Skylar Laine, the 18-year-old boot-scootin’ spitfire from Mississippi, had contemplated singing “Knock On Wood” as her ’60s selection. Turns out she might have benefited from partaking in the superstitious activity instead because, despite earning high praise from the judges, Laine found herself with the least votes Thursday night. [Read Annie Barrett’s recap here.] “I don’t know what it was about last night to make people not vote for me. I expected to be in the bottom. I didn’t expect to go home,” she admitted to EW after the show, though she also said she’d started packing up her very messy Idol bedroom the night before just in case. “I got a gut feeling right there at the end and I looked at Holly and said, ‘I think you’re going to be surprised.’ And she was. She thought she was going home.”

In typical Laine fashion, she turned her frown upside down by focusing on the positives in EW’s video exit interview. She genuinely seemed happy for her friends, otherwise known as the competition, and proud of Holly Cavanaugh for “coming out of her shell.” She felt blessed to make it as far as she had, and while she wanted to win so badly (and admitted as much a day earlier when prompted by Jennifer Lopez), Laine was simultaneously thrilled to be headed home to Brandon, Miss., to log some ATV miles in the mud.

Watch the video to hear how the competition bolstered her stage confidence, which of her performances she hopes to take on tour, and what kind of record she plans to write and record. (BTW: Her revisiting of “Gunpowder and Lead” in the final moments of the episode is a big hint!)

Oh, and for those wondering what happened to the gum Ryan Seacrest confiscated from Phillip Phillips and unsuccessfully tried to lob at Jimmy for suggesting that the purdy pawn-shop troubadour deserved to be eliminated, Seacrest bent down on one knee, ripped off the gum side of the results card and gave it to one so-excited-she-was-vibrating teen at the foot of the stage, instantly making her the envy of the cheer group she came with.

Read more: