'American Idol's Janelle Arthur: I'm a bit hurt the judges didn't use their last save chance on me
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/19/2013
American Idol eliminated Janelle Arthur during Thursday night's live results show broadcast on Fox, determining the twelfth season's Top 4 finalists.
Janelle, a 23-year-old from Oliver Springs, TN, became the sixth finalist sent home from American Idol's twelfth season after she received the fewest home viewer votes following Wednesday night's performance show, which featured the Top 5 female finalists each performing two songs -- one of which was a favorite from the year she was born and the other being a tribute to any female diva.
Janelle's elimination became official after American Idol judges Randy Jackson, Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, and Keith Urban announced they were not going to prevent his departure by using their one "The Judges' Save" of the season. The decision would have to be unanimous amongst the judges to utilize the special save, and in Janelle's case, the vote was not.
During a Friday conference call with reporters, Janelle talked about her American Idol experience. Below is what she had to tell Reality TV World. Check back with us on Monday for more from her call.
Reality TV World: Were you surprised to get eliminated or did you see it coming beforehand at all? Did you have a gut feeling your time was up in the competition?
Janelle Arthur: Yeah, actually I really did have a feeling just from the past few weeks and just the vibe I was getting. I kind of knew it was me. But I still was just so thankful to have made the Top 5. I just didn't think that was possible, so it's definitely very bittersweet.
Reality TV World: After your first performance Wednesday night of "You Keep Me Hangin' On," you got very conflicting criticism from Nicki and Keith. Nicki said she loved you singing with your guitar and thought you brought a lot of emotion to the song whereas Keith kind of said the opposite in which he wished you hadn't used the guitar and shown him more emotion. How did you respond to that? That must've confused you on what to do going forward.
Janelle Arthur: Yeah, it was definitely confusing and I think that's kind of the point. I mean, I think that's really just how it all works whenever you have people who have strong opinions, and it kind of confuses -- it kind of makes America just kind of make up their own mind, I think, when it's confusing like that.
Reality TV World: So it sounds like because you didn't get all positive feedback, you think that certainly impacted America's vote?
Janelle Arthur: I mean, it's like, of course it was about the voting. Because ultimately, that's what matters. I think that people didn't know [what to do] because it was a mixed feeling.
Whenever [the judges] are harder on you, I think that people think they need to vote harder for you. But there were still some good points made in there. So I think that people may have -- they didn't know if they needed to vote harder or not, you know?
Reality TV World: Would you mind sharing what the judges said to you immediately following your elimination? Any helpful advice?
Janelle Arthur: Yeah, well Keith just told me that he fought for me. And then Randy told me that he loved me from the beginning in Season 10. And then Mariah just told me, you know, that she just didn't have a single worry about me. She was like, "I'll be seeing you! You have the biggest career ahead of you."
And that meant so much [to me]. And Nicki just told me that she really meant what she said when she thought that I was going to have a great career. And so all those things were just really great things to leave with for sure.
Reality TV World: At this point in the competition, who are you rooting for to win? And also, who do you think has the best chance of winning? -- If that happens to be someone different.
Janelle Arthur: Well, what's crazy is if you had asked me that like when I was in the Top 60 or Top 40, I would've been able to answer that. But now, all of the girls are my friends, so it's so hard for me to choose one because I'm equally close to all of them.
I have my own predictions in my head of who I think's going to take it all, but at the same time, I don't want to put that out there because I love all these girls and I think no matter who wins, America will make the right choice. Because all of these girls are amazing.
Reality TV World: Looking back on your entire Idol journey, do you have any regrets? Do you wish you had done anything differently like whether it be a particular song choice or anything like that?
Janelle Arthur: The best thing is, is that I do not feel like I made any bad choices with my songs. I'm so happy that I didn't second guess that. Because I could see myself -- I'm really hard on myself, and I'm so thankful that I was able to really just make the best song choices, I think, for myself every week.
And sometimes I think, like I said, it's not about the song choice. It's about what you do with the song that you choose, and so, I felt great about everything. And the craziest thing is, I think I left with the best feeling after this past Wednesday night.
Also during the call, Janelle revealed how she was surprised and a little hurt the judges opted not to use their save on her given it was their last chance to utilize it.
Janelle Arthur: Well I've heard that [Thursday night] was the last night that they could use [the save]. So I didn't even know that. I didn't even know it until afterwards or I might've been a little more hurt that they didn't save me. But I just thought that they were using it for another girl, but actually, that was their only chance and they decided not to even use it!
Check back with Reality TV World on Monday for more from Janelle's call with reporters.