By Jenna Bagcal

Perseverance and determination are two qualities that 19-year-old Sarina-Joi Crowe possess. The Columbia, Tennessee native has auditioned for reality TV show American Idol four times since 2011. This season, she made it to the Top 12, but her journey ended this past Thursday after she received the lowest number of fan votes. She performed Demi Lovato’s “Neon Lights” as her save song, but it wasn’t enough for the judges to keep her from elimination. While this came as a shock to viewers and fans, the singer isn’t done yet: “This is not the end of me. There’s definitely more to come!” she assures us in our celebrity interview.

American Idol Contestant Talks About Elimination and Relationships and Love

Crowe grew up in a small town in Tennessee and worked as a hostess at a restaurant. She learned to sing in church and credits her mother as the driving force behind her tenacity. “She’s always been very big on following our hearts, doing what we want to do, and not letting anyone stop us,” she shares. This attitude is one that Crowe has held on to throughout her life, and it’s what has pushed her to pursue her goals.

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While many contestants in the performer’s position would feel disheartened, the veteran says that her elimination from the reality TV  show “doesn’t affect her determination” to pursue music as a career. “It actually motivates me even more. At the end of the day, I know everybody wants to go all the way on Idol, and that’s ultimately the goal,” she explains in our celebrity interview. “But if you can go from number 100 to 60 to 48 to 12, then it’s a pretty good sign of what kind of career you’re going to have. You’re always gonna go a little farther; you’re always gonna get a little better. I still have time to grow and do great things.”

Of course, we had to ask Crowe about her relationship status! When she performs romantic songs like “You Really Got a Hold On Me,” she’s not thinking of anyone in particular. “There’s nobody in mind because I’m so single, it should be illegal!” she says with a laugh.

Instead, she thinks of a personal experience or an experience of someone she knows and tries to channel that energy into the song and make the delivery of it convincing. “I try to use past relationships and love as an example, or I try to jump into the shoes of somebody that I think would feel that way,” she explains.

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The young singer has also learned a lot about the audition process during her long history with American Idol and has some advice to share for next season’s hopefuls. “You should never give up. That’s the one thing I want to make known across the nation,” she exclaims. “When somebody tells you ‘no,’ you can’t really take that. You have to figure out what to do next and try it again. It’s that one ‘yes’ that’s gonna make the difference.” 

To her fans, Crowe says, “I just want to thank them so much. I love them dearly! I’ve been reading so many great things on Twitter and Facebook, and it’s just really awesome to see a group of people who are so dedicated and loyal. I owe them everything because I wouldn’t even be here if not for them.”

You can keep up with Sarina-Joi on Twitter @SarinaJoi and www.facebook.com/SarinJoiMusic?ref=br_tf!