American Idol’s Eliminated: Hollie Cavanagh

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Last night, America’s vote determined who would be journeying to their hometown this week for a “hero’s visit.” Joshua Ledet will be visiting Westlake, Louisiana, Phillip Phillips will be visiting Leesburg, Georgia, and Jessica Sanchez will be visiting San Diego, California. McKinney, Texas native Hollie Cavanagh will be going home, but not for a visit.

Cavanagh’s performances of “Faithfully” by Journey and “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt didn’t conjure up enough votes to keep her in the Top 3. However, she will be joining her Idol friends on tour for the American Idol Live! Tour this summer. Until then, she spoke to the media about her time on Idol.

Jamie Ruby with ScifiVision.com
JR: What kind of album do you see yourself making?
HC: I’d like for my album to be kind of on the pop side but with a little bit of soul.  I’d like to make music that’s, you know, on the top of the charts right now.  So somewhere along those lines.
JR: Can you also kind of talk about the Idol mansion and what it’s like living there?
HC: It’s crazy.  The house is so big and, as it got a few of us left, it just seemed bigger each time.  It was a lot of fun and I was very blessed to have been in such a nice house like that, so it was really fun.

Todd Betzold with realitywanted.com
TB: My first question is just of everything you were able to experience and have those moments throughout this season, which one was your best or most favorite moment?
HC: I think probably when I sang “Rolling in the Deep” and “Son of a Preacher Man.”  I think that was definitely my turning point on the show, but definitely also “The Climb” because that was my first standing ovation on the show.
TB: There are only three singers left, so who do you think is going to take it all this season?
HC: I honestly have no idea.  I’m definitely with America and the judges on this one.  I have no idea because the show can go either way and you honestly just don’t know.  But whoever it is, it’s going to be—I mean, they’re all amazing so it’s definitely going to be a fight to the finish line.

Mike Hughes with TVAmerica.
MH: I’m going to ask you—I like to do it as a little different version of that question.  I don’t want you to pick who’s the best or who’s going to win, but you’ve just got this great perspective.  You’ve seen people closer up better than anyone else.  If you could, please, just each person, just tell us a little bit about what you find interesting about that person either as a person or as a performer.  Just something interesting about them.
HC: Phillip is very unique.  The way he performs you don’t see a lot of people perform like that.  He has his very own style and his voice is amazing.  Josh, I mean, he takes you to a whole other place when he sings.  If you watched the show, he amazes everybody each week.  And, of course, Jessica is only 16 and the way she sings—she sounds like she’s in her 20s.  She’s amazing as well as the other two, so it’s definitely going to be tough.  The finale is going to be a big one.
MH: Just to follow up on that one.  Jessica is the only one in school.  Some of the stories talk about—they say you are now a soccer player in high school, but you graduated this last year, didn’t you?
HC: Yes.  I graduated already.
MH: So as you sit there and watch her, you can kind of enjoy the fact that you’re a grown-up and out of school and so on.
HC: Yes.  It was definitely something I was glad I wasn’t doing.

Matt Carter with Examiner.com.
MC: Well, I know you had a pretty close friendship with Joshua while you were on the show and in the mansion and all that.  So when did you guys first become friends and how much downtime did you guys really have to hang out in the midst of everything that is going on?
HC: We started to get really close in Hollywood week and then kind of after that, we were just attached at the hip from there.  When he would rehearse, I would be in there watching him rehearse and when we could ever go out to dinner, we’d go out to dinner.  Like me, Josh, and Skylar, we’d always be out and any time that we had, we just kind of hung out and relaxed and kept each other sane.
MC: What has it been like for you to have, not just praise from people on the show, but so much praise from people who have been on this show—I mean, Carrie Underwood and Lauren Alaina are two people who have been very much in your corner at times this season.
HC: It’s been amazing just to know that they watch the show.  Especially Carrie when I sang her song.  Obviously, it was amazing to get good feedback from Carrie because it was her song, but it’s just crazy the support that we get and it’s just really a blessing.

