Skylar Laine, the mud-slinging, boot-stomping, gun-shooting country girl, was given the ol’ heave-ho on Thursday night’s “American Idol” after receiving the fewest of nearly 60 million votes.
It was a results night definitely to be reckoned with, considering the show has proven time and time before that country fans are never to be underestimated — think Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and, most recently, Scotty McCreery. In true Southern style, the spit-fire singer went out with guns blazing, leaving the show with a performance of Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead” and just happy to be embraced by people from her neck of the woods.
“I’m so happy that the South was rooting for me,” Laine explained. “Country fans were rooting for me. That’s all I want. All I want is a country career. Winning would have been great, but I just want to make an album. I want people to buy it. I want to be on the radio.
“Miranda Lambert, my idol, didn’t win ’Nashville Star.’ She got third, and look at her now — winning everything, pretty much. I’m just so happy to be here. So humble and just so thankful for everything.”
With contestants asked to sing a song from the ’60s as well as a British pop song the night before, Laine seemed to take each challenge head on, with all three judges praising both performances, and even Jimmy Iovine calling her a “fighter” with “great energy.” However, the 18-year-old said goodbye to America after being joined in the bottom two with fellow Southern belle and roommate bestie Hollie Cavanagh. There are no hard feelings, though, said the Mississippi native.
“I love Hollie, and I know Hollie loves me,” she said. “I know she’ll support me in my career, and I’ll support her in hers. I hope that she kills it next week — I hope that they all kill it next week. I’m so happy for them, for them all, and I’m gonna miss her, miss her and Josh a lot.”
With this self-proclaimed singer-songwriter already looking to make a country album, what better way to show her appreciation to her close contenders than by writing a song about their once-in-a-lifetime experience together.
“I think the title for the song that I would write for all of us, all of my fellow contestants, would be ’Strength’ because we have strength through all of this,” she said, after pondering for a moment. “Strength through the hard times, strength through the happy times, and I’m going to have strength through this.”
So, what’s next? Laine will return to her roots for a little while after a whirlwind of press.
“Next for me now is 4 o’clock [a.m.] wake-up call for press tour right now,” she explained with a smile. “So, I’m gonna have to go home and pack really quick. It’s gonna take awhile, but then I just can’t wait to get home.”
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