'Idol' Exit Q&A

'American Idol' Exit Q&A: Amanda Overmyer

The Rock & Roll Nurse leaves with a healthy attitude: ''If this ends up being my 15 minutes of fame I will gracefully bow out and move on to do something different.... I've got a hell of a lot more work in front of me''

Kristy Lee Cook, Amanda Overmyer, ... | AMANDA OVERMYER ''I knew I was going to be in the bottom half of the top 12. It was just a matter of what week…
AMANDA OVERMYER ''I knew I was going to be in the bottom half of the top 12. It was just a matter of what week I was going to go''

The plug has been pulled on the Rock & Roll Nurse. In the first shocker of the American Idol season, Janis Joplin sound-alike Amanda Overmyer got sent home after singing ''Back in the U.S.S.R.'' during Beatles week II. She may not be smiling, but she sure isn't crying either. Amanda called EW to talk about why she might go back to nursing and whether or not she'll bother watching the rest of the competition.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Amanda, how on earth did you get voted off instead of Kristy Lee Cook?
AMANDA OVERMYER: That's been the general consensus so far today. That's awesome that everybody's surprised.

Surely you must have been surprised when Ryan said you were in the bottom three. You seem to get a lot of cheers every time you perform.
I wasn't really surprised. I didn't have any preconceived notions about what place I would land in. I knew I was going to be in the bottom half of the top 12. It was just a matter of what week I was going to go. When they called me to the bottom three, I thought that at least I gave it a good run and I got some exposure.

Why did you think you'd be in the bottom of the top 12?
Just because of how different I am. And the demographics of the people that like me don't necessarily correlate with American Idol fans and viewers. I think I turned a few heads to the show that typically wouldn't have watched, but that doesn't mean they voted. As long as I got enough hype in the underbelly of pop culture, I accomplished what I wanted to. Getting that popular vote would have required me to change a few things.

Like singing a ballad?
Yeah, and the answer is no, I wouldn't have done it. If we got to do four or five songs, sure, I'll throw a ballad in there. But when you've got people like Carly and Syesha and big ballads are what they do, I'm not even going to try to do a big ballad. Take Chris Daughtry's song ''Home.'' Excellent song. But put it right there next to a Celine Dion ballad and whose is going to be better?

Chris Daughtry's?
Well, that's what my opinion would be. But for the general pop culture viewing public there's a different answer.

Sometimes you had this look on your face like ''What the hell am I doing here?'' Is that what you were feeling?
I thought that every day. But I wouldn't have gotten recognized if I had not done the show. I don't have it in me to come to L.A. and beat the pavement to be a rock star. That's why I went to college and got a mortgage and got a career.

Why do you think the judges were so obsessed with you smiling? What was up with Simon saying ''It's okay to smile'' to you?
That particular day I had caught the bug that everyone else had already. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to sound like, ''Oh, woe is me. I am sick.'' Now that I'm off the show, I can tell you I just didn't feel good and wanted to get off the stage as quick as I could.

Do you think that little spat you had with Simon on Tuesday night when he scolded you that ''you haven't sold any tickets yet'' hurt you?
I was just being honest with him. With Simon, the only thing with him is he's a male and men have huge egos and pride and they gotta have the last word, but he didn't get the last word. I did. I didn't consider that an argument. I was just being honest when I said it's fine if I'm selling 50 tickets in a bar in Lafayette.

NEXT PAGE: '' I'll probably give it a good six months or so and beat the pavement. This will not be the unicorn I will chase for the rest of my life.''

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