"Our producer always tells us that you never know what the American public is going to decide, so we're all kind of prepared," she told reporters during a Friday conference call. "I had this peaceful strong feeling that I would be going home and I was okay with it."
The 18-year-old Latin dancer from Las Vegas, NV who currently resides in Orem, UT was eliminated from So You Think You Can Dance's fourth season based on the "more that 11 million" home viewer votes that were cast immediately following Wednesday night's performance episode.
Despite being booted on the cusp of this week's finale, Hightower said she has "no regrets at all."
"I was always myself on the camera and that always mattered to me the most is just being who I am and staying true to who I am," she told reporters.
"I'm feeling great right now. I'm very grateful and so blessed to be even a part of this show and to make it this far was awesome. The biggest thing is I feel like I put everything into each of my performances and I feel like I really did the best that I could, so at that point, it's out of your control what else happens. I can't control the public. So I'm very happy with myself and that's the most I could ask for, so I'm feeling fine right now. I'm feeling great."
A main reason Hightower was in good spirits is because she was able to share her passion with America.
"I'm just so glad that I got to share what I love to do with everyone and that everyone got to see my talent, because that's what I'm here for," she told reporters. "That's what I believe I've been blessed with so I can share that, so I'm just grateful for all of them for watching and appreciating it."
Hightower said one of the things she learned from the competition was it's just as much "mental strength" as it is physical ability.
"Just doing your best at all times -- no matter what kind of shape you're in physically -- and that was the big thing for us because we were always so tired and so worn out," she told reporters. "But it really helped us to really do our best every time in every performance."
"I'm so, so, so excited. The tour is going to be awesome," she said. "We're all really excited for that."
As for what else is next, Hightower said she's ready to take whatever comes her way.
"I really just want to perform, so whatever that takes me to, whatever show. I just want to be on the stage and doing what I love to be doing and taking that road," she said. "I just want to be dancing on the stage. I honestly don't know yet, so we'll just wait and see."
(Photo credit Fox)
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