During her run on "American Idol" — and perhaps even more so during her time off the show — Crystal Bowersox made it a point to march to the beat of a different drummer (or didgeridoo player). From her choices of songs to her epically dreadlocked mane, she worked very hard to be her own person and never really fit within the "Idol" mold.
And yes, she's aware that her uniqueness might have cost her the season-nine crown and that a certain part of the American public might consider her to be a bit, well, odd, but she has no regrets, and she doesn't plan to change anytime soon, no matter what people might think of her. In fact, she'll openly discuss all the things that made her stand out from the "Idol" herd, because they're also the things that make her an individual.
"Oh yeah, like the fact that I have missing teeth and that I don't comb my hair. I mean ... I think that unique people are really what colors the world," she told MTV News. "It's a beautiful thing to be your own individual, and in high school, you get pushed into being the same as everyone, and then, once you're an adult, you look for the differences in people. That's what's interesting about life and humanity."
Though she said she never felt out of place on "Idol," Bowersox also realized that things are different now that she's the newly crowned runner-up. Seems folks are tripping over themselves to try to label her and her music, to package it and market it a certain way. And that — more than anything else — is what gets her ire up.
"It bothers me a little bit, because why pigeonhole anything? I've got songs that are country, I've got blues and rock ... R&B ... there's really nothing that I'm not open to, and I don't really want to be in one genre," she said. "It's really the market that does that. People don't know how to sell your album unless you are in a specific category on the shelf. So, hopefully, that won't happen too much [with me]."
But you get the feeling that, no matter what happens with her post-"Idol" career, Bowersox won't go down without a fight. She may look like a fish out of water, but in reality, she's been prepping for this moment her entire life.
"My whole life has been this crazy. Not, like, this kind of crazy, but just crazy in general. I roll with the punches, I always have," she smiled. "I've never felt stronger in my life. There's nothing I can't handle right now — media coverage, my personal life, all this stuff — I've always been an open book through my music. There's not much that I'm afraid to say. ... There's a lot I have on my mind, a lot of things I want to say, and I'm not afraid to say 'em."
Did Crystal's individuality help or hurt her on "Idol"? Or both? Discuss in the comments.
Get your "Idol" fix on MTV News' "American Idol" page, where you'll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.