Following is the transcript of a conference call held last Friday with eliminated contestant Thia Megia:

Q: Thia, when there’s a young singer, people usually think, ‘Oh, she’s got a disadvantage. She hasn’t had much experience,’ but you’ve got an incredible amount of experience. You’ve been performing for like 10 years now. I wanted to ask you a little bit about that. First of all, is it true that when you were 4-years-old you jumped up on a table at a family party and started to sing and that when you were 6-years-old you opened for a famous singer? Do you recall those two things? What do you remember about doing those two?

Thia Megia: “I think I was actually five then. It was actually like my very first performance in front of anyone, and it was during a birthday party. I got up on this old coffee table in my little pink gown and I started singing for my family. That’s when I realized how much I wanted to perform and just to do all this. That’s when I realized my passion for singing.

“Yes, that Rey Valera … that was the first concert that I’ve ever been to and it was also one of my very first performance.”

Q: You opened for him. How long did you sing in the opening?

TM: “It was just like two Britney Spears songs.”

Q: I think your elimination came as a surprise to a lot of people and I was wondering if it came as a surprise to you.

TM: “Actually, I really didn’t know what to expect at all. There are a lot of great singers in this competition so I guess I was feeling a mixture of emotions before getting up on stage because I wanted this so bad, but I guess that since everyone else is just so incredible, you just kind of prepare yourself for whatever happens. I didn’t really know what to feel at all, to be honest, but I’m happy for Paul. I’m happy for the both of us because I know that we’re all going to be going on tour and from all the exposure that we’ve gotten from the show, it’s just been incredible and knowing that part of those millions of people who voted for you is … it’s such wicked flattery.”

Q: When you are a younger contestant, you have to deal with school in addition to everything else. How did that affect what was going on? How much did that pull you away from what everybody else was doing?

TM: “We usually do about three or four hours of school every day, so I thought that we didn’t really get enough rehearsal time. But I guess it was sort of an advantage for us because being minors, it was like an escape for all of us. Escape from all the stress and just being in that one little room and just focusing on school-work. So there were some disadvantages and some advantages to that. I guess it was cool to actually have that time to bond with the other minors, especially me and Lauren Alaina. It wasn’t too bad, I guess. From that, we didn’t really get enough rehearsal time.”

Q: I was just wondering your favorite part of the whole competition was. You got to do so much. What did you enjoy the most?

TM: “I enjoyed every bit of the competition. I guess that was what made it really hard to say goodbye last night because you think about every single thing that you’ve experienced on the show. You kind of think about it and you kind of think to yourself, ‘I’m going to miss that so much,’ but it’s really not the end of the competition. We’re all going to see each other in a couple weeks anyway, and there’s the tour, which is just so exciting. I guess I’m going to miss the vocal coaches and all that they’ve taught us. I know I’ve grown so much throughout the whole experience, as an artist, as a singer, and as a person. I guess every single bit of the whole experience is what I’m going to miss.”

Q: So last season, four of the season’s six girls were cut in the first five eliminations I think it was. This season’s been even worse with all four of the first four being girls. Was that something that you or other girls had been concerned about or ever discussed amongst yourselves when the finals began? Was there ever a feeling that you guys were probably facing a tougher time than the guys, right from the beginning?

TM: “Well, we sort of figured that since there are more females watching the show, the votes were going to be more for the guys. It’s not only that, because the guys are all so incredible, but we were a bit worried about that. We were a bit intimidated by all the girls watching the show and knowing that their votes are going to be going to the guys.”

Q: Thia, I just wanted to ask you about getting nervous and so forth because some people say they’re terrified when they sing at the Idol but you’ve done National Anthems. How many times have you done a National Anthem at a big sports setting and are there any times when you do get nervous?

TM: “I’ve lost count of how many performances I’ve done for that, but I guess … it’s funny because I get nervous every time, for every single performance, before getting up on that stage. Once I’m up there, I’m usually taken in by the music and the moment and I just feel the energy of the audience and I basically go from extremely nervous to show-mode. I let it all go and my heart starts going with the music, and I’m just releasing it all. I’m not even nervous when I’m onstage, when the music starts playing.”

Q: Moving forward here with your career and kind of what progression you’re planning to go then, are there any other artists out there that you would just really want to work with over anyone else?

TM: “Well, one of my most favorite musical inspirations would have to be Adele and Jason Mraz, because their lyrics are just so beautiful and complex, and I really admire them for that. I also love listening to older music, such as Billie Holiday and a bunch of old artists but right now, I guess Adele and Jason Mraz would have to be my favorites.”

Q: I was wondering if you wished that you had sang more upbeat songs because you did do a lot of ballads and I know Randy kept saying he thought you were sneaking ‘safe choices’ every week.

TM: “I guess for the previous weeks that I’ve done ballads, I do regret not choosing more upbeat songs, but the last performance that I did, I don’t regret at all, because I dedicated that song to my brother. I poured all the emotion that I had inside of me into that song and I don’t regret one bit of it. I’m happy that the last song that I got to do on the show was dedicated to my big brother.

“For the previous weeks, I would have done more upbeat songs because I just don’t want to come off as just a ballad singer, which I probably did. I just hope America knows that I can do so much more, because the previous auditions that I’ve done before the live shows were more upbeat and more on the contemporary side.”

Q: This must have been really tough for you.

TM: “I guess it’s just a natural reaction. I felt a bit devastated last night, but I didn’t cry for more than 15 minutes because I just told myself things happen for a reason and this is not the end of it. From all the exposure that I’ve gotten on the show, this is definitely not the end of the road. Because I feel like this is my chance to actually show America that I don’t just sing ballads and I can do so much more because I love to sing any kind of song from any type of genre. I feel like if I can work on more music, and especially during the tour, we’ll be able to sing songs that we haven’t been able to on the show because the theme of the weeks, I felt like the songs that I wanted to do didn’t fit in. I’m excited for the tour. I just totally forgot the question.”

Q: It’s OK, it was just about how tough this is. If there was one song that you wish you could have sung, what would it have been?

TM: “For Idol Week I couldn’t decide between Michael Jackson or Adele, but the reason why I chose ‘Smile’ was just because it’s a beautiful song and it’s from my idol, Michael Jackson. But I also wanted to sing ‘Chasing Pavements’ from Adele. I know that I already sang it during my audition but I didn’t actually get to sing a 90-second version of it, so I would have loved, loved, loved to actually been able to sing it on the show.”

Q: Well, this is not the end of the road for you at all. You’re young; you have everything ahead of you. Are you excited about the future?

TM: “I am very excited about the future. I know in my heart that this is not the end of my music career and there’s going to be so much that you’re going to see of me and hear of me.”

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