It’s not often that an American Idol finalist has to excuse him or herself from the press room following a show taping, but that’s exactly what happened on Thursday night after Amber Holcomb was sent home. (Kree Harrison, Angie Miller and Candice Glover continue on in the competition.)
The tears has started rolling while she was still onstage, and again after the credits rolled. That’s when judge Nicki Minaj, exceptionally sensitive to people crying around her, pleaded with the Houston native to dry those eyes. “You did not fail,” she insisted. “You are a winner!”
More than an hour after those fateful words, the 19-year-old had her too-small suitcase on her mind when she broke down again and had to take "a minute," as suggested by a minder. All of the Idol reporters in attendance understood, of course. It comes with the territory. Every week, inevitably, someone has to go home.
Amber Holcomb will learn soon enough that the only way to look is forward. There’s a North American tour on the horizon and opportunities that can’t be squandered. In fact, she was already dropping names of artists she’d like to collaborate with -- be it a guest vocal or an opening slot. “Rihanna, Miguel, Frank Ocean, Nicki… I want to be everywhere,” she said with wide eyes.
Of the ever supportive Minaj, Holcomb added, “She’s my cheerleader. She was, like, ‘Don't even worry. … You're gonna have people beating down your door.'”
One thing the fourth place finalist wants viewers at home to know about the judges? That despite any perceived drama, when it comes to the contestants, “They are genuine and so loving,” said Holcomb. “They really care about us.”
Looks for Amber Holcomb’s “Last Words” interview with THR special correspondent and fellow Idol alum Casey Abrams on Idol Worship later today…