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Amy Davis "not surprised" by 'American Idol' semifinals ouster


By Christopher Rocchio, 02/25/2008 

Ryan Seacrest tried to surprise Amy Davis with the news, but the American Idol seventh-season Top 24 semifinalist apparently already knew she'd be getting the boot following her rendition of "Where the Boys Are" during Wednesday night's performance broadcast.

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"I was actually not surprised," Davis told reporters during a Friday conference call.  "I really didn't have a good performance.  So I was not surprised. I was actually waiting for Ryan to call my name."

After leading viewers to believe semifinalist Kristy Lee Cook was going to be the first girl ousted, Seacrest had instead revealed that Davis -- a 25-year-old Lowell, IN-native who was still sitting with the other female semifinalists at the time -- was the one being eliminated.

However unlike Garrett Haley -- who was also eliminated last Thursday night's Idol 7 results show broadcast -- Davis didn't blame her ouster on song choice (or lackthereof).

"I do not regret my song choice.  It's really a technical issue on just my part, of why it was a bad performance," she explained.  "There was nothing I could do about that, I did the best I could, and it was just a fact of me not being able to hear myself.  It's not an American Idol issue or a sound issue on their part, it's the way my brain works, I've been using in-ear monitors for the last two years, consistently.  And so the way my brain works is very mechanical, it's not very creative and go with the flow like a lot of musicians work.  And my brain is just trained to use the in-ear monitors that just blares my vocal in my ear, so I can stay on pitch."

Davis said she was aware she's be out of her comfort zone as an Idol contestant and was simply unable to adjust, causing her performance to be largely panned by the judges.

"I tried to retrain my ears to use the floor monitors and I know that's very technical, but that's the way I am, a very technical person, and I just could not retrain my ears quick enough to stay on key," she said.  "So it was my 'bad skills' that I couldn't improve quickly enough."

In addition, Davis said there's "a lot of pressure" in performing on the Idol stage, which created "a lot of anxiety and nervousness."

"I can't tell you how much it takes out of you, on every level... physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually," said Davis.  "I mean every level you're working so hard and getting so much for just a great amount of the time, with very little down time to recoup.  So it does take a lot of you, but American Idol is so huge, it's the biggest platform for a musician or a performer that you've got to give every ounce of energy you've got, to get something in return.  So it's a wonderful opportunity, but yes, it absolutely takes a toll on you."

The graduate student/trade-show model is no stranger to the stage, singing since she was 5-years-old and also having previously performed with numerous groups -- including Echoes of Pompeii, a Pink Floyd tribute band.   She's also performed with Survivor and personally knows bassist Billy Ozzello and keyboard/guitarist Chris Grove.

"They actually live right near me, they're 10 minutes from where I live," she explained.  "Since they still tour a lot on the weekends -- they're working musicians -- they wanted to keep weeknight gigs going, so they said, 'Let's just do a little trio and find a female vocalist.'  I'm in a loop of musicians back home, so they called me and it was wonderful."

Davis auditioned for Idol 7 in Dallas before enduring her most embarrassing moment of the competition when she forgot her lyrics during the subsequent Hollywood Round.

"I horribly messed up," she admitted.  "So it was very embarrassing to stand in front of not only the three judges, but all the other amazingly talented Hollywood Week contenders.  [It was] very, very embarrassing.  So that was not a good day for me."

Despite the initial embarrassment, the flub also yielded Davis' most memorable moment of the competition.

"The most magical feeling for me was the following day when we all got a second chance and when they let me come through it was just wonderful for me.  So that was a great day," she said.  "I think what helped me get through that or through to the next audition was just having a drive, 'You know what, you're here, you have to give it everything you've got.' So I just had a certain amount of drive that kept me going on.  And I'm glad I did, because I made it to the Top 24, even though I had a rough beginning of Hollywood Week and it was a wonderful experience."

In addition to finding personal perseverance, Davis also learned some of the inner workings of television production, which she was apparently very impressed by.

"I learned how a huge television show is put together, got to see all the behind the scenes of the people that do the work, the stage guys, the sounds guys, publicity, legal all of that," she said. 

"I got a really good introduction and crash course into what it takes to put on a huge TV show.  And there are some many people involved and it's magical seeing all of these people, such a huge team of people working together, as a team, to make it happen.  And I just have so much respect for them.  It was just a really cool thing.  Sort of like when you were a kid watching Mr. Rogers and he'd go into a manufacturing plant to show you the behind the scenes of how something was made.  That's kind of how I felt watching all the people create American Idol."


(Photo credit Fox)


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