Michael Jodha with CTV.ca.
MJ: I just wanted to ask you a little bit about your performances from last night.  When you sang “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” Jimmy had said that you didn’t quite understand the song, but afterwards when Ryan was discussing it with you, you said that it was a song you’ve always liked, especially the lyrics.  My question is do you agree with Jimmy’s comments or do you stick by your performance as being as faithful as how you intended to sing the song?
HC: I definitely stand by that song.  I love that song, and I think the lyrics in that song are so beautiful and I’ve loved that song for so long.  I’m really glad I got to perform it.  As far as what Jimmy said, I definitely felt that song, and I understood the meaning of it, but it didn’t come across the way Jimmy wanted it to and that’s fine.  I re-watched it and I do agree that there could have been some parts that I could have did more with it, I guess, but I think I stand by it.  I just really enjoy performing that song.
MJ: One of the performances I really liked was when you did the duet with Jessica.  I’m just curious—how hard was it to actually sit or sing on the swings during “Eternal Flame.”  Like how hard was it to perform that song?
HC: It was interesting but it was a lot of fun.  We had fun in rehearsals with those swings.  We’d try to swing high and get in trouble because the lights up top, but it was a lot of fun.

Michael Weinfeld with the Associated Press Broadcast.
MW: I understand that you woke up that morning with a gut feeling that you were going to be voted off.  Where did that feeling come from, do you think, and had you ever felt that before in previous weeks?
HC: No.  There was definitely something different about that day.  I’m not sure what it was, but I guess it was just my gut just telling me.  I was just preparing myself for it, but at the same time staying hopeful because you never know what could happen.  But I’m not quite sure what the feeling was, but it was just different than every other Thursday.
MW: And when you make it to the final four, the pressure is just incredible.  Where did you go?  What do you guys do to alleviate the pressure and what do you do for fun?
HC: We just kind of hang out at the house or maybe go get some dinner or something like that.  There is not really much we do.  We don’t really go crazy because we’re so tired most of the time so we just kind of hang out with each other and just take our minds off our songs a little bit and just mess around and play jokes on each other and just have a little fun.
MW: What sort of jokes?
HC: Just like pranks—like Josh would always try to scare me like 24 hours of the day.  Skylar did it and Colton did it.  Joshua was trying to buy a bunny to put in Phillip’s room just for the fun of it.  Just crazy things.

Rodney Ho with the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
RH: You took a lot of criticism from some of the judges and some of your fans got really angry.  Do you think that may have actually helped you, in a sense, that your fans kind of rallied around you whenever you were in the bottom three?
HC: A lot of people say how I feel about how people thought that the judges were really hard on me but I kind of took it in a positive way to keep fighting and I think that’s how my fans saw it as well.  They saw me wanting to keep fighting, so I think they just had my back and got me through each week.
RH: You didn’t get a lot of airtime going through Hollywood, but I guess over time, people picked up on you.  Did it worry you when you watched the show and said, “Oh my, God, where am I?”
HC: At the beginning, I was a bit—my friends were like, “Are you sure you tried out this year.  Are you sure you’re on the show?”  I was like, “Yes, I’m coming on there.  I promise.  I got showed in the Vegas week.  I think it helps me, in a sense, though.”  I was okay with it.  I had like 20 different thoughts going through my mind about why or why it wasn’t shown.  I think it was a good thing.

Tiffany Wan with Wetpaint Entertainment.
TW: My first question for you is a lot of people were kind of calling you the dark horse, and I think Randy even said it, kind of the dark horse of the competition.  How did you feel about that description?
HC: I mean I would take it as a compliment, I guess, you could say.  I never really looked into what everyone was saying.  I really was focusing week by week and making sure that my songs were right and my songs were good enough.  I just went out there and I wanted to improve each week.  I think that people were seeing an improvement in me each week.  I definitely feel like I’ve grown so much.  I’m just really proud of that.
TW: My follow-up to you is what do you feel like was your hardest week on the show in terms of the theme?
HC: I think my hardest one was definitely Billy Joel week.  That was one that was not a great one for me.  It was a tough one.
TW: Anything in particular tough about it or just it wasn’t really your strength.
HC: Yes.  It just wasn’t really my style and, obviously, I had like two different songs and then I ended up with “Honesty” and I had never heard that and I was learning it.  It was a very tough song but I got through so I was glad.

Michele Angermiller with the Hollywood Reporter.
MA: I have a question about a lot of contestants this season seemed to have said that they had never heard of the songs that they were assigned by Jimmy or whatever.  Do you think maybe it would be easier if the themes were more current?  Because you are a pop girl.  You always do well on the current songs.
HC: Yes, I mean, sometimes it’s difficult when we get songs and we have no idea what they are, but I guess that is the competition.  You’re going to get songs thrown at you that you don’t know and you have learn.  You don’t have a choice, so that was part of the competition, you could say.  Sometimes we did wish we could sing songs that are on the radio now because a lot of teenagers and all that watch, but I think it would have been nice to have a mixture of both like a lot, but I think they have done that pretty well this year.
MA: Were there any British artists you wish you could have done during British week?
HC: There was a lot.
MA: I’m sure you had a wish list.
HC: I was going to do a Spice Girl song and change it up, but  I stuck to Leona.

