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Amanda Overmyer talks about 'American Idol' ouster, uniqueness


By Christopher Rocchio, 03/21/2008 

Amanda Overmyer said her American Idol seventh-season elimination came at the end of one of the most agonizing days of her life, which she feels wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

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"[It] was the most traumatic thing that's happened in my life -- I just got voted off of a TV show," she told reporters during a Thursday conference call. 

"I was thankful to be there and privileged to have that many millions of Americans vote for me just to keep me on until [the Top 11].  With someone like me -- who is completely different -- I'm cut out of a different mold from everyone else in the competition. I found that very warming that I had that much support."

The 23-year-old from Mulberry, IN was ousted from Idol's seventh season based on home viewer votes cast immediately following Tuesday night's live performance episode broadcast, in which she was the first finalist to take the stage when she sang "Back in the USSR."

"I don't think that the song choice had anything to do with it because if it wasn't that song, it was going to be another song that sounded like me singing it.  I don't necessarily think it was the song choice," said Overmyer.  "You'll never hear me pissing and whining that I was first or anything like that.  I definitely had hoped for position six or seven, but it's not how it worked out.  It is what it is.  I'm not going to cry over spilled milk."

Idol judge Randy Jackson felt there were a "couple of issues with" Overmyer's performance, including that it was "just a little pitchy in the beginning."  Fellow judge Paula Abdul agreed with Jackson about the pitch being off and added Overmyer was ahead of the beat at times. Simon Cowell called it "predictable" and a "bit of a mess in parts."

"When I was done singing, I was done singing.  When those judges would give their comments, I wanted to be respectful and listen, but the comments weren't going to sway me one way or the other as far as what I was going to do," Overmyer explained.  "The objective of being on this show was to go out there and show America me -- perform like me, look like me -- and see how well it would take.  The comments from the judges were based more on the idea of trying to win, and I had a different agenda."

That agenda, according to Overmyer, was proving that someone with such a unique singing style as herself could succeed on the Idol stage.

"[Idol] benefits anybody with any kind of distinction because it gives us that platform to start from and get exposure -- the biggest exposure that we could ever get," said Overmyer, adding that just because she was happy with the exposure didn't necessarily mean she thought she could win.

"As far as winning it, you just have to look at the demographics of the voters and the people watching American Idol versus the demographics of your particular genre.  They may not necessarily correlate," she explained.  "Being my own personal style helped me as far as being the quintessential rocker chick, I guess, but as far as the competition itself, I wouldn't say that it necessarily helped me.  Young kids aren't going to relate to me as easily as they do the other ones."

Still, Overmyer said competing on Idol's "big stage" reminded her of why she loves to perform and illustrated she has the talent to do it on a grander scale.

"The main thing that I learned was that I've always been unique and different in the small confines of Indiana, but it was good to know that I was also unique in the nation's eyes, too," she said.  "That was something I was unaware of."

Overmyer described her personality as "pretty sheltered" and "kind of standoffish," but said she had no problem clicking with her fellow Idol finalists.

"In any situation where a group of people go through something like this there's an element of camaraderie there," she explained.  "Everybody is going through the same thing, so they're the only people that understand what everyone is going through.  I had no problem fitting in."

Alas, Overmyer was cut on the cusp of making Idol's seventh-season Top 10, meaning she won't be participating in the cross-country tour that follows each season.

"It was somewhat of a goal," said Overmyer about participating in the tour.  "I'm not extremely disappointed that I am not doing the tour.  The ultimate goal is to get my own.  I think for it being an American Idol tour and it being it is what it is, they have the best group for it.  I think I kind of stuck out.  I didn't really fit in with it."

Where Overmyer does fit in is in Indiana, where she's owned a home for the last three years and worked in home oxygen and durable medical equipment.

"If nothing comes up out here for me to pursue with music -- I'll probably give it maybe a good six months -- and if nothing happens I'm going to go back and continue on the career path that I started," she said.  "As of right now, no decisions are being made as far as what exactly I'm going to do, because I have no idea if there are any options out here, if there are any.  It's going to be a little bit of a waiting game for the next couple of months probably."

Regardless of what happens with her music career, Overmyer knows her No. 1 fan -- her fiance -- will be supportive.

"I think I was more his rock through the whole thing because he was home alone.  I bet that was pretty hard, being alone in the house while all the excitement is going on 2,000 miles away," she told reporters, adding there's no wedding date set.  "It's been all pending what happens with this."

Self-described as "a very ambitious and driven person by nature," Overmyer said she's ready for whatever the future holds.

"I'm going to take calculated risks to achieve success, but everyone's definition of success varies from person to person," she explained.  "Success, to me, is a strong, healthy family and success in whatever job that you do.  If this is just 15 minute of fame, I'm not going to chase it my whole life trying to get it back; I'll take it for what it is and move on.  Hopefully it's not.  Hopefully I can make a career out of this, but it's not going to be that unicorn that I keep chasing."


(Photo credit Fox)


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