The Tampa native tells TVGuide.com that she attributes her slipups (she botched the lyrics in rehearsal, in front of Wonder no less, then on stage during Tuesday's sing-off) to nerves, "definitely nerves."
"I started thinking about my lyrics way, way, way too much when I got on stage," she adds. "[That] threw me off."
Having repeated her major mistake, McGhee wasn't at all surprised that she didn't rock the vote. "I think it weighed a lot on the actual decision," she says, adding with a chuckle, "America's not that forgiving!"
In a conference call with reporters the day after her dismissal, McGhee also had this to say about...
... her last-minute song change:
"I was going to do 'Ribbon in the Sky,' but then I kind of doubted myself. Then I picked 'Superstition' and it was a big mess because it was [Bucky's] original [selection], and then he didn't want to do it and then he wanted to do it. So then I ended up going back to 'Lately.' I was not a person who grew up on Stevie [Wonder] or anything like that, I wasn't familiar with his music at all, so I had two days to learn it."
... who the ousted Idol wannabes like to win it all:
"Everyone that I've spoken with feels the same way I do: It's really up in the air. It's [all about] who performs the best every single week. They've got to bring it every week [or else be in] jeopardy."
... the shock of being joined in the bottom three by Ace and Lisa:
"Obviously they were shocked, too. It was crazy, yeah, but I think it's going to be a shocker if you put any of [the remaining contestants] in the bottom three."
... having input into her Final 12 makeover:
"Actually, you have a big say. For instance, I did pick out my dress... and my hair, more or less, was [Idol hairstylist] Dean[Banowetz]'s idea, which I totally agreed with. They totally listen to what you want."
... her own singing idol:
"Faith Hill is my biggest role model. She has this successful marriage and career... she's a successful mother.... She's just awesome all the way around."
... on rumors of a cold plaguing Idol contenders:
"There was actually a little bit of a virus going around and it kept getting passed around to everybody. But with me, [my throat problems were] more or less [caused by] the dry climate. I'm used to Florida's humid climate."
... her flawless-but-truncated encore:
"[That] was the best performance I've had on the show. Then everyone told me, 'They cut away from you so quickly.' I was like, 'Well, I remembered all my words, hit every single one of my notes and didn't crack.' It was great."
... last but never least, Judge McNasty:
"You can't ever try to read Simon's mind, that's for sure, because you have no clue what he's going to say. For instance, I thought he was going to butcher me [last week] and he told me it was one of my best performances. [You have to] just be prepared for the worst and the best."
Why do so many people risk making fools of themselves on shows like American Idol? Find out.