Beth Kwiatkowski with Reality TV World.
BK: So when I talked to Skylar last week, she said you were convinced you were going to be the one eliminated but she kept insisting to you that you were going to be surprised.  What was going through your mind last night?  Did you think you were going to be eliminated again and therefore weren’t surprised with the results?  I know you said you had a little bit of a gut feeling, but were you surprised at all?  You didn’t end up crying.  You seemed to take it really well.  It almost seems like you were prepared for the news.
HC: When Skylar was there, I was very shocked at that one because Skylar had killed it every week and she’d done amazing every week.  That was a shock to me.  This week something was just different than I felt last week.  Skylar kept insisting that it wasn’t me going, but you just never know.  But this week I think I just felt it.
BK: Okay.  There hasn’t been a female winner of American Idol since Jordin Sparks and I think it was 2006.  Do you think a woman can actually win at this point or do you think, given the voting public seems to be largely girls, do you think the show is just going to keep having guy winners every year?
HC: I think it’s tough for girls now because there are a lot of girl votes that go for the boys.  But you never know in this show.  The three that are left – they all have the biggest chance to win.  They’re all going to bring it each week.  I know they are.  It’s going to be tough for America, I know that. 
BK: Do you think Jessica Sanchez is capable of pulling that off?
HC: Yes, of course.  She’s amazing.  She’s definitely capable of winning and so is Josh and so is Phillip.  It’s a tough one.

Alex Gonzalez with La Prensa de Houston.
AG: So you’ve had some really amazing mentors this season.  You have Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Stephen Tyler giving you advice each week.  Which judge or mentor has given you the best advice and what advice is that?
HC: I think I’ve definitely always felt loyal to Jennifer because she’s been with me—she’s always been rooting for me and always had my back since last year and always believed in me.  I think she’s definitely been a big inspiration for me since last year and this year.  In my mentor sessions, I would definitely say that Stevie Nicks was a big one for me because we kind of had a moment and it got really personal and beyond the lines of me in a singing competition.  She really just cared about us at that moment and wanted to help.
AG: What are you going to miss the most about being on Idol and what are you most looking forward to about going on tour?
HC: I think all the American Idol crew and production and everyone.  It’s so fun working over there with them.  They’re all so nice and just so loveable and you just have a good time.  That’s going to be hard leaving all that.  Even leaving the Idol stage is going to be difficult because we spent so much time there.  It’s like our new home, so it’s going to be difficult, but we’re all excited for the tour—to just start singing for our fans and not being judged and just enjoying.  We love to sing.

Sammi Turano with TV Grapevine.
ST: My first question for you is out of all your fellow competitors, which one do you most want to collaborate with?
HC: I would love to do a duet with Josh.  That would be amazing because he’s amazing.  I’ve done a duet with Jessica and I’ve done one with Skylar so far in the competition, so I’d like to do one with Josh.  That would be pretty fun.
ST: My other question for you was you got a lot of good advice from the judges.  What kind of advice would you give your fellow competitors and future competitors of the show?
HC: I would just say to be confident in yourself and have self belief.  If you’re going to go for it—go for it.  Don’t let anybody steer you in the direction you don’t want to go and stay true to yourself.  Anything could happen and you just have to believe that and keep pushing forward.  If they try to bring you down, you just pick your hat up and you just try harder the next time and prove them wrong.

Mike Hughes with TV America.
MH: Hollie, I’ve never met anyone who moved from Liverpool to Texas.  That’s such an interesting contrast.  When you did that, what did you find interesting about what was different about the way people here live life or something?
HC: It’s like a huge dramatic change.  I went from a completely different lifestyle to this lifestyle but it was a good change.  My dad moved us out there to be here and follow our dreams here and make a better lifestyle for us.  It was a good change.
MH: It was a change in what way?  How do we live differently here?  What did you notice about life being different here?
HC: In England where I lived it was very like you do the same thing every day like see your family and do this or do that.  It’s here there is so much more to do, I guess.  Like I can go out and achieve something like this.  Much more of that makes sense.

Moderator: Unfortunately, we are out of time, so Hollie, do you have any closing remarks?

HC: Just to all my fans just thank you and thank you for everybody’s questions.  I definitely hope to see what happens in the future and we’ll see what happens.  And to all my Holliepops, you are all amazing so thank you guys so much.

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