It's the end of the yellow brick road for Coquitlam's Jennifer Gillis, at least for now.
Gillis had advanced through several rounds of competition in CBC's Over The Rainbow, a reality TV show to cast a Dorothy in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Toronto production of The Wizard of Oz, but was eliminated in a sing-off earlier this month.
However, much like the character she was striving to play on stage, the 16-year-old phenom remains irrepressible.
"It's just been very humbling and it's something that I'll never ever forget for the rest of my life," Gillis told The NOW.
"I had such a wonderful experience and I learned so much about myself as a per-former and as person, and I know this is only the beginning."
Gillis, a nine-year veteran of Coquitlam's Lindbjerg Academy of Performing Arts, had been in Toronto rehearsing and filming for the show for the last two months.
Despite being sick during the competition and not able to choose the repertoire of songs she could sing, Gillis rose to the occasion.
"I felt that, with what I was given, I did the best I could and I have no regrets," she said.
The Gleneagle student isn't scheduled for any upcoming stage performances but said she expects her Over the Rainbow experience will only help her budding career.
"Not many 16-year-old girls can say that they've done this in their entire life. Being the youngest (on the show), I think I have four years on some of the girls. They never had this exposure when they were my age. I'm just so thankful for this opportunity," she said.
"I know there's a big stage waiting for me somewhere in my near future . This just made me even hungrier for what I want to do for the rest of my life. It just made me so much more deter-mined to chase my dream."
She also got a taste of what her life will be like when she does make it to the marquee of some major productions.
"You're in this world that's completely different from normal life . It's very obscure.
This is my first day off in two months, but I could last longer. Every day I just had so much fun," she said.
Gillis credited her mentor, Lalainia Lindbjerg-Strelau, and the rest of the family at the Lindbjerg Academy with helping her go from being one of thousands of girls to audition to making the top seven.
"The whole family, they are the reason I am the performer I am today . They really are a huge part of my life so I'm very thankful to have them," she said.
Port Moody's Fiona McIntyre, who also survived the massive talent search to make the show, didn't advance into the top 10.
McIntyre, who's 19, is currently in her first year at Montclair State University in New Jersey studying musical theatre.