American Idol 12 – Burnell Taylor Speaks To the Press (VIDEOS)

AMERICAN IDOL: Burnell Taylor (Center) is eliminated on AMERICAN IDOL Thursday, April 4 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Michael Becker / FOX. Copyright: FOX.

Eliminated American Idol 12 contestant, Burnell Taylor, spoke with the press today about his experience on the show, his relationship with Nicki Minaj, and his budding romance with Amber Holcomb!  He’s a guy who is constantly trying to improve himself.

Read below. Plus, check out more interviews at the bottom of the page.

What will his album look like? “I want to make captivating music, period. I want my album–because there is only a few that you can play from the beginning to the end without no skips. I just want to be a story teller and I want to be as personal as I can get. Just be honest. That’s what the industry, I feel, is missing today. ”

What was his favorite part of the season? “The fact that it allowed me to grow. It really allowed me to lose the weight. There’s things that I never would have done if I wasn’t on the show. The show motivated me to do a lot of things, and I’m thankful and blessed that I was even in this position.”

He ended his save song kissing Amber on the cheek. Did she know that was coming? How would he describe their relationship? “I don’t think she knew that was coming. I don’t think nobody knew that was coming. I really like Amber. She really likes me. We like each other. We’re just learning more about each other right now. We’re not taking it too fast because we’re both still young. We’re just taking our time. As far as us liking each other? We really like each other.

How did he keep his composure as everyone cried around him after his elimination. Did he cry off camera? “I was telling them, “Don’t cry, don’t cry because this is not the end. Some people started crying before I even started singing.  The reason why I cried–I never knew how much they really cared. We’re all cool. We’re really close like a family. Just to see that they were extra-genuine–it just touched me. I had to show love and break down too.”

Which two judges/mentor provided him with the most helpful guidance for his career? “Anybody that had anything to do with me being on this show–from Jimmy, Nicki, Keith, Mariah, Randy–all of them are good mentors. That’s what they’re there for–to mentor us. And I appreciate all them equally. All of them have a part in my life and the reason why my life will never be the same.”

Can he choose one piece of advice that he was given, that really stuck with him? “In Hollywood Week , it was rough for me. They were telling me that I was pitchy and things like that. I took what they told me and did my homework.  I got…all the money that I had for a vocal coach, so that when it was time for them to see me again, I knew it was going to be  ‘oh you got it together.’ When I performed the first time in Vegas, that’s the reaction I got from them. It was amazing.”

What is he most excited for on the upcoming tour? “I think I’m most excited about seeing things that I never saw before–different cities. For the most part, I’ve stayed in New Orleans all my life. Los Angeles is the furthest I ever went. I want to see everybody’s home towns. Not only that–I feel like the tour gives us an extra foundation on top of the foundation that we already have–to build that fanbase.”

In his Idol experience, is there anything he could have lived without? “Not at all. Nope.”

Is John Legend an inspiration of his? Does he have plans to make music in that style? Or does he want to do something different? “John Legend is definitely one of my inspirations. As far as me making the same type of music–I feel like there’s already a John.  I try to be as original as I can get. I want to do something that nobody ever heard before. I love John. I know I get a comparison with the voice. That’s a good thing. He can sing.”

Why is it such a year for the ladies? What are the guys doing wrong? Honestly, there’s nothing that we’re doing wrong. It’s just calling a spade a spade. It’s a girl’s year this year. I would love to see a girl win. Because it’s been too long since one has won.  If a girl wins–the fact that I’m going to know her–makes it a 100 times better.”

Did Mariah offer him any words of support after his elimination? “She was just telling me ‘This is not the end. Take this and run with it.’ That’s what I’m going to do. I feel like it’s what you do after the show.”

What would Burnell like to say to his fans? “I don’t call them fans. I call them family, cause we’re a family. I love y’all so much. No matter what, we shall meet again, Team Burnell…and it’s not going to be too long. There’s no doubt I love ya all.”

