HitFix: They didn't make you wait that long before putting you in the Top 10.
Pia Toscano: Thank God I didn't, because I was shaking up there as is.
HitFix: Were you able to relax at all after that?
PT: I was able to relax, but then you see some people who you're very close with go home and I'm very emotional, so I was definitely sitting in my seat crying a little bit, but just so happy that my dream is finally coming true. And I know that the other contestants are going to go on and be great and continue with their dream.
HitFix: After you performed, I think it was Jennifer who said that you'd been keeping a low profile and maybe sneaking up on us. Were you?
PT: You know, I wasn't planning on doing that, but I was so happy that that was my moment. I had to be fearless and I was kind of playing it safe. I agree with her that I was holding it back a little bit. But I'm happy that that was the time. It was very important. That was a pivotal moment in this competition and I'm happy it was well-received.
HitFix: Fans know that there are expectations that come with the last slot on a show. What did you think when you found out you had the last slot for the first show of the season?
PT: Oh my gosh. It's incredible! To close the show? I had to really rise to the occasion. That was a lot of pressure. Every single girl, to me, was fabulous. There was pressure, but I went out there and that's where I belong. I'm more comfortable performing for crowds and doing that whole thing. And it was an incredible feeling.
HitFix: We didn't see a lot of you in the auditions and Hollywood. How important do you feel it is for you to get your personality out there to the public?
PT: It's very important, because this is a very personal experience and a very personal process. Because America is voting for you, you really have to show a lot of emotion in those songs. For me, I haven't gotten a lot of TV time, which I'm completely OK with, because I know every week I'm going to try my best to have a strong performance. It's not about hitting every note. It's about selling the story of the song and I'm definitely going to do that week to week.
HitFix: So tell me something about you, something about your personality that you think America should know.
PT: I'm a goofball. I do a lot of funny accents. I just like to have a good time. I have to say, I'm a very nice person, a very supportive person, but I definitely like to have a good time. I like to joke around a lot. I don't take myself seriously at all.
HitFix: And who do you think you are as an artist?
PT: I would say that I'm a pop artist with an R&B influence, but I want to have those huge ballads. I want to have a ballad that can get a 15-year-old through her first breakup, you know? But I also want those big dance songs, I want those dance tracks and those club hits.