'American Idol's' Katie Stevens: 'Over the Rainbow' would've been her choice next week

katie-stevens-elimination-idol.jpg"American Idol's" double elimination sent another female home. This time it was 17-year-old Katie Stevens. She talks about her "Idol" experience, Adam Lambert and her fellow contestants in her post-elimination interview.

What's next moving forward?
Katie: I'm definitely going to go back home, hang out with friends, go to school so I can graduate and get my diploma.

What was the best thing mentor Adam Lambert told her?
Katie:
He told me to always stick to what I love and what I believe in. It was great to have him as a mentor because he's been through the "Idol" process. He was able to give us feedback on what he did and how he was able to evolve thorughout the pressures. It helped us try to hone in on that and try to do the best we can.

What was the hardest part of "Idol"?
Katie:
The most difficult thing was that ... we got out there and try to do our best and it's just very hard knowing you're going to be judged afterwards. You don't know what to expert, good comments or bad comments, so you gotta try to manage your nerves the best you can. THe singing was probably the easiest but it was nerve-wracking going into the judging part of it, that was the hardest part for me.

On the judges' comments:
Katie:
I think [Top 24] was when I was trying to please the judges and I wasn't pleasing myself and doing what I love. So I decided going into Top 12 that I was just going to be myself, so everything I did at that point was what I love to do. I think that kind-of showed, so the judges started giving me better comments. Simon telling me he thought I was country... --they all know what they're talking about, but I need to do what is best for me. I side with Kara with the pop with R&B leanings thing. Things like Kelly Clarkson kinda R&B soul/pop with a rock background, I hope to record that kind of album.

What song was she going to do next week?
Katie:
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is a song I've wanted to sing for the entire competition, so I would have done that, but I know I'm going to have plenty of opportunities to sing for America again, so at some point I hope I can sing that song.

On her parents and grandmother:
Katie:
They have been behind me since I started to sing when I was little. Obviously they saw that I was upset, but my mom said to me afterwards, "You know what, Katie? If you started out and you were at the stadium and they told you, 'Okay Katie, we're gonna let you be on this show but you can only get to the 8th spot,' would you still do it?" and I said, "Of course." I have no regrets and I'm so proud of myself ... My grandmother was just such an inspiration. She's been to every performance that I've ever been in and she always inspired me to follow my dreams. This was always something I wanted to do and when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, I wanted to do something great that she could see while she still remembers me, so I've accomplished my goal, which is to have her be proud of me and have her see me do this. So I reached my goal and I'm happy.

On Michael Lynche being saved and her fellow contestants:
Katie:
I'm so glad he got saved and all of us were able to spend another week with him. I'm so proud of him and all the other contestants, they're amazing. I'm so privileged to be able to spend time with them and work with them ... It's not a competitive environment, everyone is so supportive of each other ... We're all just really close and that's why I got so emotional.

To her fans:
Katie:
I just want to say thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this. I'm so honored to be in the Top 9 and be able to go on tour and thank you for all your support.

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Photo credit: FOX

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