It was the end of the road Thursday night for American Idol's exotic flower, Naima Adedapo. But the funky, self-assured 26-year-old from Milwaukee has no regrets about her risky move to put a reggae spin on Elton John's "I'm Still Standing." For her, the show fulfilled her dreams as a performer and as a mother.
TV Guide Magazine: Were you shocked when you ended up in the bottom three?
Adedapo: I was actually expecting it, because with the risk that I took with the Elton John song, it was the equivalent to putting out your own original album. And you can't ever expect — the first time somebody hears your song — that they're just gonna go wild over it. Maybe America will warm up to it after they hear it a couple more times.
TV Guide Magazine: Do you regret doing it?
Adedapo: Not at all, because I would've been going outside of myself, and I just don't believe in that. I believe in staying true to myself.
TV Guide Magazine: What did you learn about yourself?
Adedapo: I didn't know how much of a performer I actually am. I rarely get to see myself back on videos, and it was just kind of cool to see that I actually do perform.
TV Guide Magazine: You don't seem at all depressed about going home?
Adedapo: I know everyone usually says, 'Oh my gosh, I'm so sad that I'm going home right now.' Actually, I'm kind of happy that I get to go home and be a mommy before I have to go on that tour. Because that's a long period of time.
TV Guide Magazine: It seems like you, more than anyone else, is excited about going on tour.
Adedapo: If you ask any of my family members or my friends what I said from the beginning [of being on the show], it was: all I need to do is make the tour and I'll be able to buy a house for my family. So I achieved my goal. I know that sounds kind of bad.
TV Guide Magazine: Not at all. A house in Milwaukee?
Adedapo: Oh, no. I really don't like the cold. I've never gotten used to it. I just don't want to deal with snow, I don't want to deal with having to warm my body up every time I want to dance or move. Going from freezing cold into a studio and trying to stretch my muscles out. I'm just overall a happier person when I have sun in my life.
TV Guide Magazine: So where would this house be?
Adedapo: Most likely it will be somewhere in California, because this is where a lot of the business is, where a lot of the opportunities are. But honestly, I want to build a little cottage in Jamaica, as well.
TV Guide Magazine: Did the judges say anything that was particularly meaningful to you after the show?
Adedapo: Everything they said was really meaningful. They told me I need to not stop. That I need to keep going. That I am an awesome performer. And Randy [Jackson] was like, if you want to do that reggae thing, then go for it, because it's there. And I really appreciate that, coming out of his mouth. Because he called my reggae thing corny. But he said that I should pursue it. And Steven [Tyler] is just awesome. He just hugged me and said, 'You know you're a star.' It was so sweet. I think they knew that this wasn't something that was going to break me. Because I am such an adult. I have two children (-[3-year-old Nalani and 1-year old Abiola], and I understand that this was just a platform to jump start a career.
TV Guide Magazine: One of the upcoming guest stars on the show is Bruno Mars. You would be perfect in his band.
Adedapo: See, there you go! Let's tell Bruno that!