"My goal was just to get by week-by-week, because I didn't want to think that I was going to be the person that's going to be second place," Malubay explained. "If you think of it that way, your experience is totally erased -- like every little second of it could be erased -- and I didn't want that to happen."
The optimist in Malubay then appeared, as she looked at the bright side of making it as far in the competition as she did.
"My goal was to go as far as I could, and I made it onto the tour," she said. "So I'm really excited for that."
Check back with Reality TV World on Friday for more from Malubay's exit interview, including why her lack of knowledge on Parton's songbook could have cost her; if she felt her lack of experience when compared with some of the other finalists hurt her; who surprisingly offered her a shoulder to cry on after her ouster; her friendship with semifinalist Danny Noriega; and what her future holds.