The "American Idol" judges hailed Lil Rounds as the second coming of Mary J. Blige throughout the early weeks of season eight, setting her up to be the show's next great diva, in the vein of Fantasia Barrino and Jennifer Hudson. But a funny thing happened on her way to the "Idol" finals — the judges jumped ship.
The mother of three didn't live up to their hype, and she was blasted yet again for her performance of Chaka Khan's "I'm Every Woman" and booted from the competition on Wednesday, along with Anoop Desai.
We caught up with the Memphis native to see what she thought of the judges' harsh words, why she felt the need to speak up on the show and more.
Q: The judges started out on your side and then turned on you a bit. What do you think brought that on?
A: I just feel like the judges gave their critiques based on how they felt the performance may have went. ... Whenever they gave me their comments, I always took them in stride, because I felt they were giving me constructive criticism to improve me. There were times I felt like they'd kind of go back and forth a bit, but it was OK because in the end, I wanted to take everything they gave me and push forward with it.
Q: What made you speak up last week after the judges' critiques?
A: I just felt like the judges, when they would give me their comments, it seemed like it started going back and forth. One week they would tell me one thing, and then the next week, the same thing they told me the week before, they'd flip it and tell me to do the opposite of that. I was kind of like, "I don't know which way to go!" I had to make it clear — not just to go toe to toe with Simon — but I just wanted America to really know that I really am an artist. If in any way I gave the vibe that I didn't know who I was or what I was trying to do as an artist, I was trying to let everybody know that I'm definitely an artist. ... I just had to tell them! [Laughs.]
Q: Do you think your comments affected the voting?
A: I'm not exactly sure, because America has been keeping me in for a while now, so I'm not sure if that made an impact on me staying another week or not, but I will say that I felt that America got the message that I wanted them to get. The judges are great, but I really came on this show for America.
Q: Did you have an idea that you'd be going home this week?
A: I actually kind of had a good feeling that it might have been time for me to get ready to go. I kind of started coping with the idea that I might be leaving before the show.
Q: Did you and Allison feel an extra push because you were the only two remaining women in the competition?
A: Me and Allison, we're two really strong girl singers, and I just knew that, regardless of whether we went out there and sung until our teeth fell out [laughs] or just gave it our all, I feel like America would see that we had great voices and they would vote. Being the last two women, we felt like we had to push it a little bit more. We did our thing.
Q: What made you choose "I'm Every Woman" for disco night?
A: I can remember when I was a little girl hearing that song, and I always wanted to sing it because I thought it was a women's anthem. So when I saw that I could sing that, I just went for it.
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