American Idol: And Then There Were 16

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Mar. 5 2010, Published 12:08 p.m. ET

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The four American Idol contestants who were eliminated from the hit FOX reality show last night shared thoughts about their future during a press conference call with reporters today. They also revealed their feelings about Crystal Bowersox, who came back to the show after being hospitalized — and then became a front-runner with her earthy version of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “As Long as I Can See the Light.”

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Michelle Delamor said of Crystal, whose illness forced a boy/girl performance schedule change this week, “We were all concerned, but I’m happy to see she’s healthy now.” And Haeley Vaughn told reporters, “I know she’s doing better.”


Meanwhile, Michelle said of her own short-lived experience on Idol that “everything happens for a reason” and she’s not going to give up her musical dreams.

“I’m going to stay in L.A.,” the Miami native said. The beautiful 22-year-old with the polished stage presence also has plans to start a clothing line. “I love fashion and got so excited when Vera Wang was in the audience.”

Michelle didn’t feel her lack of screen time hurt her in the competition early on, but admitted, “I have a normal lifestyle that doesn’t make for great TV.”

Haeley, known for her youthful spirit and colorful homemade headbands, said she was “really emotional,” before performing her swan song last night. The judges panned the 16-year-old’s performances for the past two weeks but she says, “there are other things I can do. Hopefully more doors will open. Being on the Disney channel would be awesome.”

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Haeley agreed with judge Kara DioGuardi that she needs more time to hone her vocals but also said it was “a little surprising” the panel kept focusing on her youth.

Another of the booted contestants, John Park, 21, was slammed by judge Simon Cowell--who even predicted the singer’s ouster this week. But John holds no grudges: “Simon said I was going to go home and it came true. But he dramatizes so people at home can get a kick out of it. After the elimination, he came up to me, shook my hand, and said ‘good for coming this far.’ "

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As far as his problems on the show, John said, “I think it was mostly song choice and nerves.” And the TV cameras “took away from my concentration on the song.”

Now John, a student, plans to go home, “head back to Chicago and see what open doors there will be for me.” He’s going back to school but now knows he wants to pursue something in the music biz, either singing or working behind the scenes. He got a lot of confidence from making it on the show: “I’ve never believed in myself so much.”

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But Jermaine Sellers, who also got voted off, felt TV left viewers with the wrong impression of him.

“Sometimes the camera can make you look arrogant and diva-ish,” he said. “I hated that I was made out to look like something I wasn’t, but it’s television.”

The 26-year-old admitted that he was thrown off by the intensity of facing the judges: “I couldn’t focus because I was so scared. I let fear conquer me.” Jermaine, who provided some comic relief by revealing he likes to wear onesies, took issue with Simon Cowell’s comments on which contestants’ performances were the best and worst. “It’s not what I heard. It’s confusing.”

Now 16 contestants remain on the show and all will perform next week for the chance to make it into the magical final 12.


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