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Ashthon Jones: I'd sensed I would be ousted from 'American Idol'


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/11/2011 

Ashthon Jones said she just had "one of those feelings" and suspected she would be the first finalist eliminated from American Idol's tenth season during Thursday night's live results show.

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"It wasn't a surprise. I had a feeling. It was one of those feelings where there are so many talented people on the show and regardless of whether I had the less votes or the less fans, I was still a part of those people. I was still there and the judges saw something in me that I didn't know I had. So, it didn't crush me at all," Jones told Reality TV World during a media conference call on Friday.

"It doesn't mean that I didn't have fans and I don't have fans, it just means that I had the least votes, and I'm just honored to have been on the show with superstars. I look at them as stars and they said the same thing to me last night -- that they feel I am too -- and it touched my heart. So, all of the fans that I have, my little fan base, their going to stick by my side through thick and thin and that's all that matters."

"It's not about having the most fans. It's not about the competition -- competing and trying to be better than someone -- it's about finding your lane and learning who you are and I believe that the competition, it really showed who I was. It helped me to find the person that I am and what lane I can go in right now as an artist and a songwriter," she added.

Jones -- a 24-year-old from Valdosta, GA whom the judges had selected as a "Wild Card" finalist during last week's semifinal round -- became the first finalist sent home from American Idol's tenth season after she received the fewest home viewer votes following Wednesday night's performance show and judges Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson opted not to use "The Judges' Save" to prevent her ouster.

While she still "sang for her life" and attempted to impress the judges once American Idol host Ryan Seacrest revealed she was the week's bottom vote-getter, Jones acknowledged she'd also felt it was unlikely Lopez, Tyler and Jackson would decide to use "The Judges' Save" -- which they can only use once during the entire finals -- to save her given this week was only the season's first finals round.

"I kind of, I felt it. Like I said, I felt it in my spirit that it was time to go. I did. I really did. That's why I went to the hair and makeup ladies and I said, 'You know what? I want a mohawk today!' I'm usually in dresses with my hair poofed out," Jones told Reality TV World.

"I said, 'You know what? Pin my hair up. I'm going to have a good time. Whatever happens, if I get kicked off, I'm going to go out with a bang. I'm going to go out here and do the group number, have a great time, and watch the concert.' And that's what I did, and I had a wonderful, wonderful time."

Although she was ousted from the competition following her performance of Diana Ross' "When You Tell Me That You Love Me," Jones said she still has no regrets about her song choice.

"Actually, as I look back now, at first I was like, 'Ahh, I shouldn't have chosen this song.' But as I look back at it now, you start to think, 'I chose this song for a reason.' I listened to all of the Diana Ross songs and that one, for some reason, spoke to me. It administered to me in a way that I related it to my life and my experiences and my faith and the love that I have around me -- all of my friends and my family -- and as I was singing that song, the lyrics are what spoke to me," Jones told reporters.

"You know how you listen to a Mariah Carey song, like the 'Hero' song? It was the same feeling when I heard that song. "Every time you touch me, I become a hero." It's just amazing -- those lyrics -- so I didn't understand why that song wasn't a big hit because it touched me, and for Jimmy Iovine and Rodney Jerkins to turn it into such a current R&B song, I just thought it was amazing."

"So, I couldn't wait to get on the stage and America didn't really feel it like I did, but hopefully now that it's on iTunes and listeners are able to download it, it'll begin to touch them like it touched me. And I believe that," she added.

In addition, Jones said she doesn't feel a stigma about being the first finalist eliminated.

"It's not always a bad thing to be the first person. It could be a good thing, because everything that I went through on the show, now I'm going to take it and put it towards my career. I don't think anything's going to stop me and I feel like it was all in God's timing and to get something better for me. Not saying American Idol was not, but something great is what I feel in my spirit right now and I can't wait to see what's going to happen," Jones told reporters.

"When I got on the show, I always had to remind myself, 'Some of the greatest that didn't even win are doing well and are very comfortable in their careers and are millionaires doing great, awesome.' And I constantly had to remind myself that, and I still believe that, and that's also what kept me sane and kept me driven right now as I'm not on the show anymore, but I'm still driven because I know that."

"I have a wonderful feeling about there's something -- I don't care if it's one thing or 10 things -- there's going to be an opportunity that's going to be there for me that I can do," she added.

While Jones was working as a retail manager in Nashville before she tried out for the show, she said she has no intention to return to her old job now that her American Idol stint has ended and is confident that big things await her.

"I left it there and I left it there to stay. I've worked and worked and worked. I've worked all my life and now it's time for me to be the artist and the performer that God put in me a long time ago. I just got to go on further in my career and hopefully opportunities are there waiting for me, so I'm very excited about what's to come. I have no idea what's going to happen, but I feel it in my career that it's going to be something great," Jones told reporters.

"I'm going to be able to do exactly what my goal was. I want to buy my mom a house. I want my family to never have to worry about anything, and I just want to have an amazing career, because I love to do it. I don't want to go back to working a job that I don't want to work."

"I don't want to struggle anymore. I don't want to feel pain. I just want to show the world who I am and spread the love, spread the faith, and let everybody know, 'Don't stop.' I want people to see me and say, 'Hey, she's my idol, anyway.' That's the biggest thing. It's not about winning. You have to feel like you're already a winner," she added.

In addition, Jones said she is confident she will be able to establish her career as a performer in the next few years.

"I really see myself performing. I see myself going overseas performing. I see myself helping my mom out with her businesses that she wants to do. I see myself continuing to be a songwriter and a motivator as someone that has grown in her faith," Jones told reporters.

(Photo credit Fox)


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