Today I had the opportunity to participate in a media call with Amanda Overmyer. She was so grateful for her experience and seems like such a nice and polite person. I wish her all the luck in her musical career.
It seems like youíre more capable of going on to the next step and being less needy than a lot of the contestants. Can you just give us an overview of your life at this point? In other words, as I understand it, you already own a home back in Indiana. Did your car or truck get messed up by the action or do you still have one? Do you expect to go back there or do you expect to stick around L.A.? What is your situation right now?
A. Overmyer: Yes, Iíve owned a home in Indiana for three years. I can go back in my career if need be. As of right now, no decisions are being made as far as what exactly Iím going to do, because I have no idea if there are any options out here, if there are any. Itís going to be a little bit of a waiting game for the next couple of months probably.
It was very good nature that you showed and everyone was surprised when you were voted out. Basically, are you quite optimistic about your life and where youíre going from here?
A. Overmyer: Absolutely. Yesterday was the most traumatic thing thatís happened in my life; I just got voted off of a TV show. I was thankful to be there and privileged to have that many millions of Americans vote for me just to keep me on until 11. With someone like me, who is completely different, Iím cut out of a different mold from everyone else in the competition, I found that very warming that I had that much support.
Can you tell us, have you ever used your singing to maybe serenade patients as a nurse, and do you think youíll go back to that career as a stepping stone?
A. Overmyer: No, Iíve never used it to serenade patients. Just to verify, my job was home oxygen and durable medical equipment, so I wasnít like taking care of patients in a hospital. If nothing comes up out here for me to pursue with music, Iíll probably give it maybe a good six months, and if nothing happens Iím going to go back and continue on the career path that I started.
Your dad was in the military. Would you have any interest in singing in Iraq for the troops or anything like that with the military?
A. Overmyer: Absolutely. The service they do for this country is really a great thing and it takes a special person to be able to do that.
What song would you have sung next week if youíd had the chance? I think itís a song from the year you were born. Did you have one planned yet?
A. Overmyer: Yes. I havenít slept. What was that song called? On the Dark Side.
John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band.
A. Overmyer: Yes.
That would have been fun.
A. Overmyer: Yes, I was going to do that one for Ö and the Cruisers.
What was your favorite performance competition for yourself and your least favorite, and why?
A. Overmyer: The two that I did on the big stage are both equally my favorite just because I was more in my element there with the crowd in front of me and everything. My least favorite one would have been all the group numbers we had to do. If I had to pick a least favorite one, itíd probably be the Kansas one. Personally, I liked it, I got it, but thatís the one I got slammed on, so weíll pick that one.
Before the competition started, the producers were very excited about all the unique personalities they had this season. It seems like in the past few weeks, the singers with the most unique personalities have been the ones going home. Do you feel like the American Idol format is one that sort of benefits people who have, like you have, a very distinctive voice?
A. Overmyer: Yes, it benefits anybody with any kind of distinction because it gives us that platform to start from and get exposure, the biggest exposure that we could ever get. As far as winning it, you just have to look at the demographics of the voters and the people watching American Idol versus the demographics of your particular genre. They may not necessarily correlate.
That makes sense. Could you talk a bit about the group numbers? I imagine your voice, being a different sort of voice, is more difficult to blend in. Was that something that they had to work extra-hard to do?
A. Overmyer: No, actually. I just didnít like performing them and doing all the choreography and stuff, but as far as when we recorded them and did all that, I actually was very strong at it. I have a choir background from high school. Who would have thought?
I know that Simon, at one point in the semi-finals, made a joke about you smiling, that it was okay to smile. You seemed really serious a lot of times when the judges were talking to you. What was going through your head when they were picking apart your performances?
A. Overmyer: Well, when I was done singing, I was done singing. Itís just like when those judges would give their comments, I wanted to be respectful and listen, but the comments werenít going to sway me one way or the other as far as what I was going to do. The objective of being on this show was to go out there and show America me, perform like me, look like me and see how well it would take. The comments from the judges were based more on the idea of trying to win, and I had a different agenda.
Now that you can look at things objectively, what performer would you like to see, or who do you think might win the competition?
A. Overmyer: I have no idea.
I know that the stand-outs right now are maybe David Archuleta or Syesha. Do you have anything to say on their performances?
A. Overmyer: No. All I can say is Syesha, at one point, wasnít the favored one and David, at one point, got slammed by the judges. Itís anybodyís game, you know? Itís definitely anybodyís game and I donít venture to make a prediction.
