It's always a risky move to perform one of the judges' songs in front of them on American Idol, and for Emily Piriz the decision may have backfired.
Last Thursday, Piriz became the second contestant voted off of Season 13, after performingJennifer Lopez' "Let's Get Loud" 24 hours earlier.
But the 18-year-old from Miami says she doesn't regret her decision.
"It was my first song choice for [last week's theme] Home," Piriz tells TVGuide.com. "That song really brings out my Hispanic heritage. I looked up to Jennifer when I was little. I used to listen to that song all the time. It was a little risky and I was a little nervous, but I think the song choice was a good choice. Jennifer seemed to love it."
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Though the cameras repeatedly cut to Lopez dancing in her chair during Piriz's performance, her fellow judge Harry Connick, Jr. was less enthused — and Piriz says she "wasn't super surprised" that she landed in the bottom three on Thursday. "Although the song that I chose was a good performance song, it wasn't the best vocal song, so I understood," she says. "I didn't think the judges were going to use their save, just because it is so early in the season ... so, I was a little choked up but I just wanted to leave with a bang."
Of the judges panel overall, Piriz tells TVGuide.com: "They've been a little harder on us this year, but they just want us to do our best and they've been giving really great feedback. Everything Harry says, although sometimes people think it sounds harsh, everything he's saying is in our best interest and everything they've been telling us has really been helping us improve as artists."
Check out Piriz's answers to our American Idol exit interview lightning round below. Were you disappointed to see her go home?
1. Name three albums you would bring with you to a desert island. This is hard. I'd probably bring a Sublime album, a Jonas Brothers album and Cute Is What We Aim For.
2. What was the first album you fell in love with? Probably Aaron Carter, the one with "I Want Candy."
3. If someone wanted to torture you with a song on repeat, what would it be? Oh, gosh. Probably the "Cha-Cha Slide."
4. Name a song you wish you'd written. "Stars" by Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. That song is amazing. I love that song. It's beautiful.
5. If you could duet with anyone living or dead, who would you pick? Ooh, that's hard. I'd love to duet with Pink or Kelly Clarkson. That would be cool.
6. What's your most embarrassing karaoke or singing experience? In the sixth grade talent show, I was singing "When You're Gone" by Avril Lavigne and I was hitting a high note and my voice totally cracked. And it was really embarrassing, but I won anyway. I don't know how. That was embarrassing. My friend still teases me to this day.
7. What's your favorite album or song that you're listening to currently? "Say Something " byGreat Big World and Christina Aguilera. I listen to it on repeat whenever it's on. I don't know why, but I'm obsessed with that song. There's so much emotion. It's such a simple song, but it's beautiful.
8. What song or artist made you want to be a singer? Probably Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You." When I was little, that was my go-to singing song. I was just obsessed with her. I started playing the piano because she played the piano.
9. What's your biggest musical guilty pleasure? I like listening to the High School Musicalsoundtracks and Hannah Montana and stuff. [Laughs]
10. What's one song you would have loved to perform on Idol that you didn't get to? This week I was going to sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," so I would have loved to have done that, because I practiced it and I was really happy with it. I was going to do the Pink version that she did at the Oscars.