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American Idol

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''American Idol'' finalists talk about the show

Camile Velasco, American Idol
Image credit: American Idol: Ray Mickshaw

Hawaiian Punch

Catching up with ''AI'' finalist Camile Velasco -- The island girl ''Idol'' wannabe admits she's feeling a lot homesick

Camile Velasco may be a small-town girl from Haiku, Maui, but so far she's been singing like a pro on ''American Idol,'' even winning praise from the notoriously cranky Simon Cowell. Here's what the 18-year-old IHOP waitress told EW.com about what's making her homesick and why she thinks the roughest part of the competition is already over.

SHE MISSES HER ISLAND Hollywood is not without its charms, but Velasco, who grew up on the Hawaiian island of Maui, may prefer a slower pace. ''I come from a small town, so this is a totally different lifestyle compared to what I'm used to back home. I'm definitely homesick. I miss the clear skies and the millions of stars and my family.''

STICKS AND STONES CAN'T BREAK HER BONES While the judges haven't given Velasco the drubbing that they've dished out to other finalists, she says she can handle whatever they throw at her: ''They've been pretty cool to me, but I always try to use negative energy and channel it into positivity to better myself.''

SHE'S COASTING Surprisingly, Velasco feels that the worst of the competition is long over. ''The hardest part was the auditions. Now it's just getting more and more amazing. And I love that I'm getting so much support from people I don't even know.''

SHE'S MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME Though Velasco only started singing professionally two years ago and has never had formal training, she intends to make music her career goal no matter what happens on ''Idol,'' though that may include a pit stop at college for a music degree. ''About three years ago I started writing music, and that's where my passion is. I want to become a singer, but if I can't do what I love on stage, I definitely want to be behind the scenes.''

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