> Click here to read Naima's exit Q&A
Were you surprised to be eliminated?
"Actually, I really didn't know what to expect at all. There are a lot of great singers in the 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 everyone else is so incredible so you just prepare yourself for whatever happens. I didn't really know what to feel, to be honest, but I'm happy for Paul. I'm happy for all of us 'cos we're going to go on tour and all the exposure we've gotten on the show has been incredible."
How tough was it to face going home after having come so far?
"I guess I just had a natural reaction. I felt a bit devastated last night but I didn't cry for more than 15 minutes. I told myself that things happen for a reason and this isn't the end of it. For all the exposure I've gotten from the show, it's definitely not the end of the road. This is my chance to show America that I can do so much more because I love to sing any type of song from any type of genre. I feel like if I can work on more music, especially during the tour, that will be good. I'm excited for the tour!"
Being underage, how did having to deal with school in addition to rehearsals affect your experience?
"We did about four hours of school per day so I thought that we didn't really get enough rehearsal time. Still, it was kind of an advantage for us because, being minors, it was like an escape for all of us from the stress and being in that one little room. There were some disadvantages too, but I guess it was cool to have that time to bond with the other minors, especially Lauren. It wasn't too bad, but we definitely didn't get enough rehearsal time."
For being such a young singer, you've had a lot of experience with singing. What are your first memories of performing?
"I think I was about 5 when I had my very first performance in front of anyone. It was during a birthday party and I got up on a coffee table in my little pink gown and sang for my family. That's when I realised how much I wanted to perform and do all this. That's when I realised my passion for singing."
With all of the eliminated contestants so far being girls, was that something that ever worried you?
"We sort of figured that more females are watching the show so more votes would be for the guys. But it's not only that, the guys are also incredible. We were a bit worried about it and were a bit scared of all the girls watching the show and knowing that their votes would be going to the guys, but what can you do?"
Did you experience stage fright before going on during the live shows?
"I guess it's funny because I get nervous every time, for every single performance before getting up on the stage but once I'm up there, I'm usually taken in by the music and the moment. I just feel the energy of the audience and I go from extremely nervous into show mode. I let it all go and let my heart go with the music and just release it all. I'm not nervous on stage when the music starts playing."
Do you wish that you sang more upbeat songs rather than ballads to avoid playing it safe?
"I guess I do regret not choosing upbeat songs but my last performance I don't regret at all because I dedicated that song to my brother and I poured all the emotion I had inside of me into that song. I'm happy that the last song I got to do on the show was dedicated to my big brother. For the previous weeks, I should have done more upbeat songs because I don't want to come off as just a ballad singer - which I probably did - but I hope America knows that I can do so much more. Before the live shows, all of my performances were more upbeat and on the contemporary side!"
Are there any artists out there that you'd love to work with in the future?
"Two of my favourite musical inspirations would have to be Adele and Jason Mraz because their lyrics are so beautiful and complex and I really admire them for that. But I also love listening to older music like Billie Holiday and others. Right now, though, I guess Adele and Jason Mraz would have to be my favourites."
What was your favourite part of the show?
"I enjoyed every part of the competition! I guess that's what made it really hard to say goodbye last night because you think of every single thing you've experienced on the show and you know you'll miss it so much. But it's really not the end, we're all going to see each other in a few weeks anyway and there's the tour which is really exciting. I guess I'm going to miss the vocal coaches and everything they've taught us but I've grown so much as an artist and a singer during my time there."
American Idol airs Wednesdays and Thursdays on Fox