"I knew like on Tuesday... I'm hoarse right now, I was hoarse on Tuesday," said Jones during a conference call with reporters on Thursday. "I tried to sing past my hoarseness and give it my all because of course, on American Idol you can't say, 'My voice is jacked up, so I can't sing this week.' You can't say that. You have to just do what you gotta do."
The 27-year-old single mother from Fort Meade, MD was able to push her vocals through the first song she sang on Tuesday night's performance episode -- the Bee Gees' "Staying Alive" -- but she was unable to do the same during her second song of the night, "Run to Me." At the end of her performance, Jones' voice cracked.
"I kind of gave-up because I was as hoarse as I am now. And you can only sing so much until your voice is like, 'Okay. Enough,'" said Jones, speaking almost in whispers to reporters. "We do dress rehearsals before the actual show, so I had sung that song -- all the songs -- at least four times that day. So it took a strain on my voice. It really did."
As if being concerned about her vocals wasn't enough, Jones also had a waldrobe malfunction on Tuesday prior to the performance episode, as the blouse she had been planning on wearing was ruined in dry-cleaning.
"Oh God... it just messed me all up because in my mind, when you go on stage, you become this character. I kind of needed that extra oomph [from the outfit] to make me feel extra sassy," she said with a laugh.
Jones cruised through her New York City audition, Hollywood Week, the semifinals, and all the way into the Top 6. However thigns became a little tricky during the Top 6 performance episode last week when she sang Bon Jovi's "This Ain't a Love Story." While the comments from Idol's three judges were mostly positive ones, it was still clear that 1980s rock was not her genre of music. Then during this week's Top 4 performance episode, she had to master songs by the Bee Gees, which is an all-male singing group.
Jones commented she "wouldn't have sung" either "Run to Me" or "Staying Alive" if she could do it all over again.
"It actually was just the style of music was out of my comfort zone. It was a very difficult genre of music for me to sing. So I had some times with it, especially the Bee Gees songs. And I knew last night that those weren't the best songs, but I did the best with what I was given. I went out there every week and gave it my all," she said. "Everybody looks forward to me doing the big song, and when you're given those types of genres of music, it doesn't necesarily have those types of songs in country or rock. I'm a ballad singer... I love ballads. I like to be me."
While she might have seen her elimination coming, Jones was still emotional when Idol host Ryan Seacrest officially told her she was not moving onto the Top 3. But Jones' 4-year-old daughter assured her she had nothing to be ashamed of.
"I was crying last night, and she wiped my face and said, 'Mommy I'm not mad.' I just thought that was really cute," said Jones. "It was almost as though she was telling me, 'You know what? I'm proud of you.'"
Check back with Reality TV World on Friday for more about Lones' exit interview, including what it was like kissing Idol judge Simon Cowell; what she thinks of each of the three remaining sixth-season finalists; and how she's looking forward to being reunited with another of the former finalists.