Was a last-minute song change to blame for Jessica Meuse's elimination from American Idollast week?
Meuse needed to come out swinging on Idol's Top 4 week, and unfortunately her renditions ofPink's "So What" and Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" were not up to par. But, according to Meuse, an 11th hour switch-up ahead of the episode didn't give her a lot to work with.
"I was going to do 'The Hell You Put Me Through,' an original song," Meuse tells TVGuide.com. "But then last minute, they ended up scrapping up all the originals and I had to learn another song. So, two out of three songs I learned from nothing. 'So What' was the replacement, and it was a quick fix, and I absolutely had to do it then and there."
"They didn't tell us" the reason for the change, Meuse notes. "They just said it was a network change or something like that."
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And perhaps as a result, the Alabama native says she wasn't surprised to get the boot on Thursday. "You kind of do have an intuition. It's a weird sort of feeling," she explains. "I did have that vibe, that it was going to be me. ... But I still feel great about the show, and I'm fine with everything. ... I really believe everything happens for a reason. And all I can do is my best. If my best isn't good enough for somebody, then I really don't care."
Meuse says she has no regrets about her run on the show and is grateful for the experience, even if it was a bit brutal at times.
"It kind of felt like The Hunger Games," she tells TVGuide.com. "You're in your little bubble, so it's like being in the battle dome or whatever. We're trapped in the Idol world. You live for Idolwhen you're on Idol. ... You have your total routine. You see the vocals coach, you do this, you do that. You memorize songs, you pick songs for next week, and then a tribute dies every week. And they even do the little cannon sound and your light goes out. It's perfect. And then they did the twist [in Top 5 week]. ... I was like, oh my gosh, where are my Nightlock berries."
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Of that controversial "twist," where the contestants were asked to vote whether to send someone home that night, Meuse adds: "I thought it was completely counterproductive and did absolutely nothing for the show. I think it made people mad more than anything. ... They really did [put us on the spot]. That wasn't cool."
For "The Meuse Mafia," as her fans are known, it's been frustrating to watch the judges give the singer tepid praise throughout this season, criticizing her song arrangements and performance style while letting those aspects slide for many of the other finalists.
"I feel like I did get put through a lot, but everybody did. I wouldn't go through anything that I couldn't handle. I believe I can get through anything. So I'm glad, because it challenged me and I like challenges."
Check out Jessica's answers to our American Idol lightning round below, and catch up on past performances here.
1. Name three albums you would bring with you to a desert island. Avenged Sevenfold,Nightmare; Dierks Bentley, Riser, the brand new one. It's so good. And Shinedown, Amaryllas.
2. What was the first album you fell in love with? Jessica Andrews, Heart Shaped World. I was really young, and I learned every single song on it.
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3. If someone wanted to torture you with a song on repeat, what would it be? Probably "Barbie Girl" by Aqua. I would just be like, "Noooooo!"
4. Name a song you wish you'd written. Oh, man. "Simple Man" by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
5. If you could duet with anyone living or dead, who would you pick? For dead, Johnny Cash. For living, either Grant Smith or Dierks Bentley.
6. What's your most embarrassing karaoke or singing experience? That was probablythe first time I sang in public, because I started crying [during a talent show]. That was pretty embarrassing, and then I started laughing, and I looked like a crazy person. I was at a Catholic school and I wasn't Catholic. So it was just awkward all around. I think I was 11 or 12.
7. What's your favorite album or song that you're listening to currently? I have seriously been obsessed with Dierks Bentley's new album, ever since it came out, and the song "Drunk on a Plane." Oh, my God, it's so funny.
8. What song or artist made you want to be a singer? It wasn't really a song or an artist. It was just something I did. I just enjoyed music and I just did it.
9. What's your biggest musical guilty pleasure? Let me think. Probably all the Now CDs, the old school Now CDs that have, like, Eiffel 65, the "Blue Da Ba Dee" song. And then old-school Britney Spears, before she went crazy.
10. What's one song you would have loved to perform on Idol that you didn't get to? Actually, I wanted to do more originals, first of all. But I also wanted to do "Simple Man" really, really badly, like full band and everything, and make my own cut of it. And I never got the opportunity to do it. That's my favorite song of all time, so I really, really wanted to do it, because it actually stands for something and it means a lot to me.
American Idol airs Wednesdays at 8/7c and Thursdays at 9/8c on Fox.