Lakisha Jones by Frank Micelotta/Fox Lakisha Jones by Frank Micelotta/Fox
LaKisha Jones says that starting out so strongly on

American Idol and being dubbed an early favorite proved to be a difficult cross to bear. Coming off that roof-raising first Hollywood performance, "Everybody wanted that 'And I'm Telling You' moment every week, but when you're singing different genres every week, those styles don't necessarily have that 'big song,'" she told during a Thursday conference call. As such, she said, "I went out there every week and gave it my all." And while she may not have earned America's vote, LaKisha told us that after Wednesday's results show, she got the thumbs-up from the one who matters most: her 4-year-old daughter. "Oh, my gosh... I was crying last night and she wiped my face and said, 'Mommy, I'm not mad,' which I thought was really cute. It was as if she was telling me, 'I'm

proud of you, I'm not mad' - and that works for me." What else worked for her? That surprise peck from mean ol' Simon Cowell himself. "He is a good kisser," LaKisha revealed later in the call, "and I would do it again. His lips were really soft and thin." - Reporting by Matt Webb Mitovich