'American Idol': Lacey Brown knew her time was up

lacey-brown2-idol-320.jpg Lacey Brown is the first member of "American Idol's" top 12 to go home, but she seems to be taking her elimination pretty well.

"It's really strange. I woke up [Wednesday] morning and had the strangest feeling I was going home," she said Thursday (March 18) in a conference call. "I hadn't been tipped off, I hadn't read anything. ... Something about it was off. It wasn't that I had made peace with it. I think I had just gotten used to it. It's hard thing to hear, but when you're there in that moment, after you sing, you're not in control of anything."

Brown also talked about conflicting advice from the judges, going through the "Idol" grind for a second time and picking a favorite among the remaining finalists. Some highlights:

On processing the judges' critiques:
"It's difficult with the criticism this year, because it has been a little bit confusing and therefore I would change things from week to week, which can leave the audience kind of questioning who I am. I'd say I'm a very different artist, a very different voice that's not suited for a lot of different genres. I really see myself doing more of a pop-folk mix. ... I take pride in the fact that I'm a lot different. I've always been a unique individual, and I try to embrace that and try to show it in my performances."

On why she wanted come back after not making it past the Hollywood round last year:
"I'm one of those people who gets very competitive. It was way too much fun of an experience not to try again and try to get further. If I would have made it into the top 36 last year I wouldn't have been able to come back this year, so I'm really glad I got a second chance. ... Everything about this has just been a blast for me, so I decided I'm going to do it twice."

On what tripped her up:
"I'd probably have to say energy. I think they kept asking for energy in my songs, and I kept trying to give it, and they kept saying it was kind of a sleepy performance and they wanted to see a little bit more energy, because I'm a happy and bubbly type of personality, and they wanted to see that transferred into my music. The issue that I was having is that I really love to sing ballads. I love telling a story with a song, I love the emotion of a song. ... I kept picking songs that I really love to sing and really felt, and maybe it didn't transfer as well on stage. So maybe that was it, but I wouldn't have changed anything, because that's who I am."

On who she thinks will win:
"That's a very hard question to answer. I'm a little bit too close to home to really answer that. Every one of the contestants that remain are very unique and artists in their own right. I can see any of them rising up to the occasion. It's up for grabs -- somebody's got to win it, so we'll see who it is."

On her future plans:
"I definitely can see myself making an album soon. I would love to do that if I get the chance to. I just want to give people the chance to hear something that's fresh and new and different."

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Photo credit: FOX