Lacey Brown had sensed she would be ousted from 'American Idol'
By Christopher Rocchio, 03/18/2010
While she can't explain it, Lacey Brown said she had a "really strange" feeling that she was going to be booted from last night's live American Idol results show.
"I woke up yesterday morning and had the strangest feeling that I was going home," Brown told reporters during a Thursday conference call.
"I hadn't been tipped off by anything, hadn't read anything. But I talked to a few of the other contestants and just said, 'Look, I'm going home.' They were like, 'No Lacey, you're crazy. Out of everybody here why would you go home?' They were really supportive and sweet. But something about it was off."
The 24-year-old event coordinator from Amarillo, TX was right, as she became the first finalist ousted from American Idol's ninth-season finals after she received the fewest home viewer votes following Tuesday night's live performance episode broadcast that saw the Top 12 finalists perform Rolling Stones songs.
Brown said her elimination wasn't any more surprising than that of other contestants who have been booted this season.
"It's been a shocker every week who goes home sometimes and who stays sometimes instead of another person. That's just the nature of the show," she explained.
"It wasn't a shocker, but it also came as a realization -- the reality of the fact was just a little overwhelming."
While Brown said she felt she would be eliminated, she added that not all contestants feel the same way.
"When [Season 7 finalist] Michael Johns went home it was a huge shock to him and a huge to everyone else because he went home early. I think it's an individual feeling, and I can't even describe that feeling. It wasn't a downer moment for me. I wasn't upset," she explained.
"It was just a feeling I had. I wish I would have been wrong about that feeling obviously, but nonetheless I had it and I don't think everyone does."
Brown had performed "Ruby Tuesday" to lackluster reviews from the judges during Tuesday night's live broadcast. Still, Brown said she the week's Rolling Stones theme had resulted in a "very limited list" and she "loved that song" because she "connected with" it.
"Even after the 50/50 remarks I was getting on how they weren't really sure what they liked about, I loved doing it. I loved the arrangement. A lot of my fans were really digging it too. It's just a great song," she said.
"So that was just a song that I picked because I love it."
When asked about what she felt led to her downfall, Brown singled out her lack of energy.
"I think [the judges] kept asking for energy in my songs and I kept trying to give and they kept saying it was a sleepy performance and they wanted to see more energy. I'm a happy and I'm a bubbly personality, and they just wanted to see that transfer to my music," she said.
"The big problem I was having was I really love to sing ballads. I love telling a story with a song. I love the emotion of a song. So that side of me comes out when I sing... Maybe it didn't transfer well on stage."
Even though it led to her elimination, Brown said she "wouldn't have changed any of it."
"That's who I am -- even though I'm a bubbly, happy person not every song that I sing is going to be up tempo," she added.
In addition, Brown said it was "difficult" to display herself as an artist on a consistent basis due to the some of the conflicting criticism she had received from the judges.
"It has been a little confusing, therefore I would change things week to week -- which could leave the audience questioning who I am. I would say I'm a very different artist with a very different voice that's not suited for a lot of genres," she explained.
"But I really see myself doing more of a pop-folk mix of an album. I definitely can see myself making an album soon, I would love to do that if I got a chance to. I just want to give people a chance to hear something fresh and new and different. There's not a lot of voices of mine right now on the radio."
Brown initially tried out for American Idol's eighth-season and was on the cusp of making the its Top 36 semifinals only to be sent packing as the last hopeful eliminated during Hollywood Week's Top 50 cuts. She said it "wasn't a hard decision at all" to come back and audition for the ninth season.
"I'm one of those people that gets very competitive. I decided it's way to fun of an experience to try not again, to try and get further," she said.
"If I would have made it into that next round last year, I wouldn't have been able to come back this year. So I'm really glad that I got a second chance. I'm really glad that I decided to come back."
Before she came back, Brown said she "needed to work on a couple things," which she did.
"There was a couple technical issues with my voice because it's a little bit different and there's not a lot of people that sound like me. I needed to go home and figure out what kind of songs work for my voice," she said.
"I went home immediately afterwards and worked as learning as many songs that were great for my voice as possible and singing them wherever I could."
Brown was unable to answer whether it was harder being booted at the end of Hollywood Week or the beginning of the finals.
"It was hard both times because I wanted to get further last year and I wanted to get further this year," she said. "They were equally hard."
In addition, Brown said she's pleased with her twelfth-place finish.
"That is not a bad place to be. Was [my elimination] hard? Yeah, it was emotional. but I'm happy with my spot. I'm very proud to be where I'm at. I wish I could have gotten a little bit further," she said.
"Even though I got voted off, this is not the end all for me. This is a great opportunity to jumpstart my career."
Although some of last week's ousted Top 20 semifinalists suggested all the contestants had been expecting other singers to have been eliminated last week, Brown said she doesn't feel the finalists have divided into factions.
"There's two different approaches you can take to being voted off. You can be happy with the situation and make the most of it, which is the route I'm trying to take. I haven't put my focus on anything negative going on," she explained.
"This is a reality show and someone has to go home every week. The fan base is very, very important and I think it has been a shocker sometimes. But that's just the nature of the beast that is American Idol. Someone's got to go home every week, and if it's you than it's you."
Brown also declined to throw her support behind any specific finalists left in the competition.
"I'm a little bit too close to home to really answer that. Every one of the contestants that remains is unique and is an artist in their own right," she said.
"I can see any of them rising up to the occasion and winning. It's up for grabs, and somebody's got to win it."
Brown thanked her fans and said she hopes she can deliver even though her American Idol journey is over.
"Thanks to my fans. They've been amazing and so supportive and kept me smiling all through the competition. They've been so sweet," she said.
"I'm really, really looking forward to what comes up in the future. I'm not throwing any ideas out the window. I'm just excited about the future and very appreciative."