Tamyra says she expected to be voted off ''Idol'' -- She says she knew it was her time to go, but producers are already signing her to a deal
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Tamyra Gray
Credit: Tamyra Gray: Lisa O'Connor/ZUMA Press/Newscom
LIONEL RICHIE, KATY PERRY, RYAN SEACREST, LUKE BRYAN

Tamyra Gray says she knew she was going to be voted off ”American Idol” in last week’s upset. Knew in her gut, at least. She told USA Today that last week was the first time she felt that her run on the show was over. ”I felt like it was my time to go home,” she said. ”But I was OK with that. I’ve had a great experience.”

Gray shot down rumors that the telephone voting system, which producers have acknowledged is vulnerable to power-dialing hackers, is rigged, or that race was a factor in her ouster. ”Everybody has their opinion, but the only thing I will say is that everything is legit.” Gray said. ”My performance Tuesday night wasn’t the best, so everybody [probably] voted on the performances that night.”

Still, as Simon Cowell said, ”Watch this space.” Even though she didn’t win, Tamyra will be the first of the 10 finalists to have a recording contract of her own. 19 Productions has an option to sign each of the 10 finalists; it will release an album around Thanksgiving that includes performances by all of them, and the company will, of course, sign the eventual winner. However, 19 has already decided to exercise its option to sign Gray. ”This girl is a star,” 19’s Tom Ellis told USA Today. ”She has a very bright future.” Gray said, ”Hopefully, sometime next year, maybe I’ll have an album out.”

”Idol”’s Wednesday results episode will be expanded to an hour this week, and will feature detailed profiles and judges’ assessments of each of the three remaining finalists, one of whom, of course, will be booted out by the end of the hour. The winner will be announced Sept. 4.

Episode Recaps

LIONEL RICHIE, KATY PERRY, RYAN SEACREST, LUKE BRYAN
American Idol

Ryan Seacrest hosts as Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan guide aspiring singers on their way to superstardom.

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