When he was standing in the bottom 2 with Janelle, did he feel he’d be going home? “Honestly, I had a feeling, in my stomach , in my bones the whole week. I guess it was just a sign from God, trying to prepare me for the situation. I knew that I had to sing. It wasn’t about me getting saved. It was about me leaving my mark regardless. Performing my song–it wasn’t perfect, but I do feel like I dug deep enough for somebody to reach out to me.”

Would he change any of his performances? “Nope. I wouldn’t change anything. Nothing that I’ve done. Because I done it for a reason. Everything happens for a reason. I wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t done the songs that I did.”

What will be his next step? “When I get home, actually, I’m going to the gym because I gained 10 pounds. I’m going to start running. I want to lose some more weight. Besides, that, music wise–I’m going to start back writing. Because I did a lot of writing in my younger days, but I stopped. Just taking the time out to do the things that I need to do, so that when it’s time for me to be free, I can start putting everything out.”

Is there any particular musician that he hopes to work with someday? “I can sit here and name a whole list, and hopefully they listen. I would love working with Frank Ocean, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Miguel, Brandy, India-Arie… I just want to be heard, and I want to be appreciated. As much as I can get my voice out there.”

Did he feel uncomfortable, like the judges said, when he sang Bon Jovi this week? Why did he choose the song? “Actually, I had the time of my life performing that song. The fact that I performed a rock song on live television–if somebody would have told me that, I would have never believed them. If nobody is proud of me, I’m proud of myself, because I knew what it took for me to overcome that performance, and shine though it–even though it probably was difficult for me. I just got to roll with the punches and not make excuses for it.”

Was he surprised that the judges didn’t use the save on him? “Honestly? It was already established. And it was already–I knew, I just had a feeling.  That’s why I sung my song the way I sung it, That’s why I walked over to the contestants–because I had a feeling that this was the end–for that chapter. Because it’s not the end.”

What was going through his head when he first performed on the Idol stage for a huge audience? “In Vegas, we heard the audience and we were like ‘this could be really good, or this could be REALLY bad. When I went on the stage, and the energy from the audience–it made me feel like I was alright–like I was at home. It took everything away. I enjoyed performing for so many people. For me, the more people the better.”

What did he find the most challenging on the show? “Of course, the themes are very challenging. Some of the times, we don’t know the songs. We always want to pick the best songs. It’s a good challenge.”

Nicki Minaj said last week that she would not save any boys.  What is his response to that? “Honestly? I don’t know what you’re talking about.  Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. I love Nicki and Nicki loves me. None of that matters, because she showed me that she really loved me…that  she was genuine. I don’t let that get in the relationship I have with her. ”

E News reported that he and Amber were singing a duet on tour. Can he confirm? “Where did that come from? (laughs) I never said me and Amber was doing a duet on the tour. That would be nice, though!”

What was the most surprising thing he took away from his experience on Idol? “Being on the show and watching the show are two different things. It’s so different. I always thought that ‘oh we can pick any song we want to sing.’ We do get to pick our songs, but it has to fit into the theme. I was under the impression ‘no, we can pick our own songs, whatever we want to sing.’  It’s not like that. That was kind of surprising.”

Was the routine from day to day difficult? “I appreciate the hard grind, and waking up. It makes us feel like we’re doing something, instead of us at homedoing nothing–not living our dream. It makes us feel like we are living our dream.”

What would he like to say to the kids and teachers at his high school? “I love you all so much. The support that y’all give is just amazing. I cannot wait to come personally to thank all y’all when I get back to New Orleans, just show my love. The love that you all show–I can’t even explain. I love y’all. I ain’t going nowhere. The grind is about to get even harder.”

Will he stay in New Orleans? “It’s a possibility. Only time will tell.”

What did he think of his mini-sessions with Jimmy? “The first time I saw Jimmy Iovine, we had our first interview–I was terrified. And I have tough skin. He’s like another Nicki. When you’re looking for honesty, that’s who you can go to. I appreciate what he’s talking about because he knows what he’s talking about. It’s different if somebody don’t know what they’re talking about. You just take that advice that he gives you and learn from it. Do your homework. That’s what I’ve been trying to do–that’s what I’m going to do.”


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  • Eilonwy

    Whoa! He interviews like a pro — upbeat, responsible for his own outcomes. hits key talking points, and keeps it brief.

    Okay, he was clueless about how the show works, which always annoys me — but he had the sense to get vocal coaching in response to judges’ comments about his vocals being rough. He does seem to try to solve problems once he recognizes them, so that’s a good sign for his future.

    I’m not into his music, but I hope he finds a mentor who’ll show him the ropes in the industry — he seems to have a good attitude and would benefit from active guidance.

  • elliegrll

    I loved the part about the vocal coaching too, even though he still needs a little work. I’ve always wondered why more people don’t get a vocal coach in between the first audition and the Hollywood round.

  • CanadianLady

    If you only watched the show and didn’t go to places like this, you would assume they can pick any song they want within the themes. It sure sounds like that from what is said on the show.

  • Matteo Rodrigo

    I love how all these kids are deluded enough to think they’re gonna release an album soon. Did josh ledet ever get signed? I often wonder what makes someone choose one show vs another. A national tour over several months is a one in a life experience that they’ll never forget…and most will never do again

  • Chris

    I think he’s gonna get one of those collabs for finale, IMO. Most likely india.arie….

  • stef

    Joshua (who I think is very talented if needing some maturing into his style) seems to have been in LA recently working on music but I didn’t get the impression it was a full label deal. He said something vague about it on the show Tues. Maybe cutting demos?

    I’m not sure what the best thing is for these very young performers. With winner and runner-up promo pushing them, Lauren and Scotty have had a lot of opportunities and done reasonably well in country. But then you have someone like Allison Iraheta who has had such a rough road.

  • Bug Menot

    Well, he was asked what his album would sound like. He’s realistic enough to answer when asked if he would stay in New Orleans that “It’s a possibility.”

  • jcabby

    He’s a good kid.

    It’s good to see how the show is motivating him to lose weight, take care of himself, and appreciate the opportunity. As Nicki said, this was a life changing experience for Burnell.

    I hope he can find success after the show and tour.

  • Jake W.

    The best bet for contestants not finishing in the top tier is to record a EP. Those are much cheaper than a debut album that typically has lots of productions,collabs,etc.

  • lila6089

    Burnell sounds like a great guy. Best of luck to him!

  • standtotheright

    Anybody who goes in seeing it as a learning opportunity and comes out seeking more of them is probably going to do okay. Maybe more in life than in a professional music career, but it’s a vital mindset to have.

  • H.A.

    Burnell’s interview was like an old pro at this. No p/a answers, he didn’t take any bait. He had all the right answers. That’s how you give an interview Burnell.

  • vd88

    He didn’t actually say anything about releasing an album soon, he’s asked questions about what his album would sound like. These are the type of questions they ask these contestants, what type of album do yourself making, who would you like to collab. with, where do you self in the future.

  • vd88

    Burnell really is a good guy, has the right attitude, and is always trying to better himself. I really hope things work out for him after all this.

  • tarquinius

    Does anyone know, since Burnell wasn’t saved, if the save HAS to be used next week in order to stay on schedule with a May 15 – 16 finale and result show? No saves makes for a May 8 – 9 final 2 unless they decide to have a no elimination week at some point??

  • hayes

    If they can find the right song, a Burnell-Amber duet on the tour would be really good. I remember Pia and Stefano’s California King Bed, I thought that was quite nice.

  • Miz

    He sounds like he has a good attitude about his experience and will take positive steps to realize his dream. He’s proven that he’s not afraid of work and is open to suggestion and criticism.

    I just hope he isn’t too trusting.

  • lovesickheroine

    Even Angie thinks that Lazaro should’ve been the one who went home last night. Check out her favorites on twitter

  • Niall

    Here’s the thing. In a world where Leah LaBelle eventually scored a record deal (it still boggles my mind, but I digress), I can’t really call any of these kids “delusional” for talking about a potential album. I don’t think Burnell is getting signed but if he buckles down, learns the business, and works on his craft, I think the potential is there for him to become a recording artist.

