'Idol' Exit Q&A

'American Idol' Exit Q&A: Syesha Mercado

Was the top 3 ''Idol'' finalist resigned to a two-David finale? ''I didn't get that memo,'' this season's third-place finisher assures us

Syesha Mercado | SYESHA MERCADO ''I was thinking it was going to be a miraculous change in voting, that little girls stopped voting for David Archuleta and a…
Image credit: Michael Becker
SYESHA MERCADO ''I was thinking it was going to be a miraculous change in voting, that little girls stopped voting for David Archuleta and a cloud of votes came in for me''

We knew this day was coming. Syesha Mercado didn't have a chance in hell of stealing one of the Davids' spots in the finale, so her ousting last night was no surprise. At least it wasn't to any of us. To her, on the other hand...

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So, Syesha, the whole country seemed to know it was going to be a David vs. David finale. How was it being on stage when you knew your fate?
SYESHA MERCADO: Well, I didn't read that press. I didn't get that memo. I've been in a little bubble for a while. I heard rumors that it was going to be a David-Syesha finale.

Which David?
David Cook. I was thinking it was going to be a miraculous change in voting, that little girls stopped voting for David Archuleta and a cloud of votes came in for me. But I had a feeling I was going home, especially after the bad commentary I got for two of the songs I did. At this point in the game there couldn't be any harsh comments. I'm at peace with everything I've done, though. I learned a lot.

Randy talked a lot about you peaking late in the season. Why'd you wait so long to show off your talent? Or was that your secret strategy?
A lot of people have asked why I was holding back. Some of it was nerves. But it wasn't my game plan. It just worked out that way. I wasn't holding back — I just became more comfortable with myself as the show went on. Also, I felt early on I was being overlooked. And the more negative comments I got each week, the stronger I got and the harder I worked. The minute I made the decision to enjoy myself, everything got a lot better. That's when the real Syesha came out. And there's more to come. An hour TV show only shows you a glimpse of somebody's life. There are going to be ample opportunities to see more of me.

Are you going to pursue acting or singing now?
I want to do everything. I want to make an album, do Broadway, act in films, open restaurants, homeless shelters, Lupus foundations. I want to do so many things. I'm really goal-oriented, and if you're driven and focused it will happen for you.

NEXT PAGE: On her ''producer's choice'' song: '' I knew I had to do the song they gave me. My nieces and nephews love that song and their ages range from 2 to 6. They're not really the people who are voting.''

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