'American Idol' Finalist Jasmine Murray Is Glad Singing Aguilera 'Paid Off'

'I just thought it was a beautiful song and thought it was really age-appropriate for me,' teen says of 'Reflection.'

The "American Idol" judges always liked Jasmine Murray's commercial appeal and sunny personality, but the 17-year-old blew them away with her big voice for the first time during Thursday's wild-card round.

Now she's in the finals, along with Megan Joy Corkrey, Anoop Desai and Matt Giraud, and we caught up with her to talk about her pageant past, why she tackled such a big song and more.

Q: Why did you decide to sing Christina Aguilera's "Reflection" after the judges asked you to choose something poppier and younger, like Rihanna?

A: I just like to explore different types of music. Christina Aguilera is one of my favorite artists, and "Reflection," I just thought it was a beautiful song and thought it was really age-appropriate for me, since I'm 17 and it's from a Disney movie. I just really thought that it would be a good choice to do. I'm glad that it paid off.

Q: What kind of music do you see yourself releasing after the show?

A: I don't know! I like so many different types of music. I would love to try tons of different types of things — pop, rock, country, all of it. Music just in general is beautiful. The different genres are so interesting. ... I'm still young, so I'm still trying to find out what exactly I like, but like I said, I like so many different genres and I want to try so many different things.

Q: Have you had past experience performing onstage?

A: I was Mississippi's Outstanding Teen, and I was involved in pageants for a little while. That kind of got me used to being onstage. I actually got to sing for the Miss America pageant two years ago, so that was amazing. That was one of the great experiences of my life. But being on the "Idol" stage, I think it's a little bit different because you actually have people judging you.

Q: How has your pageant experience prepared you for "American Idol"?

A: Just getting used to being onstage and singing. I'm glad that I have that experience in the past, or else I might be a little more nervous or just not as comfortable. Definitely being on the stage before in pageants, or just performing in talent shows or anything like that, definitely has helped a lot.

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