'American Idol' castoff Shannon Magrane: 'This is just the beginning for me'

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shannon-magrane-top-11.jpgFor a 16-year-old, Shannon Magrane was ultra-poised when she spoke with reporters after getting kicked off "American Idol." Magrane made it to the Top 11 -- leaving just before the cutoff for the summer tour, an extra bummer. Though she appeared to be fighting back tears at first -- while insisting "It's okay, it's good, it's alright, I'm okay" -- the sunny teenager kept smiling as she talked about her "Idol" journey.

"It's definitely really upsetting knowing that you've come so far and it has to end here," she admits to Zap2it after the Top 12-turned-Top 11 results show. "But just thinking about it, out of 121,000 people who auditioned for American Idol, I'm in the 11, so I'm definitely really proud of myself."

Magrane tried her best to win back a spot with the judges' save, but ultimately couldn't get them to use it this early in the competition.

"Just being up there, when I'm singing for my life, I'm just trying to give everything that I've got at the moment," she says. "It's definitely really hard having to sing then, because you're thinking, 'Oh man, am I going home now or are they going to use their save, their one save?' It's just really crazy, you have to get really prepared for that."

Ultimately, Magrane says her song choices are what did her in. "Being 16, you can't pick these big songs about love. It's really hard, because America will be like 'Oh, why is she singing this big love song? What has she gone through?' or stuff like that, so it was definitely hard to pick songs and stuff and I just don't think I picked the right songs."

Looking back at her entire "Idol" experience, Magrane says she remembers her Hollywood Week performance most fondly. "Everything's been such a highlight for me, but my most happy and proud moment is when I got my standing ovation [from the judges] at Hollywood Week. That made me feel so good to have all three of those iconic people stand up for me."

Because of the Jermaine Jones disqualification, the contestants did wonder whether the judges would actually send someone home. "They love to throw lots of curveballs at you, so you never know," Magrane says. "You always have to be on your toes ready for what they're going to say next. There were lots of options. They could've sent somebody home and used their save, or they could've just not sent anybody home, or they could've brought somebody back. It's just so many options, I couldn't even think about it. I was so in my zone."

When Magrane heads back home to Florida, she doesn't plan on giving up her dream any time soon. "I'm just going to go home and do what I do best. I'm going to go home and not stop singing. I'm going to go home and sing tonight, because it's what I love to do. ... This is just the beginning for me."
Photo/Video credit: FOX