Hollie Cavanagh totally bucked the odds this season on "American Idol": Despite multiple showings in the bottom three and some especially harsh critiques from the judges, she kept improving week to week, and she eventually made it all the way to fourth place, before being eliminated this Thursday. Speaking to Yahoo!'s Reality Rocks backstage after this week's results show, Hollie seemed to be in good spirits, and proud to have proven so many naysayers wrong.
"I've definitely been fighting through this competition, and I think that's my main thing. I'm blessed to be at this point because people have thought, 'She's not good enough, she's not going to be here,' but I've been getting through each week, and that's something I'm really proud of. I'm proud to be a fighter in this competition," she declared.
Many past "Idol" contestants who've had such a rough time on the show let it get to them and lost some of their will to fight, but Hollie explained that such setbacks had the opposite effect on her. "I think it just pushed me harder. I really didn't see being in the bottom three as a negative thing. I took it as a positive, because if you take it as a negative thing, it's going to affect your performances," she reasoned.
However, Hollie did say she was grateful that the judges were hard enough on her to cut her in Hollywood Week in Season 10, when she auditioned for "Idol" the first time, because she would not have been able to handle the pressure back then. "If I was to get through last year, I don't think I would have even made it to the top 10. I'm glad that they did what they did last year, because it gave me a year to experience things and get onstage and get stronger. People don't understand how tough you have to be to be in this competition."
As for the judges' frequent criticism about her "overthinking" her performances, Hollie agreed: "I was just overthinking what everybody wanted, and I wasn't really thinking about what I wanted to do in my performances. I was trying to be a people-pleaser, I think--trying to make Steven happy, Jennifer happy, and Randy happy, when even they were saying, 'Just forget what we say, and do what you want.'"
But eventually, Hollie found her way. "I think when I did 'Rolling In The Deep' and 'Son Of A Preacher Man,' that was my turning point," she said, "because I think that was the time when I just let go and I realized I can't think about what other people are doing. I can only worry about myself and what I have to do at this moment. And now that I know that, and now that I've felt what that feels like, I just have to do it in all my performances."
And we'll be seeing her do that this summer, on the Idols Live concert tour. Congratulations, Hollie.