I know that thereís been some flack in the past about Idol seasons for the rocker chick or the rocker guy maybe not getting as far ahead as they should because what youíre saying about the demographics. You were very well known for your style, too, so do you think that that distinction either hurt you or helped you in terms of the competition of being the rocker chick thatís your own personal style?
A. Overmyer: Being my own personal style helped me as far as being the quintessential rocker chick, I guess, but as far as the competition itself, I wouldnít say that it necessarily helped me. Young kids arenít going to relate to me as easily as they do the other ones.
Youíve mentioned a few times that you were really comfortable on the big stage, and you always seemed to pretty much keep your composure up there. Is there anything that you do prior to going out there to calm your nerves or anything like that? How do you keep it together when maybe the judges are doing their typical bickering back and forth?
A. Overmyer: No, I donít really have anything that I do beforehand. Itís always come pretty natural to me. As far as the judges bickering and all that, like I said before, their comments are based on excelling within the competition and that wasnít really my objective.
Did you feel uncomfortable at any point, like when Seacrest and Simon always bicker back and forth and things like that, or do you just try to ignore it while youíre up there?
A. Overmyer: That doesnít bother me. Thatís just part of good TV. If they didnít do that, nobody would want to watch it.
What did you learn from your experience on Idol?
A. Overmyer: The main thing that I learned was that Iíve always been unique and different in the small confines of Indiana, but it was good to know that I was also unique in the nationís eyes, too. That was something I was unaware of.
What was the best piece of advice you received and who was it from?
A. Overmyer: I donít know. Probably just from my dad, to keep your head straight and keep grounded.
So, when you were standing up there I noticed that you looked so downcast when you were told that you were in the bottom three. What was going through your head?
A. Overmyer: That more than likely I would be done.
Thatís surprising because Iím sure youíre aware that a lot of people were predicting that Kristy would be off this week. Iím surprised that you thought that you would be the one to be off.
A. Overmyer: Yes. I know how different I am and I know that I target an older audience and a difference audience maybe than American Idol provides.
Did Kristy say anything to you up there? Obviously, the three of you were in a very tense position standing there.
A. Overmyer: Right. I mean, she thought it was her and I told her to chill out, stop worrying and itíd be alright.
Iím going to ask you about your song choice, Back in the USSR. Do you think it was anything to do with the song choice or maybe having to go first? That seems kind of to be a curse. Youíre terrific. Iím still stunned that you were even in the bottom three.
A. Overmyer: Thank you, sir. I really appreciate that. No, I donít think that the song choice had anything to do with it because if it wasnít that song, it was going to be another song that sounded like me singing it. I donít necessarily think it was the song choice. Youíll never hear me pissing and whining that I was first or anything like that. I definitely had hoped for position six or seven, but itís not how it worked out. It is what it is. Iím not going to cry over spilled milk.
Also, you said that maybe youíll hang out here for about six months to see if anything happens before going back to your old career. Are you not bent on being this big star? Youíre content to go back and have your other job and sing on the weekends? How driven are you in this whole showbiz thing?
A. Overmyer: I mean, Iím a very ambitious and driven person by nature. Iím going to take calculated risks to achieve success, but everyoneís definition of success varies from person to person. Success, to me, is a strong, healthy family and success in whatever job that you do. If this is just 15 minute of fame, Iím not going to chase it my whole life trying to get it back; Iíll take it for what it is and move on. Hopefully itís not. Hopefully I can make a career out of this, but itís not going to be that unicorn that I keep chasing.
Were you aware of Vote for the Worst? Were you following that at all?
A. Overmyer: No. I had heard that I was their girl, though.
I was going to ask you if you thought it helped you at all, but obviously last nightís results didnít. Do you think it hurt you, and did it personally hurt you?
A. Overmyer: No. It didnít personally hurt me at all. I mean, hell, votes are votes, you know? From what I hear, they werenít too harsh on me or anything.
A. Overmyer: I think a chunk of them actually liked me for real.
You mentioned before that you had a different agenda than perhaps winning. What was your agenda?
A. Overmyer: Well, up to this point, I donít really have one now, but up to this point it was just to get my sound out there and my performances out there and see if I could get any bites, you know?
You sound tired this morning. Is it tired or are you sad? Or is it just the way you sound in the morning?
A. Overmyer: No, maíam. Iím exhausted. I went to sleep at 1:30 last night after we got back from everything and I had to leave at 3:30. Iíve been doing interviews since 4:00 a.m.
A lot is being made and weíve talked a lot about you being different and standing out as a performer and musically in terms of style and that kind of stuff. I wonder, how much does that carry through into the kind of social side of being on American Idol with the rest of the group? Did you feel that you fit in well? Did you bond very well? Do you feel like a little bit of an outsider in terms of that stuff?
