“Other contestants are like ‘Are you serious you want to do that again?’ Because it is exhausting,” Mays shared with Ryan Seacrest on-air on Friday, February 21. “But to be honest with you, it happened the day I was cut in Hawaii last season: I remember Lionel put his hands on my shoulders and he looked me in the eyes and he said ‘Come back and come back with serious stuff.’ And he said that and I was like ‘OK.’”
Mays explained growing up in Delaware that landing a chance on American Idol seemed like just a dream.
“When all of this came to fruition,” she added. “It was like Christmas was happening. … I just realized if I practice everyday until the time comes around next year, the worst thing that could happen is I’m a lot better so that was my mentality.”
This time around she also has a partner-in-crime: boyfriend Jonny West.
“When you love someone that much … you’re like you deserve this feeling [too],” she shared of what it’s like to audition alongside your beau. “… But it felt scary because I was like there’s that moment where one of you might go further than the other.”
Listen back to the full interview in the audio above and catch American Idol on Sundays on ABC at 8/7c.
(Photo credits: Getty & Instagram)