"I was disappointed because I had imagine myself going farther than that, and it was a little bit surprising to myself. Not surprising because I kinda had a feeling that I would be in the bottom, but I never imagined myself going home that early," the 21-year-old from Memphis,TN told reporters during a media conference call on Thursday. "I figured I'd stay in the game a little bit longer, so I was disappointed a little bit.
Grace later went into additional detail about why she had a "feeling" that she will be in the bottom three.
"I knew before we even got there, I knew the night of the show that I would be in the bottom three. I could feel it," she told reporters. "I had a feeling from what the judges said and just the way the night went, I had a feeling."
After being revealed as the lowest vote-getter following her performance of Dolly Parton's "Jolene" on Tuesday night's performance show, Grace had the opportunity to demonstrate she deserved a second chance in the competition due to the new "The Judges' Save" rule which gives Idol's judges the option to save contestant from elimination.
However, following a second performance of "Jolene" that Grace admitted had its flaws due to her nerves, the judges revealed that they had decided not to save her. Looking back on the experience, Grace said that she felt the addition of "The Judges' Save" was a "good idea," but felt that being given an option of singing another song aside from "Jolene" would "probably" have helped her situation.
"I'm gonna be honest, I think it could have [helped me]. I think if I sang the first song that I sang, [Aretha Franklin's 'I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)'], that maybe I would still be there," she told reporters. "I think that 'Jolene' is a beautiful song and I love to sing it, I just don't think it was their favorite performance. So, you know, I kinda didn't really get to really show them and remind them again why they picked me, and why America picked me.
In addition to being surprised by her elimination, Grace also told reporters that it was "totally" bittersweet that, as a southern girl hailing from Tennessee, she was booted off during Country Week of all weeks.
"I feel kinda like I let my state down, you know? I'm from the South, we're supposed to do country well and I actually think I sing country pretty good!" she told reporters. "So it was a disappointment, I kinda let 'em down a little bit."
Grace also said that, as the eleventh-place finisher, she would miss not having the opportunity to go on this summer's Idol tour with the season's Top 10 finalists.
"I'm really disappointed about that. I would've loved to go on tour, especially with all those guys. I'm really close with them and I know that they're gonna do really well," she told reporters. "It would've been fun to do some duets with some other people too. But there'll be other tours."