A. Overmyer: My personality within itself, I tend to keep pretty sheltered and safe away from anything. I can count on two hands the friends and family that truly matter. Other than that, Iím kind of standoffish. In any situation where a group of people go through something like this thereís an element of camaraderie there. Everybody is going through the same thing, so theyíre the only people that understand what everyone is going through. I had no problem fitting in.
Was there anybody in particular that you hung out with a lot, that you were particularly close to?
A. Overmyer: Carly was my roommate and we spent the most time together. We had quite a bit in common, so it would probably be Carly.
A lot of times in the last few years people have been saying that contestants, some contestants, donít even think as far as winning the competition; they just think about how great it would be to make the tour. Would you say that that was true during this season? For you, was it a personal goal? If so, are you really upset that you didnít make the tour?
A. Overmyer: Yes, it was somewhat of a goal. Iím not extremely disappointed that I am not doing the tour. The ultimate goal is to get my own. I think for it being an American Idol tour and it being it is what it is, they have the best group for it. I think I kind of stuck out. I didnít really fit in with it.
Correct me if Iím wrong, but youíre engaged, arenít you?
A. Overmyer: Yes, maíam.
When is your wedding? Do you have a date for your wedding? Would you invite your fellow contestants to attend and maybe sing at it?
A. Overmyer: Iíd surely invite at least a couple of them. I donít have any date at all. Itís been all pending what happens with this.
Your fiancť, was he your rock throughout the whole thing?
A. Overmyer: I think I was more his rock through the whole thing because he was home alone. I bet that was pretty hard, being alone in the house while all the excitement is going on 2,000 miles away, you know?
You said that you and Carly were roommates, you spent a lot of time together, you had a lot in common. Since sheíd kind of already been through the whole music industry mill, was she able to give you any good advice about what itís really like out there, getting a record deal and stuff like that?
A. Overmyer: Not really. She was so young when it happened that a lot of it her parents took care of for her and she just went where they told her to go. She never went out and promoted anything; the record company imploded before she had the opportunity to do that. This is almost like a first time for her, too.
It looked like during last nightís broadcast that you might have been able to read the results on Ryan Seacrestís card. Is that correct? Could you see, in fact, what the results were?
A. Overmyer: No, but I tried.
Were you surprised when you were revealed to be the one to be eliminated?
A. Overmyer: Kind of, not really. It was 50/50. I was kind of surprised, but I didnít really go in with any preconceived notions about what I would be or what I wouldnít be. It really is such a crapshoot, being the square peg in a round hole.
Itíd be nice to be a little bit clearer on exactly what it is youíre aiming to do now. You mentioned a tour. Are you going to put together a CD? Would that be with a band or would that be a solo thing? Just some more detail on what youíd like to do.
A. Overmyer: Iíve thought about it, as far as what Iíd like to do, but you know what? I havenít had any talks with management or anything like that on what the best way of going about it would be. I have zero experience in this industry and Iím completely as green as they come. Iím not going to venture to say this is what Iím going to do because I donít know what the best way to go about doing it is. I have to ask some people. Itíll definitely be the southern rock genre. I definitely want to get out and tour and do the big biker alleys and things like that, but itís just how to get there. Thatís what I need education on.
Youíve said before how much you enjoyed being on the big stage compared to the small stage. Could you describe how that felt when you were up there? What was that like?
A. Overmyer: It reminded me how I used to feel when I performed. I quit doing it for two years. Iíd completely given it up and it was like I get up there, start singing and oh, yes, now I remember why I did this. It was really a neat feeling.
What is that feeling like?
A. Overmyer: Thatís a tough one to describe. I donít know. Itís a good feeling, having everyoneís attention on you and having the ability to provide entertainment that comes out of your throat that gets people excited. They start jumping around, so it makes you jump around more. They start screaming at you, so Iíll bend down and sing in their face. Itís kind of a back-and-forth tennis match, where the ball goes back and forth. Itís a really neat thing.
You really love that energy and the give and take as a performer?
A. Overmyer: Yes. Itís so much fun. Itís the same way when you go to a good rock concert, you know? Itís on both sides. Iím just glad that I got the opportunity to do that.
I really like that you stuck with your style. Not just with your music, but with the way you looked. Did you have any trouble with the stylists, the costume folks, the hair folks? Did they give you any grief about it?
A. Overmyer: Not at all. I mean, I was able to just kind of do my own thing, you know? It made it really nice. That was one thing I was kind of nervous about, that itíd be a fight, but they were really good to me.
Thank you to FOX for allowing us to participate in this AI Media call.