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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 9

Paige Miles "bummed" she didn't get to sing for 'American Idol' save

By Christopher Rocchio, 03/25/2010 

Paige Miles was unhappy that the judging panel didn't even give her an opportunity to sing for "The Judges' Save" during last night's American Idol broadcast.

"I initially thought the save was something that even if they're not going to use it, you'd get the opportunity to at least sing for it and then they make their decision," she told reporters during a Thursday conference call.

"But for the statement to be made before I opened my mouth, I was pretty bummed."

The 24-year-old pre-school and after-school teacher from Naples, FL who currently resides in Houston, TX became the second finalist ousted from American Idol's ninth-season finals after she received the fewest home viewer votes following Tuesday night's live performance broadcast.

While the performance had been panned by the judging panel -- which is why they didn't let her sing for "The Judges' Save" -- Miles told reporters her elimination was still a bit shocking.

"I knew I had a poor performance Tuesday night, but I really didn't think it was my time to go yet," she said. "I was surprised."

Since she bore the brunt of some criticism from Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi, Randy Jackson and Ellen DeGeneres, Miles was asked if she thinks their comments have been too harsh this season.

"Some of the things they say I agree with and I totally understand where they're coming from. But in some ways the context of it can be a little hurtful," she said.

"Sometimes we think they could rephrase it or just say it in a better way because it does come across as pretty harsh."

In addition, Miles said she understands the judges "have a certain amount of power over the voting public" but knows it also comes down to the performer "delivering a good, solid performance."

"Tuesday night definitely wasn't my best, and they ripped me for it," she told reporters about the judges.

"So it can go both ways, because sometimes, they will back up the person that the judges ripped apart if they feel that that person really delivered, but you never really know how America's gonna vote."

Miles performed Mariah Carey's "Against All Odds" on Tuesday night and said the song selection process is "quite difficult and that "a lot goes into it."

"It has to meet certain criteria and we have to choose -- we can't usually do the same artist," she explained. "It's way more difficult than people realize. It's tough."

Miles added that the judges often "make it sound more easy than it really is."

"I actually wish they knew more about the process that we go through to pick a song." she said.

Miles has also been dealing with laryngitis over the past few weeks and said it was "bad" during last night's results show.

"It wasn't as bad as it is now," said Miles, who had a hoarse voice throughout the call.  "I've been struggling with laryngitis for over three weeks now. I have swollen vocal cords and there's a lot of inflammation, and with the singing and rehearsing as much as we do, I have very little time for it to heal, so it would basically get a little bit better, then I would have to sing again and it would get worse again," she explained.

"So it's tough when you're in a singing competition and you have no voice. That was a bummer, and that affected my song choice at times, because I would kind of stay away from what I would typically do -- like big, belty tunes like [Free's] 'All Right Now,' which I love and I'm super comfortable at, and I would kind of shy away and try to do something smaller in efforts to not over-tax my cords or do something where I could possibly damage them."

When asked how she was even able to perform on Tuesday night, Miles said it took all of her energy.

"I just got it together and let it rip," she said with a laugh.

If song selection, laryngitis and harsh criticisms from the judging panel weren't bad enough, Miles agreed she also faced the additional disadvantage having gotten little screen time during the competition's audition and Hollywood Week broadcasts.

"Early on, a lot of the kids were able to build a fan base, whereas I wasn't able to," she said.

"But still, what you come out there and do on the stage really sets the tone, and if I would have delivered the way I know I could have, maybe I would still be around."

As for what's next, Miles said she's going to "continue moving forward with her signing and whatever else it might bring.

"I would definitely like to continue pursuing music and continue following my dreams and see what happens. Idol is a big learning experience and its a major platform, and I'd just like to continue growing and learning as an artist and see where it takes me," she told reporters.

"I love to perform, and this is obviously something that I want to make a career out of."

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