By Alicia Rancilio
Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK – Lil Rounds, who started as an “American Idol” favorite but fell from grace during the competition, said the judges’ harsh criticism was tough to take.
But Rounds waited until after cameras stopped rolling to give in to her emotions.
“I will admit there were a couple times where I would just cry like a baby because I felt like I went out there and was giving my all and it kept getting pushed down,” said Rounds, who was voted off by viewers last week.
While the judges swooned over their clear favorite, Adam Lambert, they described Rounds as karaoke, unoriginal, and even “a mess.” Rounds believes comments like those cost her votes.
“After they kept hammering, America started feeling like, ‘Oh, maybe they’re right?’ It started to change their opinion about me,” said Rounds, a 24-year-old mother of three from Memphis.
Earlier this month, judge Simon Cowell derided her performance of “What’s Love Got To Do With It” as a “second- or third-rate version of Tina Turner.”
“I have no idea who you are,” Cowell told Rounds. “You’re not making the impact you should be making on the show. … You’ve got to start becoming more original.”
On another night, Cowell said “you’re not the artist we met” earlier in the contest.
At times, Rounds tried to explain her intention to the judging panel – but she never lost her cool.
“I have to keep it classy. The second that I ‘go hood,’ it’s gonna be a mess. I just decided whatever I say I have to make sure I say it in a way that they understand me and understand I’m not trying to get in an argument.”
Her family in the audience often had a more colorful reaction. Cameras often showed them talking back and gesturing to the judges.
“I’m actually going to miss your family screaming at us every week,” Cowell told after Rounds after she was eliminated.

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