'American Idol' Castoff Janelle Arthur 'Knew' Her Time Was Up

'You can always tell when you're going to go,' Arthur tells MTV News after being eliminated on Thursday night.

"American Idol" said farewell to country gal Janelle Arthur on Thursday night, making her the first female singer eliminated from the competition.

It's been a long road for the 23-year-old Tennessean, and though she came up just short in her quest for the title, you couldn't tell backstage. Because just minutes after her "Idol" journey came to a close, she was all smiles ... which is fitting, considering she's let her bubbly personality shine through all season long.

"You know what? I'm feeling okay. I felt so good about my performances last night, so if that's the last performance I do on that stage, I'm happy," she told MTV News. "It was unreal just to amongst these other girls; they're so good, and the fact that I was one of them was really incredible. It made me happy too."

And, to be honest, she sort of knew her time on the show was up; even though she loved her performances, Arthur admitted that choosing Dolly Parton's little-known "Dumb Blonde" probably wasn't the smartest move ("It was the only song I had a cool arrangement for ... in my head at least," she laughed), and minutes before the "Idol" results show began, she gathered her fellow contestants to let them know this was probably going to be the end.

"I knew it. Like they always say, you can tell when you're going to go, and I had my mind set," she said. "I told Candice [Glover] before we walked out there 'Here's the deal, I'm going to be going home, and they're not going to save me, but I love you.' I wanted them [all] to know, because they rushed them out there, and I wasn't going to be able to really tell everybody 'Bye.'"

And, hey, it wasn't all bad for Arthur last night ... after all, she did get a message from Parton — "It was so cool!" she said — and her time on the show has been an experience she'll never forget. But as for what's next? Well, you might have to give her a minute on that one.

"My hope is to keep going and keep moving up; keep writing and making an album," Arthur said. "You know it's crazy; I haven't thought too much about the future, because this was my future; this right here was my future, and I fulfilled a huge part of it, and it's just the beginning."

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