Cavanagh's voice always had incredible range but it was her lack of emotional connection to songs that was the judges' main concern. While the 18-year-old finally seemed to be coming out of her shell, she backtracked Wednesday night when covering Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me." But Hollie insists her nerves never got in the way.
"I didn't really feel nervous singing that song," Cavanagh told MTV News after the show. "I really did love that song, and I definitely felt it, but I've said this every time. It's one thing for me to feel it, but if nobody else does, then that's not how a song should be performed.
"I definitely understood when Jennifer's like, 'You should have sang that to America,' but I think the way I've always been singing that song was just to a boy perspective. So that was my mindset. I love that song, and I don't regret that song at all, but maybe it just wasn't the right song for this kind of competition."
It's anyone's guess how the Southern belle with a peculiar accent managed to stay in the game for so long, but with only two weeks left until the finale, it's fair to say she put up one heck of a fight. However, she suspected her bullet-dodging streak was over this week, despite judge Randy Jackson's recent claims she was "peaking at the right time."
"I definitely woke up a bit nervous this morning — definitely a different feeling then I usually have every Thursday," the British-born Texan admitted. "But I felt like if I get through, that's great, but if I don't, I can't have any regrets. I can't think, 'Oh, I should have done this, I should have done that' 'cause if I do, I'll just drive myself crazy. So, I'm just thankful I have made it this far.
"I'm going to take the whole 'I'm peaking at the right time' just to keep going. Just because I am out of the competition doesn't mean I'm not going to grow. It doesn't mean that my music career is over. It's just beginning. This is just a door opening, so I'm just really excited to see how much more I grow and what happens in the future."
Moving forward, Holliepops, her nickname on the show, said she would love to make music people can connect to the way she connects with some of her favorite artists. And who might be one of her favorites?
"I love Mariah Carey," the pint-sized blonde said with a smile. "Her lyrics are just so powerful, and those are the songs you go to when you are going through something. I want people to feel that with my music. I just want to make hits. I want people to love my music, and I want people to feel what I feel when I am signing them. So, I'm just excited to just start singing for the love of it."
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