"I am cool" says "Idol" reject Carly Smithson

Thu Apr 24, 2008 4:28pm EDT
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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...

<p>Finalist Carly Smithson poses at the American Idol Top 12 party honoring the finalists in the 'American Idol" television reality series in Los Angeles, California in this March 6, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Fred Prouser/Files</p>