Carly Smithson – Exit Interviews

Carly Smithson


  • What was she thinking when she was in the Bottom 2? “I think at this stage, we’re in the top six, and I feel that everybody was kind of thinking they were going home. Not one person feels safe anymore. We’re all just so grateful for the experience. I feel like “American Idol” has given me such a gift, such a platform to be able to launch myself off of. … I’m actually not that sad to be leaving. I enjoyed every minute thoroughly, but we’re back in two weeks to start preparing for the tour and the finale, so it’s like a small break and I’m gonna be back. I think anywhere after top 10 is just a bonus. I think I made enough of an impact to be able to reach a good fanbase. Now I just get to be me without a theme night and make a really cool record, so I’m excited.”
  • Was she upset to be eliminated after a good performance? “loved every minute of [singing “Superstar”], I really did. I had fun. I think maybe it was too late. I realize not to take everything so seriously. Early on in the show, they had set the standard so high for me, and they were a lot harder on me than other contestants. And I think it kind of got to me for maybe a few weeks. By the time I met Mariah Carey, I had kind of changed my mind. She was just so cool and so normal and so nice. Obviously, we come into this and they want us to be a star, but I come from a bar, and I have no idea what a star really is supposed to act like. … When we met her, I was just like, ‘You know, I can just be normal, and that’s cool.'”
  • Is American Idol a popularity contest? “I agree a little bit. I think that I kinda started out on the show with some bad press. I don’t think it really helped me that much. [Laughs.] Early on, people accumulate their fanbase. Every week, I gave as good as I could. I enjoyed every moment on the show. Everything was just so amazing, the response that I had, [but] women vote for this show, and they vote for the boys. The boys are adorable, and I definitely feel that the girls had more of a struggle this year with trying to get the popularity vote. I think the boys are definitely charming the females a lot. And they’re very talented too ‘  everyone’s very talented ‘  but I think it was definitely a bit of a struggle for the ladies.”

More After the Jump…

Sources: Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, MTV, EOnline

  • Was she surprised to go home before some others? “You know, I’ve been asked this question all morning. And I know what you’re talking about, and I’m sure she knows what [you’re] talking about. But I kind of sat down with everybody before I left, and I’m not surprised. Some people have bigger fanbases than I had, and that’s okay. My fans were very good to me, and they kept me in as long as they did. And I truly believe when you have a good night, it is maybe the kiss of death, because your fans don’t power-vote for you like if you had a bad night. And that’s just the way it goes. And I have no hard feelings. I love everyone on the show, and I wish them all the best. [Brooke] had a blunder, but I truly believe after the blunder, she gave a knockout performance. Cut the blunder out, and go from where she restarted her song, and I think it was great.”
  • Is American Idol her second chance? “I’m not sure that I even had a first chance. I did get signed before, but it just never really happened. [My album] went to stores, but it was never promoted. It just kind of crashed beneath my feet. The record label imploded. … I understand [“Idol”] was a second experience, but it feels like it was my first chance. I like to see it in a fresh mind. I like to not dwell on things that had happened before and just like to see this as the first real experience that I really had. I learned so much more with this and had so much more of a positive experience than I had ever had in the past.”
  • Who is her favorite in the competition? ” My favorite went a long time ago. My favorite was Amanda Overmyer. I thought she was fantastic. Obviously, I love the rest of the people, and I could never pick a favorite.”
  • About performing Andrew Lloyd Webber, “They’ve been wanting to do Andrew Lloyd Webber for a couple of years, and it finally happened this year. He is so incredible. I’m not sure Broadway was really anything challenging to any of us. You look at Mariah Carey ‘  that was a hard week for everyone. But looking through Andrew Lloyd Webber’s songs, there was something for every person in the top six.”
  • About forgetting her lyrics, “That song was last-minute. When I sang for Andrew Lloyd Webber, I’d learned the other song, All I Ask of You, and there’s a lot of words in Superstar. I fumbled on a few of the lyrics. I was so irritated with myself when I got off the stage, but last night I got them all right.”
  • About the judges being hard on her, “It’s nerve-racking; I’ve already been disqualified, and I had such a great audition in Las Vegas. And then I come back, and I just felt like I had to beat myself almost. You guys haven’t seen the footage of the Las Vegas audition, but I asked to see it because I felt so confused (by Simon Cowell saying), “That wasn’t as good as two years ago.” I watched it back, and it was exactly the same. I was trying to beat myself every week to be better and better and better. I felt I did a great job; I was satisfied with myself and my performances. Simon had a different idea in his mind. I’m not sure he really wanted me to be who I am. I don’t think they liked the whole pop/rock, Heart idea that I have about myself. All of his criticism wasn’t necessarily negative, I think he just really wanted me to do well.”
  • About Simon Cowell in particular, “Everyone kept saying, ”Don’t try to impress Simon, ” and it was like, well, everyone’s clearly listening to what he’s saying, because every time that I’m in the bottom section, it’s because he was unpleased with anything that I did. But he set the bar very high for me early on. A lot higher than he did for any of the other contestants. Whether somebody else forgot their lyrics or whatever, I could go out and do something great and he still wasn’t going to like it. I felt satisfied with everything that I did. Words cannot describe what goes through the mind of Simon Cowell. You just don’t know what he’s going to say. So I went out there, gave it everything I had, enjoyed every moment of it. I have no regrets, and all I can do is move forward now. There’s no theme nights anymore, so I can be myself and make my record and be creative and not sing cover songs. American Idol is this huge pedestal, and they know their stuff, the people on that show. They’re amazing. They really are. They’ve helped me so much. And I owe them. I don’t think ”thank you” is enough.”
  • How she felt about Simon criticizing her look, “I understand what he meant by he wanted me to be a star. I think that I kind of upped my look a little bit [since]. I think I looked all right that night; I didn’t think I looked bad. But I understood what he meant by, Put on the glitz a little bit and look like a star. But I came from a bar. I don’t necessarily know what a star is supposed to be, how they’re supposed to act or whatever. You know, that’s just part of learning. And I think I learned a lot on the show, and I’m very, very grateful to the show.
  • What Neil Diamond song was she going to sing next week? “I was planning to sing “Sweet Caroline.” I wanted to do a ballad-ish [version], because I did such an uptempo song this week. I was gonna do it with a cello and a piano and make it like a slower, big, big, big song, because it’s such a recognizable song.”
  • Is Broadway in her future? “Maybe.”
About mj santilli 34550 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!