Amber Holcomb Q&A: Tears, Tour Talk and Love for Nicki After 'American Idol'

Michael Becker/FOX
Amber Holcomb performs on AMERICAN IDOL Wednesday, April 24

Thursday night, "American Idol" announced its top 3 season 12 contestants. While Kree Harrison, Candice Glover, and Angie Miller walked off the stage smiling, the bottom contender was voted off, and that was Amber Holcomb. Before leaving the show, Ryan Seacrest handed Holcomb the mic to perform one last time. Both Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj wiped away the tears as a choked up Holcomb struggled to make it through Whitney Houston's "I Believe in You and Me."

Following the broadcast an emotional Holcomb chatted with the remaining contestants about her journey on the show. Tears rolled down her face but she maintained her composure, especially at the realization that she needed to pack to go home and was currently without a suitcase. Backstage, Holcomb pulled herself together to revel in Idol memories with reporters. She answered questions – at one point stepping out to "take a moment." Holcomb discussed her relationship with Nicki Minaj, the massive amount of shoes she's collected while in Los Angeles, and revealed the chart-topping performers that she'd like to collaborate with.

What's the first thing you're going to do when you get home?
Sleep and drive my car to the mall. I deserve some shopping. [Laughs]

You were really emotional and we heard you saying to Nicki how much you hated that they made you sing following your elimination…
I know! That sucks knowing you're not singing for your save and you still have to sing.

What was going through your head, because you seemed pretty composed until you actually started singing?
It was, oh my gosh, the video, the "Gone" video. That gets me with every person and seeing me was like, "Oh crap!" [Starts crying] Sorry.

You have the tour to look forward to. And a big suitcase to pack apparently…
I know! Oh my gosh, that too. I need a new suitcase.

You had some great moments on the show. What stands out for you as some of your favorite memories?
I think tonight the group was really fun – "Crazy In Love" but in a whole different style. That was fun.

You got to do your Beyonce.
I know but then at the same time, I heard we were doing "Crazy In Love" and then I heard the song and I was like, "Oh God! Because it's The Great Gatsby."

You guys had some great dance moves too!
I know! And the backup dancers were really great.

You guys will be well rehearsed for the tour. How do you feel about singing together as a group as you travel across America?
I'm ready to go on tour and just perform with everybody again and again and again, you know? Not nine, eight, seven, six, five [laughs]

How are you going to prepare for it? It's pretty intense performing night after night!
I know, they said we have to be in shape! I'm lazy. I'm going to let the tour be my trainer. [Laughs]

We saw you talking to the girls about how you were concerned about not being able to get everything in your suitcase. What have you collected while out here in L.A.?
Oh my gosh, I have so many tennis shoes, and the Doc boots. I have so many of those too. I go crazy when I go to the mall. [Laughs] I'm just going to have to have a suitcase for my shoes and a suitcase for my clothes. That's how bad it is.

Do you see yourself returning to Texas for a long period of time or are you going to be moving out here?
I have no idea. I love L.A! I wouldn't mind being out here but I don't know. That's something I would have to talk to my mom about because she is a big baby. [Laughs] She wants me to stay with her everywhere.

We saw your dad up on stage too; he was really emotional. What were some of the things that he was saying? And what did Randy say to your dad?
He was just like, "It's okay, it's okay," and all the judges were like, "It's just the beginning."

What do you want your music career to look like?
Let me get the list out. I would love to work with Rihanna, Miguel, Frank Ocean, Nicki, maybe if I can even open for them…rappers – Lil Wayne. I want to be everywhere.

Nicki spent a lot of time on stage talking to you. What did she say to you? She's been championing for you a lot.
She's my cheerleader. She was just like, "Don't even worry." Even last week she was telling me, "If you go home, you're going to have people beating down your door. You have nothing to worry about." She believes in me.

What will you take away from this experience?
One thing that I learned is I can actually dance. I mean, this time last year if you had asked me to go on stage for two people and dance, I couldn't do it. Just watching myself I was like, "Oh it was cute when I did that!" I don't know, I didn't know I could dance until I did this show.

You'll probably be doing a lot more of it for the finale and the tour.
Yes! I cannot wait. Give me some choreography and background people and it'll be over.

The finale talk has been going on. Can you tease us with anything?

Ooh! I have no idea, but if it was up to me it would be dancing, dancing, boom cat.

They normally bring out people for you to sing with. You probably have a laundry list of people you admire, but who would you be completely floored if they brought out for you to sing with?
I already said her name, but Rihanna. I'm like, obsessed. I probably would faint.

So that's a performance you wouldn't be able to get through?
Oh no! If they let me meet her before. [Laughs]. Just get it out of the way!

Will you keep in touch with Nicki or any of the judges?
Oh, most definitely.

Out of all the songs that you sang, which one was your favorite to perform?
I like the Barbra Streisand song because it was hard and I liked the challenge, so I feel like I was challenging myself and I succeeded.

What surprised you the most about the judges behind the scenes?
They are genuine and so loving and they really do care about us. They're not just on the panel getting paid. Like Nicki…if I messed up, she'd be like, "That wasn't good." Just the fact that they are genuine, honest…that was cool.

What was the biggest surprise about doing the show?
I knew we weren't really going to have a lot of time, but I didn't realize how much time we really had…or didn't have. I mean, you're always like, "Oh I can learn that song," but then you're in the position with no sleep, it's really hard.

Would you do anything differently given the chance?
Oh no, I wouldn't change anything that I've done. I feel like everything was me.