Megan Joy didn't exit "American Idol" under the best of circumstances, but she insists she wouldn't have it any other way.
"No regrets ever," the 23-year-old Utahn told TV critics in a conference call the day after she was voted out by viewers. "I wouldn't take anything back. I was happy to go the way I did."
Even though her exit was contentious, with Megan Joy and judge Simon Cowell exchanging insults.
After she told Cowell she "didn't care" about his criticisms, he returned the favor, telling her the judges didn't care enough to consider using their "save" to keep her on the show another week.
"I just was honest," Megan Joy said. "I cared about the competition. … I just didn't care that Simon didn't like my song."
Oddly enough, Cowell was one of her boosters in the early rounds of the auditions.
"I think that he likes me, maybe just as much as he did, but maybe just not for this competition," Megan Joy said. "But I got no beef with Simon, and I don't think he really has any with me."
And she doesn't think any of that mattered anyway.
"I really woke up feeling like … I was going no matter what I did or said," Megan Joy said.
And what she did when she was relegated to the bottom three in the voting was flap her arms and say, "Caw, caw!"
"I love birds and bird noises, and I just decided if I'm going out, I'm going out with a bang," Megan Joy said. "And I'm just going to be myself. I flew the whole time."
(She said she's "really goofy" and is "always making … animal noises.")
Megan Joy insisted she wasn't overly disappointed, and she's looking forward to this summer's "Idol" tour with the other top 10 finalists.
"I didn't ever put any expectations on myself," she said. "I wanted to make the tour; that was my only goal. But I was just excited and wanted to enjoy the ride."
And she admitted to some mixed feelings about her exit.
"As sad as I am that I'm leaving and I'm done with the show, there is a very big part of me that cannot wait to see my son," she said. "It's been too long. I'm ready to hold him in my arms again. Part of me is ready (to leave)."
Although she hasn't seen 2-year-old Ryder in "a couple months," Megan Joy won't see him again until Wednesday. She has to wrap up the interviews and appearances "Idol" has scheduled for her.
"I'm going to hold him for as long as he'll let me," she said. "And I'm going to try not to sob like a lunatic because I'm sure he'll just be confused and scared. It's going to be beautiful. I just cannot wait."80 comments on this story
As for what's up next professionally, other than the "Idol" tour, Megan Joy doesn't really know. She might like to do cartoon voices. She'd like to stay in music "as long as I can" and maybe write some songs, which she's never done before.
"I'm down for whatever. Whatever life wants to introduce me to, I would love to dabble," she said.
Oh, and she'll be getting a new tattoo.
"I definitely am. I had a lucky ring that I've worn the entire time, and I'm going to have that tattooed on my ribs," Megan Joy said.