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Paige Miles: It was against all odds that she'd go on

Even Paige Miles knew it was against all odds that she’s survive the “Idol” cut Wednesday night. Her performance of Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds” was called “possibly the worst of the season” by Kara DioGuardi, but the judges didn’t realize how badly her vocal cords had been stretched.

Paige, who worked as a preschool teacher before doing "Idol," just missed a spot on the “American Idol” tour this summer. She had lots to say about the judges, song selection, her love of coloring and more during her elimination news conference Thursday.

How much influences do the judges have?
The judges, obviously they have a certain amount of power over the voting public, but it also comes down to the performer delivering a good, solid performance. Tuesday night definitely wasn’t my best, and they ripped me for it. So, it really can go both ways because sometimes they’ll back up the person that the judges ripped apart if they feel that person really delivered, but you never really know how America is going to vote.

Paige’s laryngitis
I’ve been struggling with laryngitis for over three weeks now. I have swollen vocal cords, and there’s a lot of inflammation, and with us singing and rehearsing as much as we do, I had very little time for it to heal. So, it would basically get a little bit better, then I would have to sing again, and it would get worse again. So it’s tough when you’re in a singing competition and you have no voice, so that was a bummer.

Are the judges too harsh this season?
Some of the things they say I agree with, and I totally understand where they’re coming from, but in some ways the context of it can be a little hurtful. Sometimes, we think they could rephrase it or just say it in a better way because it does come across as pretty harsh.

Why “Against All Odds” for Tuesday’s show?
I was in rehearsals last week and was just trying to find a slower song that I wouldn’t have to stress vocally too much over because my vocal cords were pretty much trashed, and I didn’t want to do anything too up tempo and crazy.

How hard is song selection?
The judges make it sound more easy than it really is. It has to meet certain criteria and we have to choose and we can’t usually do the same artists, so it’s way more difficult than people realize picking a song. . . . We have to think about what the audience and fans will like, making sure you’re going to do what the judges are looking for you to do, which I think always is very, very tough.

It can sometimes not work, and then trying to be true to yourself as an artist, and then finding someone else’s material to make your own and hopefully not get compared to them because that’s something you always run the risk of. That’s great but the original did it better, so, and usually it’s not like we’re not trying to outdo the original, we’re just trying to showcase ourselves and show what we’ve got.

How did she feel after Simon told her, before she sang one last time, that the judges agreed unanimously they didn’t want to use their save?
I initially thought the save was something that even if they’re not going to use it, you get the opportunity to at least sing for it, and then they make their decision, but for the statement to be made before I opened my mouth, I was pretty bummed.

Why does she love to color?
We would do it in class, and it was actually a way to kind of calm down the room, and so “Idol” is very high stress and a lot of tension and anxiety, so people usually can’t find a way to get their nerves down. So you just open up a coloring book and start coloring and you end up being kind of focused on what you’re doing. It’s just a way to relax. Some people do yoga, some meditate, and I like to just whip out a box of crayons and color. It’s easy I know, but it works.

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