Rachel Crow, 13, says she’s on the road to recovering from her shocking emotional meltdown that she had when she was eliminated from “The X Factor” U.S. on December 8, 2011. For anyone who didn’t see this episode, Crow and 20-year-old Marcus Canty were in the bottom two of getting votes from the public. Crow and Canty had to do a sing-off for the show’s four judges (Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, L.A. Reid and Nicole Scherzinger), who then decided which contestant to eliminate. With Cowell and Abdul voting to eliminate Canty, and Reid voting to eliminate Crow, Scherzinger struggled with her decision before she cast the last vote to eliminate Crow.
If the judging panel reaches a voting deadlock for a “sing-off,” the show’s rules state that the contestant with the lowest number of votes from the public must then automatically be eliminated. And that contestant was Crow. The results surprised many viewers, since Crow had never before been in the bottom two (unlike Canty), and she was generally considered more talented than Canty. As the crowd loudly booed at the elimination results, Crow dropped to her knees, and she sobbed uncontrollably. But according to Crow, her tearful breakdown didn’t compared to the one that Scherzinger had backstage after the show. In a telephone conference call interview that Crow did with journalists the day after her elimination, Crow revealed the details about what went on behind the scenes and discussed her memorable stint on “The X Factor” U.S.
How do you feel now about the decision that Nicole Scherzinger had to make last night?
I feel good with it. I’m fine. I left the competition on top, I felt like, and it’s not her fault. Nobody should blame her.
What did Simon Cowell (your mentor on the show), the other judges and your family say to you said shortly after you were voted off?
Paula told me I’m going to be huge and I love her very much and she definitely has a lot of my support. And she supports me very much and I’m very happy to have her. And my mom supports me all the way and she said, “It’ll be OK.” And Simon says he’ll definitely working with me, which is great and he has my back 100 percent.
How surprised were you that you were voted off over Marcus Canty?
I wasn’t surprised. I was just the feeling … “What do I do now?” But I’m feeling much better.
Knowing that you had good performances this week, does that make it easier or does it make it harder for you to go home now?
It makes it a little bit harder. I love performing every week and that was my highlight of my week every week.
You said throughout the course of the competition that it was important for you to serve as an inspiration for people your age. Why was that important for you?
It’s very important because I know how kids feel and I want them to feel special like I do.
Even with all the controversy about your elimination, you did actually end up with the lowest number of votes this week. Did you feel you could have or should have done anything differently with the performance the night before your elimination?
I definitely don’t regret anything and I’m very blessed that I got through the experience. If I would have done the song he wanted me to do, I would have gone up there and then I would have regretted doing it, but I don’t and it was my choice and I’m glad.
One of the judges mentioned that you had a comedy background. Could you speak a little bit to that?
Yes, I do have a comedy background. When I was like 11 or 12 and I loved making people laugh and smile and I got to do that up on stage as well.
What was going through your head when you were eliminated? You dropped down to your knees. You were crying. What was that like for you?
It was heartbreaking. I was very sad, but I’m doing much better now.
What is the one thing that you would say you’re going to take away from your time spent on the show? Is there any lesson that you’ve learned?
I will take away the experience of a lifetime. It was amazing and lessons I learned so much at a young age. And I learned so much I can’t even say it in without saying it for hours on end. I’ve learned always stay true to who you are and I’ve learned how to control my vocals even more now. And I’ve learned that friends are made on TV shows and it’s really hard to go.
What was your favorite performance that you did as an “X Factor” contestant?
My favorite performance was the last performance I did [of Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind”], because I put my all into it and I loved being up there and just pouring my heart out.
The judges seemed to really have faith in you during the competition, and they kept saying that you are and will continue to be a star. L.A. Reid had even said during this week’s performance show that some people were interested in you for acting roles and such. Have you heard anything out there about that?
Yes, acting is something I would be interested in. It’s exciting and I don’t know. Maybe.
TMZ reported that Nicole cried for a half-hour and was inconsolable in her dressing room after you were eliminated. Did you talk to Nicole at all that night or have you since your elimination?
No, Nicole did not cry for 30 minutes. She cried for an hour-and-a-half. She was devastated. And I love her, and she’s got the biggest heart and she’s just beautiful on the inside and out. And I will always, hopefully, have a special place in her heart and she will always have a special place in mine.
You and former “X Factor” finalist Drew became the best of friends on the show. Have you had a chance to speak to her yet? And what did she say to you?
Yes, we’ve spoken and we just talk girl talk. She called me last night and we got on the phone and we talked for a while. And it was nice, just me and her talking. She said, “It’s OK.” She said, “That’s how I felt [after I was eliminated]. And we just had a nice heartfelt girl-to-girl talk.
How do you think that the show has sort of changed who you are as an artist?
The show changed who I am as an artist because I’m known finally. I’m not a “nobody” anymore, and I’m very happy to share my light with the world.
Do you feel like L.A. Reid maybe threw you under the bus or sabotaged you a little by mentioning that you were getting interest from Hollywood for acting roles? It felt like a strategic move.
I don’t think so. I think he just wanted to let everybody know. I don’t know, but he’s definitely a very nice man, and I don’t regret anything he said to me.
The competition is now down to Melanie Amaro, Marcus Canty, Josh Krajcik and Chris Rene. Going into the semi-final, obviously you probably developed a bond with Melanie because you knew her well, but is there anyone in particular that you are rooting for to win?
Honestly, I would be the worst judge ever, because I looked at the top four and I was trying in my head to picture who I wanted to win, but I couldn’t because they all have an equal shot.
Would you pursue the comedy route or are you more focused on singing now?
I’m more focused on singing now.