Kristy Lee Cook talks horses and 'butt' Simon Cowell
By M&C Smallscreen Apr 17, 2008, 20:37 GMT
03/08/2008 - Kristy Lee Cook - "Horton Hears a Who!" World Premiere - Arrivals - Westwood Village Theater - Westwood, CA, USA © Glenn Harris / PR Photos
An American Idol Exit phone interview was arranged today with newly eliminated Kristy Lee Cook - who shared with Monsters and Critics and other onliners the story of her beloved barrel horse - which she had to sell for some dough to make the Idol journey - will not be sold back to her by the new owner.
"I've talked to him a few times and he doesn't want to sell," Cook says on the phone, talking about the guy who bought her horse.
"He doesn't want to sell him back. He's really attached to him because he's such a good horse. I mean, the least I could have asked for was a good home and he got a really good home. I'm happy with that, but it does kind of suck that I won't be able to get him back as my own horse."
Making it to the top seven, Cook's elimination on Wednesday night exceeded the expectations of judge Simon Cowell, a fact she noted as she faced elimination.
"I believe that he was just being skeptical because I started out kind of weak," Cook admits. "I was struggling the first three weeks being sick and recovering took a while. I think I outlasted what he thought because I started getting stronger towards the end and... I was starting to come out of the shell and sing the songs that I'm comfortable with and the ones that I knew I could sing well and he saw that a couple times. Unfortunate it ended when I had to leave, but I thought my performance was pretty strong this past week, so I'm happy I went out on that note."
Taking her constant bottom three ranking in stride, Cook often joked with host Ryan Seacrest.
Cook now says, "It's been kind of tough being in the Bottom Three, but with the first few times I kind of built up a stamina for it and kind of got a little tougher each time and finally kind of learned how to control the emotions that were coming from the whole situation."
Cook was steadily improving week to week but it wan't meant to be.
"I know in the bottom of my heart that I haven't shown America and Simon what I have and it's basically because I haven't been able to do the kind of music, you know the country," she says.
"I got to do 'God Bless the USA' and 'Anyways' and those are two of the songs that I really like and I got praise on both of them and that's just what I'm comfortable with because I've never stepped out of that genre and done something else. So it was all new to me. I know that once they see me singing country music, they'll see a whole other side of me that they never got to see on the show, which is kind of unfortunate, because I would have loved to have shown them my country side."
Cook's career and unfinished album on a major Nashville label was broached.
"It was a great learning experience for me," she says. "My career a long time ago was when I was 17, so it was definitely a long time ago, so I needed this push to get my career back starting again, because nobody knew who I was before American Idol, so it was definitely the biggest push I could have ever done to get my career started."
She continues, "I did have the contract and Carly's had music and David Cook and Brooke, they all have CDs. Everybody has some sort of music background, so it's kind of like we weren't discovered before this whole things, so it's kind of like a second chance and everybody, I believe, deserves a second chance, so it was a great opportunity for all of us."
Cook shared why she chose the "God Bless the USA" song.
"It wasn't like a huge thought process for me. It was the year I was born; it came out again. My dad was in Vietnam and he absolutely loved that song. I love that song and I sang it for a long time and it just kind of hit me when I saw that and my sister called me and she was like 'You should do 'God Bless the USA,' it was done in that year.' And I was already thinking about it and I was like 'That's the one.' And we stuck with that one. It was kind of an instant 'Yes' in my mind."
She also defended her comments at Simon, calling him a "butt" on Wednesday's show.
"He's got his remarks that are not very nice to people and, you know, after a time it kind of builds up... I was just saying a nice word, but tellin' him that he's a little butt sometimes, he can be a little brat. I was debating between brat and butt, but I figured I would just say 'butt.' I don't know why."
Cook also talked about her fiance proposing from the Idol audience on Wednesday.
"He proposed to me in the sauna [back in March] and then he actually proposed to me last night on live television. It was real cool. The first time we tried to keep everything on the down-low just cuz I didn't want it to get in the way. I didn't want to be thinking about everything. I just wanted to focus on music and American Idol. He re-acted the proposal and actually got down on his knee this time. The first time he didn't, so he owed it to me."
How does she handle criticism?
"I don't want it to get me down and I tend to not hang onto the negative comments just because we have so much going on and we already have a lot of pressure, so the negative comments don't help. So I just try to let go of them. It's an opinion. Everyone has a right to an opinion. If I agree with it, I'll take the advice and try to do better, but if I don't or if it's just not very nice, then I'll just tend to drop it and move on."