Kristy Lee Cook (pictured), 24, doesn't want to go home to Selma, Ore. And, no, she won't get her horse back - see my posting below. (The buyer has grown too attached to him.)
But, life will go on for the sixth (of the Top 12) eliminated finalist. But, don't cry for her. The "Idol" tour awaits Kristy Lee - and some very exciting personal news.
In a conference call with "Idol" writers this morning, she talks about her experiences on the show and what's ahead. Here's some of what she said:
Q: It felt like you were getting used to being in the bottom three (not last week). How tough was that, especially with the twists last night?
A: I thought about being there all the time! But I built up a stamina for it. I learned to control the emotions, especially this last time because it was so nerve-wracking. We didnít know how they were doing it. I was standing with David Cook at one point, but I didnít know if we were safe. David Archuleta was still in the back. It was definitely a shock to go home so soon. I wanted to make the Top 5. Brooke (White) is still in the competition, and I'm really happy for her.
Q: Do you think you proved Simon wrong by lasting as long as you did?
A: I was struggling the first three weeks from being sick. I outlasted (the criticism) because I was getting into a comfort zone - getting stronger and singing songs I was comfortable with. He saw that.
Q: You were making improvements. Does that make it tougher to leave?
A: Yes. I was kind of upset because I went at this stage of the competition. I thought "Forever" was my best performance, especially the vocals. The band loved it. I think I really connected with the song. And I definitely thought I had another week in me.
Q: Who are your Top 3 at this point on the show?
A: I donít have three contestants in mind. The show proved to me itís anybodyís playing field, especially with Michael Johns leaving last week. All of them have a unique sound and tons of talent.
Q: Next week the mentor will be Andrew Lloyd Webber. Had you picked out your song should you have stayed?
A: "Donít Cry for Me, Argentina." It was going to be a good one.
Q: We understand you received an incredibly romantic gesture from your fiance last night. Can you tell us about him and your plans?
A: His name is Andy. And yes, he proposed to me - again! - last night after the show. The first time he proposed was March 15 - in the sauna - at the apartment where we (the contestants) stay. It was the only place where there were no other people! We downplayed it because we didn't want our engagement to interfere with the show. We haven't set a date yet - maybe next June.
Q: Were there any backstage romances?
A: Thatís a good question. If so, I was totally blind. Most of us had boyfriends, girlfriends or spouses. They already were taken, though David (Cook) told America last night that he was single.
Q: Last night, you said Simon can be kind of a ďbutt." Do you think saying that would have made a difference if you had stayed on the show?
A: Heís got his own little remarks, and sometimes he's not very nice to people. After time, it builds up, like what he said to Brooke about the hamburger (on Tuesday). I was debating between brat and butt.
Q: What can you take away from your "Idol" experience? And, obviously, you built a fan base. What do you tell them?
A: It's been an amazing experience. I learned about all the different kinds of stress levels I hadn't known before. I learned to make friends and what singers go through to perform every week in front of so many people. And, there's the workload. But it's fun - stuff you wouldn't get to do if you weren't on the show.
To the fans, thanks for voting for me and keeping me on. Iíll put on a terrific show for the tour. Music thatís good for my voice.