While Elise Testone was undeniably one of this "American Idol" season's most talented ladies, for some reason she never quite established the solid voter base of some of her fellow contestants, and she therefore came harrowingly close to elimination week after week and week--until this week, when she finally did go home in sixth place. Speaking backstage with Yahoo!'s Reality Rocks immediately after this Thursday's results show, she jokingly theorized that her stern default facial expression might have been a turnoff ("It looks bad, right?"), or "Maybe it's because I'm old" (at age 28, Elise is this year's oldest finalist). But more seriously, when asked if she thought the fact that she often stood up for herself had anything to do with her downfall (sassing back to the judges usually backfires, especially for female contestants), Elise answered, "I think that could be true--but I don't regret it for a second."
The judges did seem to come down harder on Elise than they did on some other contestants, perhaps because of her age, but Elise didn't appear to harbor any resentment over this. "I don't think it's a completely bad thing when people are hard on you, because it just means they want you to be better. If they didn't care that much, they'd probably just be, 'Good job, it was good,'" she shrugged.
As for one controversial critique Elise received this week--about her Jimi Hendrix song choice, "Bold As Love," supposedly being too obscure--Elise said in her characteristically blunt manner, "I thought that was crazy...it's, like, a really epic song, and John Mayer re-released it, so I don't think it's not popular. And then Josh [Ledet] sang the India.Arie song [this week], which is less popular, so...yeah, that was kind of weird."
However, Elise did reveal that the judges, particularly Jennifer Lopez, offered her words of encouragement after her elimination this week. "J.Lo was saying that she's a fan of mine and she really respects me--I forget exactly what was the wording, I think there may have been a swear word in there somewhere! But she said that I'm awesome and keep it up, that it's not the end," said Elise.
As for what Elise will be up to next, she's excited to go on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" (Ellen recently tweeted that Elise is her favorite "Idol" Season 11 contestant), and also said: "I'm pumped about having an album with my sound, and having guests on the album...I've always waited to release an album until it was right, and now I'm getting all these resources to do it, and I can't wait to focus on that." Does she have any particular special guests in mind? Elise answered, "I asked Brian May [of this week's mentors, Queen], and he seemed interested, so...yeah!"
Wow, Elise Testone possibly working with Brian May? It looks like she will, she will rock you again--perhaps very soon.