Lilly Scott Trades ‘American Idol’ For ‘Indie Cred’

'It was just my time to go out with a bang,' she says.

Lilly Scott’s name was often mentioned in the same breath as Crystal Bowersox’s as this year’s “American Idol” female powerhouses. Looks like Crystal has that title to herself now.

Scott seemingly had a ticket to the top 12 with her well-received take on Patsy Cline’s “I Fall to Pieces” and the coveted final performance slot, but her “Idol” journey came to an end, along with Alex Lambert , Katelyn Epperly and Todrick Hall , during Thursday’s shocking results show .

We caught up with Scott on Friday (March 12) to talk about her surprise elimination, what’s next and much more.

Q: After you were eliminated, you made it clear that you were frustrated. What was going through your mind?

A: Originally, trying out, I really just wanted to kind of break the mold and just kinda be that offbeat contestant that did exactly what I wanted to do. … I definitely have no regrets in that department. But just kind of watching certain people make it into the top 12 that have not done so well over the past three weeks and then based on the judges’ comments on my three songs the past three weeks, I was just kinda frustrated, just kinda feeling like my fanbase wasn’t really there, even though the judges and producers seemed to love me. I was feeling like I had a great run on the show. So I guess my fans weren’t there. So I guess that’s why I said, “I don’t know what America wants to listen to.” But then again, my voting demographic is probably more of the underground scene who probably doesn’t even own a TV, and if they do, they’re probably out riding their bike or doing something more productive than watching TV, let alone “American Idol.” I guess they just weren’t voting and that definitely was my falter.

Q: Do you think singing the 50-year-old song “I Fall to Pieces” had anything to do with your downfall?

A: I picked that song because I love Patsy Cline. It really describes who I want to be as an artist. But, then again, the “American Idol” voting demographic is probably mostly tweens, and I’m sure they don’t know who Patsy Cline is. So that probably affected me. But I’m staying true to my song choices and I’m definitely having no regrets. I just feel like maybe my fanbase and the audience I was playing to, which is the underground market, literally wasn’t watching the show and just supporting me in their hearts and not actually voting, and there’s the whole deal of maybe people just assumed I was safe and chose not to vote. Obviously, I really have no idea what happened, though.

Q: Did you expect to go home this early?

A: I did and I didn’t. In the past years I have watched “American Idol,” and it seems like every year, the person that I fall in love with goes home. And if that’s because I see true artistry in that contestant or I don’t know what it is, but I definitely feel like I got cut early. I knew that I could have done a great job next week with Rolling Stones, and I knew I could of really kicked butt in the top 12, but maybe I was just too off the wall for people or it was just my time to go out with a bang so I can still keep my indie cred [and] kind of do my own thing without having the “American Idol” label over my head.

Q: Do you know how close the vote was on Thursday?

A: No, they really don’t let us know any of that stuff. It’s actually really unfortunate, because I’m one to think, “Screw the establishment!” But I definitely would love to know the statistics. I don’t want to think anything was rigged, but I would also like to know how many votes I really had.

Q: Who would be your dream collaborators?

A: I would love to meet Thom Yorke from Radiohead and people like Björk, just really like the king and queen of the indie world. They’re really who I kinda strive to be like as an artist, and their fanbase is so huge, and they’re so respected as artists. Just every album they put out, I would love to collaborate with someone like them.

Q: Did you ever consider singing songs by those artists instead of older choices?

A: I definitely considered that, but in a way, the producers swayed me against doing songs like that, because they’re almost less well-known than people like Sam Cooke and Patsy Cline. … I mean, they’re 100 percent well-known to me, but I actually did try to do “Nude” by Radiohead — which is their top-charting song, more than “Paranoid Android” or older songs — so that didn’t get cleared. I just figured, I love classic rock, and I’m going to try to make that my niche this season, but unfortunately, indie underground music isn’t really ready for the big breakthrough, and I think that was kind of reaffirmed last night by me getting voted off, that America may still not be ready to have that kind of music in the mainstream.

Q: What do you see yourself doing in the music business now?

A: I definitely feel like I would fit in the big film and festival circuit doing things like Coachella and Bonnaroo and really just doing some mass touring. I know that I can have a whole entire different kind of audience coming out to shows if I did tour. Recording is definitely on my list of things to do. I know there’s a fanbase out there for me that is loving what I’m doing .I just don’t necessarily think that would be the “American Idol” voting demographic, so that’s kinda what I worried about. Day one of being on the show, I thought I could break the mold, but I guess it’s another season of the same old stuff. [Laughs.]

Were you sad to see Lilly go? Will you listen to her post-“Idol” music? Let us know!

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