By Michael Slezak
Updated March 24, 2009 at 04:18 PM EDT

Alexis Grace’s 11th place-finish on American Idol‘s eighth season was a travesty of Daughtry-ian proportions. But if a silver lining must be found in this massive storm cloud of injustice (how’s that for dramatic?) at least the charming young mother stopped by the glamorous Idolatry studios — AKA my office — for a candid talk about her Idol “journey” and what she’s hoping to accomplish following her early ouster from the show. Alexis talked about why she didn’t play guitar during her Idol run, how Simon embarrassed himself when he labeled her “Jolene” cover as “sound-alike,” and which pop superstars have influenced her own music-writing style. Press play below for our exclusive three-part interview segment — parts 2 and 3 automatically play when part 1 finishes streaming — then post your thoughts on Alexis’s (hopefully bright) future in the comments section below.