We live together."

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