Janelle Arthur‘s night didn’t start off too great during “American Idol” Motown week. She was singled out for criticism in her Madonna duet with Kree Harrison. And then the country singer was expected to sing a style quite far from her own only minutes later.

Fortunately for Janelle, she completely rocked her Motown-made-country.

When we spoke to Janelle after the show, she mostly seemed relieved to have made it through some performances that had scared her. “I feel relieved that I got through it,” she said. “I was able to not let anyone stop me from doing my thing. I mean, as if I wasn’t under enough pressure, playing my guitar for the first time! And then having to deal with the comments before… It really felt good just to get through it.”

As for her solo performance itself, Janelle sang her own arrangement of The Supremes‘ “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” accompanying herself on guitar. “If it was not exactly what I did when I was 14, then I changed it when I was 18,” the country singer said of her arrangement. “It was all mine. I did it. I came up with it in my head, made my uncle play it. And then I had to describe to him — it was so hard, describing what I was hearing in my head.”

Despite raves from most of the judges for this performance, Janelle was hardly ready to consider herself a contender for the “American Idol” crown. She strongly insisted that, while she loved her success, she wasn’t certain of any sort of victory. “I’m going to ride it as long as I can!” was all Janelle would say.

A few more performances like her solo in Motown week, and Janelle can likely expect a long ride on “American Idol.”

Posted by:Laurel Brown