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Lacey Brown made her way into the Top 50 on last year’s American Idol, but this year the 23-year-old Amarillo, Texas, native was determined to go even further in the competition. So the fact that she was the first one voted out of the Top 12 hasn’t gotten her down whatsoever! The spunky singer with the wild hair stopped by OK!’s NYC offices recently to chat about her time on Idol.

Were you expecting to get voted off?
I had this weird feeling all day long that I was going home. I hadn’t read anything. Nobody said anything to me about it. It was just like a weird feeling and I wasn’t happy about that feeling. I wasn’t depressed all day long. I just knew. I even told a couple people and they thought I was just crazy. I even texted my parents. And they were like, “It’s not going to happen. You had really good comments and a lot of the other contestants had worse off comments.”

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Were you surprised to make the Top 12?
Going into the Top 24 and going into the Top 12 are two totally different animals. With Top 24, you just did Hollywood Week. Although it’s rough and it’s intense, there isn’t a crowd to play off of. There’s not a whole aspect. Then for Top 12, you just have three intense weeks of performing live in front of a studio audience and in front of the world. Now they’re voting and you’re out of control. You’re more in control at Hollywood Week. You just don’t know. There were a lot of people who didn’t make it into Top 12 who I thought would have. So I was shocked. I didn’t know if I would or not. It was a big moment for me and I was really excited to get to the top 12. It was off the back end of really fighting hard for that spot.

How hard was it to sing for the save? Did you think they would save you?
I honestly didn’t think there was going to be any chance that they were going to use the first save on the first person getting voted off. If I was in their spot, I would want to use it further up in the competition. It never crossed my mind that they would probably use it. So I wasn’t distraught when they said no.

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How hard is it to get through singing after getting voted off?
It’s really really hard. I have a newfound respect for the people who have had to do that before. You’re crying, and I could literally hear the other contestants crying almost louder than I could the music while I was singing. So it was very emotional and my family was sitting in the audience. In that moment, even though I am so grateful to be in the Top 12, to be number 12 is not a bad spot to be in out of all the hundreds  of thousands of people who tried out.

You got to the Top 50 last year, was it hard to watch?
They didn’t show me last season at all or the sing-off with Megan [Joy]. They didn’t show it until this year. The sing-off was very unexpected. I didn’t know I was doing one. It was very last minute and you just had to fight for your life. You don’t know beforehand. I did watch.

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Did you get to know any of the top 12 from being in Hollywood last year?
Danny Gokey. He told me his life story right before I went on stage during Hollywood Week. I was bawling right beforehand. It was a sad story. Kris Allen, I was actually on all of his flights to Hollywood and going back out for the final judgment. Obviously, I didn’t spend a lot of one-on-one time with him because he has a family. It was difficult. He was a very nice guy. Everyone that I’ve kept up with was super supportive again this year with me being back on the show.

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What are your thoughts on Miley Cyrus being a mentor on Idol?
I definitely would not have thought that they would have ever brought her in to be a mentor. I do know that it was supposed to be teen idol week so I think that’s why they did it. She’s big and she has a big movie coming out so it fits. I would have liked to have been there.

What mentor would you have liked?
In past seasons, they have had people like Dolly Parton on. Awesome, epic people in music like Barry Manilow, people that are fantastic. I was looking forward to meeting “the founders.” People who have been in the industry for 30 or 40 years. That would have been interesting. Just to sit down and talk to one of them for 30 seconds is a dream come true.

What is the inspiration behind your unique hairstyle?
I didn’t have a date one time for Valentine’s Day and I was very frustrated, so I went and cut off all of my hair. Ever since then, I have just had fun with it. I haven’t always dyed it red. I’ve always had it like every other color.

What are your goals now?
I really am looking forward to what doors open up to me, entertainment-industry wise. If it’s something commercial or modeling, or if it’s Broadway or acting. I’m definitely taking acting classes as soon as possible. I’m always going to keep doing music. I’m really looking forward to sitting down with some great songwriters.

Interview by Rana Meyer

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