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April 3, 2008
Idol Chatter: Big plans for little Ramiele


I was a little nervous going into this week's "American Idol" conference call. Ousted contestant Ramiele Malubay (shown with Brooke White and Kristy Lee Cook) has one big voice when she sings, but afterward, she's usually reduced to a whisper!

So I was worried I wouldn't be able to hear her answers!

Not so. Ramiele was very poised and together after a long, emotional night and plenty of interviews already under her tiny belt this morning.

Here's some of what she had to say about her "Idol" experience - and what's to come.

Q: You've always been so cheerful! What were you feeling last night and did you feel like you hadn't reached your goal on the show?
A: I kind of felt like I was going. I’m not negative - it's OK. There’s only one winner. My goal was to get by week to week. I didnt want to think about what place I would finish because then your experience could be totally erased. I made the tour and I'm am excited about that.

Q: How much has "Idol" dominated your life? How important was your family during this experience?
A: It's pretty much taken over my life. But that's good. The show is the first real big thing that’s happened to me. It provides both exposure and a future. And I'm grateful to the judges for getting me this far. My family is very important. My dad would fly here every week. He spent sooo much money! But they're very proud of me.

Q: Season 3 finalist Jasmine Trias was from Hawaii, and "Idol" proved a big deal for her. Can you take anything from her experience? And was there added pressure to become the first Asian American "Idol?"
A: I moved (to the United States) from the Philippines when I was 5. I'd like to see what I can do over there. Jasmine meant a lot to me, especially for being a different type of contestant. Yes, there was a little bit (of pressure), just to see how the fan base would grow. And it's been very flattering. I hope nobody is disappointed!

Q: How tall are you? And were you considered the "Idol" little sister?
A: "I'm 4’11. I'm actually older than David Archuleta, but he was always patting me on the head. I hate wearing heels! Last night, I wore flats so the world would see how tall I am.

Q: Any predictions as to who will win?
A: We all went into this being totally different from each other. I don’t really know who will take it. Other years you could kind of tell. But this season, everyone sings so differently, but on the same level of greatness."

Q: What happened after last night's show, and who will you miss most?
A: We get together and talk after someone leaves. But last night, the others had rehearsals for "Idol Gives Back." I was roommates with Kristy Lee and Brooke. We were like sisters. When I got back to our room to pack, they had left me a really cute card.

Q: What did you learn from your experiences on the show? Any advice for future contestants?
A: I learned to be more of a humble person and to appreciate smaller things. I want to acknowledge the other people on the show. I learned so much from the band and from the vocal coaches and from this week’s mentor (Dolly Parton). I went into this really clueless. But you see how fame gets to certain people, not necessarily these contestants. I pride myself on walking in and out the same way. As for future contestants, just be yourself and enjoy every single moment or you’ll miss something.

Q: Did your confidence drop as the show went on? And talk about the level of stress. Were you concerned about David Cook's health incident?
A: Yes, it definitely dropped. I kept asking myself, "What are the judges talking about? What am I doing? What do they want from me?" I was psyching myself out. David had high blood pressure. But he’s fine. Everybody goes about things differently. We break down. My breakdown was crying every week when someone left. That’s how I dealt with stress.

Q: Talk about your plans. What type of album would you like to do?
A: I'm going to stay here in L.A. and pursue music. I'm hoping (Top 24's) Danny (Noriega) and I will become roommates. We got so close on the show. You can't share that experience with just anybody. We take care of each other. I'm not sure of definite plans because of the tour.

As for an album, I grew up listening to what my parents listend to. A lot of '80s music. I would love to do R&B and add my flavor to some old songs. Me and Danny will do a duet - not matter what!

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