Elise Testone might have wanted it all, but in Thursday night’s “American Idol” elimination round, she was cut from the running after taking on this week’s challenge of singing a Queen anthem as well as a song choice of her own.
With the finale less than a month away, it has been embedded in the contestants’ heads that it’s do or die when it comes to picking the right songs at this stage in the game. And while Testone’s rendition of Queen’s “I Want It All” on Wednesday night seemed to finally land her right back in her element, it was her personal pick of the less-familiar “Bold as Love” by Jimi Hendrix that might have caused her fall. Regardless, she stands by her decision wholeheartedly.
“I really don’t have any regrets about that,” the 28-year-old explained. “I feel like I sung it the best, maybe one of the bests I’ve ever sung it, because I sung it a lot of times with my band, and people are always requesting it, and I feel like it’s a popular song. John Mayer just re-released it, and he is of our generation, so it’s one of the most epic songs ever written.
“There is definitely a lot of give and take in the music environment,” she added. “You have to please people, but you also need to be yourself. So it’s always about finding a balance, and as we got closer to the show, I really just wanted to be myself and sing from my heart because if I try to please people then it might come across a little bit — I want to say fake, but not completely fake, but just you wouldn’t feel that conviction as much if I did that all the time. So, yesterday, I just chose songs that I love, and I did the best I could. So, I feel successful in those performances and with whatever is going to happen now.”
The South Carolina native has had a history — or should we say “a vacation home” — in the bottom three for weeks now, with Jimmy Iovine even declaring she was the underdog of the competition. Elise admitted she didn’t take the comment too lightly at first, but she eventually learned to accept the criticism as part of the learning process.
“At first, it was kind of hard to hear those things just because I have worked so hard, I have a degree in music, and I’ve been in like six different bands,” the rocker confessed. “I’ve done so much with music, so sometimes it was hard for me to take that criticism, but finally I realized that’s why I’m here. I signed up for this, and I can take the criticism. Move on.”
And moving on she is. Now that the show must go on without her, Elise is already thinking about recording her debut album. So has she had any communication with Stevie Nicks since the legendary vocalist claimed she would hire Testone in an instant if she ever needed a singer?
“No, no, but hopefully there will be,” Testone said with a smile. “Brian May, I talked to him a lot off-camera from Queen. Super cool. I mentioned two or three times I would love for him to play on my album, and he’s like, ’Call me up. Let’s do it.’ So, I’m definitely going to get that phone number.”
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