Usually American Idol exit interviews are very similar: Masking their obvious disappointment, the booted contestants spin elaborate fantasies about major label albums, Broadway shows, acting opportunities and a future of glitz and stardom, usually ending with "This isn't the end, it's the beginning." Thursday's (March 20) call with Amanda Overmyer was different.
"If nothing comes up out here, as far as for me to pursue with music, I'll probably give it, I'll venture to say maybe a good six months and then if nothing happens I'm going to go back and continue on the career path that I started," Overmyer explains, thinking forward.
It isn't that Overmyer didn't appreciate her Idol experience and that she doesn't love making music and performing for crowds, but back in Indiana she has a fiance and a house that she owns. She has a career in nursing.
"I'm a very ambitious and driven person by nature and I'm going to take calculated risks to achieve success, but everyone's definition of success varies from person-to-person," she says. "Success to me is a strong healthy family and success in whatever job that you do and I wouldn't have it in me, if this is just 15 minutes of fame, I'm not going to chase it my whole life trying to get it back. I'll take it for what it is and move on. Hopefully it's not. Hopefully I can make a career out of this, but it's not going to be that unicorn I keep chasing."
Forgive me for feeling that that may be the healthiest attitude I've ever heard expressed by a booted American Idol contestant.
"Yesterday wasn't the most traumatic thing that's happened in my life," Overmyer says. "I just got voted off a TV show and I was thankful to be there and privileged to have that many millions of Americans vote for me just to keep me to 11 and with someone like me...I'm cut out of a different mold."
Idol eliminated contestant conference calls also are a good chance for the bootees to try to justify why they're gone. David Hernandez last week blamed song selection. The week before that Asia'H Epperson said she was done in by going first. Overmyer would have none of that.
"I don't think that song choice had anything to do with it because if it wasn't that song, it was gonna be another song that sounded like me singing it and you'll never hear me pissing and whining that I was first or anything like that," she says. "I definitely had hope for maybe like position six or seven, but that's not how it worked out, so it is what it is."
I'm going to miss Amanda.
Other highlights from her chat with the press:
On missing out on the Idol Tour: It was somewhat a goal. I'm not extremely disappointed that I'm not doing the tour. The ultimate goal is to get my own. I think it being an American Idol Tour and being it is what it is, I think that they have the best group for it. I think I kinda stuck out.
On bonding with her fellow contestants: My personality within itself, I tend to keep pretty sheltered and safe away from anything. I can count on two hands friends and family that truly matter and other than that I'm kinda stand-offish. In any situation where a group of people go through something like this, there's an element of camaraderie there where everybody's going through the same thing, so they're the only people who understand what everyone's going through, so I had no problem fitting in.
On her reactions to positive or negative comments from the judges: When I was done singing, I was done singing. When those judges would give their comments, I just wanted to be respectful and listen, but the comments weren't going to sway me one way or the other as far as what I was going to do. The objective of being on this show was just to go out there and show America me, perform like me and look like me and see how well it would take. The comments from the judges are based more on the idea of trying to win and I had a different agenda.
>On the most important thing she learned on Idol: I've always been unique and different within the small confines of Indiana, but it was good to know that I was also unique in the nation's eyes, too.