Why Amanda kept her distance from her AI rivals

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Mar. 20 2008, Published 12:23 p.m. ET

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Right from her very first audition, Amanda Overmyer, with her biker-chick look and rip-saw rock 'n' roll vocal, made sure that she stood apart from the other season seven contestants. But today she revealed to OK! that it wasn't just her music that made her the black (and blond) sheep in the American Idol flock. And she told us why she never thought she could win.

When contestants are knocked out of the contest we're used to hearing them gush about the pain of being separated from the friends they've made on the show. But laid-back Amanda, from Mulberry, IN, says that she wasn't close to her fellow hopefuls, and would only consider inviting a couple of them to her up-coming wedding.

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"I'm kind of standoffish," she explained. "My personality, within itself, is that I tend to keep pretty sheltered and safe away from anything."

"I can count on two hands the friends and family that truly matter to me."

She said that although she and her roommate Carly Smithson had a lot in common and that a camaraderie develops between the rivals, the 23-year-old says she remained an outsider off-screen as well as on stage.

Amanda says that while her unique look and uncompromising rock sound gave her a boost by making her stand out from the pack, she also knew it would eventually put her out of the running. "I know how different I am, I know that I target an older audience and a different audience maybe than American Idol provides," she said.

"As far as winning the competition, you just have to look at the demographics of the voters and the people watching American Idol versus the demographic of your particular genre -- they may not necessarily correlate."

Carly Smithson
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But, she says that winning first-prize was never her goal. "Yesterday wasn't the most traumatic thing that's happened in my life -- I just got voted off a TV show," she said. "I was thankful to be there and privileged to have that many millions of Americans vote for me just to keep me on 'til 11th place. For someone like me who is cut out of a different mold from everyone in the competition, I found that very warming that I had that much support."

Amanda says that she has followed her father's advice and kept her feet on the ground. She doesn't have a master plan for super stardom like a lot of Idol contestants. Instead she says she would be happy if the exposure she gained on Idol could help her put out a Southern rock CD and get her booked at the "big biker rallies."

But, she added: "If this is just 15 minutes of fame, I'm not going to chase it my whole life trying to get it back: I'll take it for what it is and move on. Hopefully it's not. Hopefully I can make a career out of this, but it's not going to be that unicorn that I keep chasing."

"If nothing comes up out here in L.A. for me to pursue with music," says the respiratory nurse, "I'll give it a good six months and if nothing happens, I'll go back and continue on the career path I had started."

Anyway, she says, while she is "going to take calculated risks" to make it in showbiz, Amanda says that real success means different things to different people.

And to Amanda, who is engaged but has not set a date for the wedding, says that in the end, "Success to me is a strong, healthy family and success in whatever job you choose to do."


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