"I am cool" says "Idol" reject Carly Smithson
By Jill Serjeant
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The shocking exit of early "American Idol" favorite Carly Smithson stunned fans, but on Thursday the Irish singer was far from downhearted at being voted off the top-rated television talent show.
"Sixth place -- I don't think that is anything to be miserable about. I feel like I went out on high note," Smithson, 24, told reporters after her final appearance Wednesday night.
"I am cool. I am so happy. I just feel I have been given the greatest gift ever to be on the show," she said.
For Smithson, 24, "American Idol" was a controversial second chance to make a career in the music industry. At age 15, she got a record deal that went nowhere after her first album "Ultimate High" sold only a few hundred copies.
Smithson said the publicity surrounding her previous efforts may have worked against her on a show that is supposed to find fresh talent.
"I think I started out with bad press, and I don't think that helped me. I felt like (judge) Simon (Cowell) set a high bar for me and I felt I had to beat myself almost," she said on a conference call.
"I feel that 'American Idol' was my first real chance. It was such a different level. It is such a huge platform to launch myself."
Bloggers and fans on "Idol" message boards speculated that Smithson's prominent tattoos -- her husband is a tattoo artist -- may have put voters off, and that her choice of the title song from the musical "Jesus Christ Superstar" may have alienated some religious conservative voters. Continued...