Jasmine Murray said the opportunity to perform for millions of people is the silver lining in her elimination from American Idol's eighth season.

"The most rewarding thing for me has just been being able to perform.  That's the most important thing anyway," she told reporters during a Thursday conference call. 

"That's what this competition is all about is singing and getting up there and showing everyone what you can do.  That has been so rewarding to me, because I felt like I've been able to really do that and I'm so happy that I have."

Murray and Jorge Nunez were revealed to be the first two finalists ousted from Idol's eighth season during last Wednesday night's live results show based on the nearly 33 million home viewer votes that were cast following Tuesday night's performance episode that saw the Top 13 finalists perform songs from Michael Jackson's catalog.

The 17-year-old Mississippian sang "I'll Be There" on Tuesday night, and the performance was characterized as "a little bit robotic at times" by Simon Cowell

However Murray told reporters she "didn't feel" like she had a problem connecting with viewers.

"Everyone has their opinions and I really value that, but no, I just really tried to give it my all every time I got up on stage with anything I did with this," she said.  "I had a great time.  I truly enjoyed singing up there and being with such wonderful people and doing everything I got to do."

Murray added she thought "I'll Be There" was a "good song choice."

"It's a beautiful song and The Jackson 5, they were really young when they did it, so I thought it would be a good idea for me to also do something that they did when they were young," she explained.  "It's just a beautiful song with a great message and I really liked it."

In addition, Murray said she understood the importance of song selection heading into Idol's eighth-season finals -- especially considering she was one of four semifinalists the judges had selected as one of their picks during the special "Wild Card Round."

"I think that with whatever song the contestant is choosing, you have to make it your own and that's what it's all about," she said.  "You really want to put your personality in it.  You really want to show off what you can do and I think that's really important."

Since she's still only 17-years-old, Murray said she has some schooling to finish before she embarks on a career in music.

"I have to finish high school, because I'm a junior in high school, so I have to finish that.  I'm going to definitely go to college and just pursue music," she said.  "I really want to have a career in music and maybe other things, but this is really where my heart is."
About The Author: Christopher Rocchio
Christopher Rocchio is an entertainment reporter for Reality TV World and has covered the reality TV genre for several years.