There have been quite a few so-called "rocker chicks" on "American Idol" in the past (Gina Glocksen and Nikki McKibbin, to name a couple), but none embodied the essence of rock and roll quite like recent castoff Amanda Overmyer.
The 23-year-old nurse from Mulberry, Indiana, seemed to come from a different era — naming Janis Joplin, CCR and Bob Seger as her musical influences — and that classic-rock style didn't quite connect with young "Idol" fans when Overmyer roughed up the Beatles' "Back in the U.S.S.R." on Tuesday night.
We caught up with Amanda to talk about her Vote for the Worst backers, why she didn't get smiley for the judges and how she knew she was going home.
Q: What were you thinking when you found out you were in the bottom three?
A: That more than likely I would be done.
Q: Really? Because most people thought Kristy Lee Cook would be going home.
A: I just know how different I am and know that I target a certain audience, a different audience.
Q: Were you upset about the way things ended?
A: I just got voted off a TV show. I was just happy to be there and felt privileged to have millions of Americans vote for me just to keep me on until [the top] 11. With someone like me who's completely different from — you know I'm cut out of a different mold [from] everyone else in the competition — I found that very, very warming that I had that much support.
Q: Were you surprised to be voted off?
A: Kinda, but not really. I mean, it was 50/50, so I was kind of surprised. I didn't really go in with any preconceived notions about what I would be or what I wouldn't be. It really is such a crapshoot, being a square peg in a round hole.
Q: How do you think your unique style fit with "American Idol"?
A: ["Idol"] benefits anybody with any kind of distinction, because it gives them a platform and exposure. It's the most exposure we could ever get. As far as winning it, you have to look at the demographics of the voters versus the demographics of your particular genre: They might not necessarily correlate.
Q: Did you feel like you fit in with the rest of the contestants?
A: I tend to keep pretty sheltered. ... I can count on two hands the friends and family that truly matter, and other than that, I'm kind of standoffish. But in a situation where people would do something like this, there's an element of camaraderie there. Everyone's going through the same thing, and ... I can understand what everyone's going through. I had no problem fitting in.
Q: Was there any pressure from the "Idol" stylists to change your look?
A: Not at all. I was kind of able to just do my own thing. That made it really nice. That was something I was kind of nervous about — that it would be a fight — but they were really good to me.
Q: Are you familiar with Vote for the Worst?
A: I heard that I was their girl. [Laughs.]
Q: Did you take that personally?
A: No, it didn't personally hurt me at all. Votes are votes, you know? From what I hear, they weren't too harsh on me. [Laughs.] I think a chunk of them liked me for real.
Q: What were your favorite and least favorite performances?
A: The two that I did on the big stage were both equally my favorite, because I was more in my element there with a crowd in front of me and everything. The least favorite would have been all the group numbers we had to do. [Laughs.] But if I had to pick my least favorite one, it would probably be the Kansas one ["Carry on Wayward Son"]. Personally, I liked it ... but that's the one I got slammed on.
Q: Simon told you to smile one week after he had praised your performance. How did you take the judges' comments each week?
A: When I was done singing, I was done singing. When the judges give their comments, I just wanted to be respectful. Their comments weren't going to sway me one way or the other as far as what I'm going to do. The objective of being on the show was to just go out there and show America me — perform like me — and see how well it would take. The comments from the judges were more often than not about trying to win, and I just had a different agenda.
Q: How driven are you to make it in show business?
A: I am a very driven person by nature, and I'm going to take a calculated route to achieve success, but, you know, everyone's definition of success varies from person to person. Success to me is a strong, healthy family and success in whatever job that you do. ... If this is just 15 minutes of fame, I wouldn't spend my whole life chasing to get it back. I'd move on. Hopefully, I make a career out of this, but it's not going to be that unicorn that I keep chasing.
Q: What's next?
A: I have no experience in this industry, and I'm completely as green as they come. So I'm not going to venture to say, "This is what I'm going to do," because I don't know what the best way to go about doing it is, so I got to ask some people, but it will definitely be in another rock genre. I definitely want to get out, tour and do the big biker rallies, but how to get there is what I need to be educated on.
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