  • RalphResty

    Seems like he won’t be missing Lazaro.

    @candiceai12 @amberai12 @kreeai12 @angieai12 @janelleai12 Miss Y’all!— Burnell Taylor (@BurnellAI12) April 5, 2013

  • LeahKittyS

    It doesn’t necessarily have to be used. If Lazaro goes home (which my so-far-totally-accurate source says is likely), they wouldn’t save him if they had guns to their heads. In which case Nigel and Ken would pull something out of their butts to make up the week.

  • mjsbigblog

    he didn’t take any bait

    God knows I tried. lol.

  • Madilo

    Go Burnell, i love him and wish him much success, his tone is unique

  • Lexee234

    I really like Burnell, but that’s rude. After reading the interview above and being impressed – and then reading this, I’ve lost a little respect for him. That wasn’t an oversight. Like almost everyone, I think Lazaro should have been the one to go (long ago), but as Nicki has said “Blame America”. They’re the ones voting. It’s not Lazaro’s fault.

  • Kesia Monteith

    Clearly not many people are upset about it, since 11 people liked the comment, compare to TWO dislikes, LOL :P

  • Kesia Monteith

    DAMN! The other Idols know they have to tour with the guy, right?

  • Kesia Monteith

    What do you want him to say? These kids come on this show to chase after a dream. If Burnell believes he is going to release an album, he’ll do it. If Devin feels he will be touring Australia, then he will. People become stars because they believe they will and work after it. I don’t care if these kids go back to working at McDonalds, there would have been no purpose in doing this show if they didn’t think they could accomplish some sort of career for themselves afterwards.

  • HermeticallySealed

    I think this is why this year is so meh to me – there’s a very juvenile, high school mentality to the contestants. Usually, even if the contestants don’t appear to like each other, they still seemed to get along or work together. I don’t get a sense of any kind of such from most of these contestants.

  • Kesia Monteith

    This is similar to the rumoured shafting that Blake Lewis gave to Sanjaya. I heard Blake that poor dude hell on tour.

  • Eilonwy

    Yup. Nine people who are working their @$$ses off and learning multiple songs each week get to tour with a person who consistently lets them down in duets and trios, messes up lyrics and choreography, and always has an excuse for why it’s somebody else’s fault.

    It’s possible that Arbos doesn’t look quite so helplessly adorbs if one has to work with him on stage.

  • NatSasic

    Come on, we don’t know what their relationship is like, they might not get along. If he put that he ‘missed him’ when they clashed, it would be disingenuous.

  • Xentusk

    They may not have to work with him long, judging from the ratings this season is getting. Who will really be surprised if shows get cancelled and the tour is cut short due to apathy and low ticket sales? Certainly not me. :P

  • tarquinius

    Thanks…I actually hope that’s the way it works out.

  • zjzr

    After the “Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch” debacle, I don’t blame him. And I agree, if the 2 have something going on then I think it wouldn’t feel real.

  • Kesia Monteith

    LOL True!

  • CanadianLady

    You know that he’s not working as hard for a fact? Having been a high school teacher, I know that for a variety of reasons, the hardest working people aren’t always the one who get straight As.

  • Lexee234

    You seriously think that was okay to tweet even if they don’t get along? Wow!

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Ultimately, it’s a moot point. Whether he’s working as hard as he can or only focused on his solo performance, the fact is that Lazaro can’t handle this competition and is rapidly becoming a joke contestant (if he isn’t already one), and needs to leave the show.

  • justmefornow

    It’s not.
    If that had been tweeted by certain other ildols, the term “douche bag” would be thrown around.
    Some others it seems get passes. Oh well.

  • CanadianLady

    Not sure I’d call it a moot point. Not trying is a bad rap, and isn’t close to the same as having a difficult time learning and needed more time/coaching.

    Also, some people take longer to learn, but then actually retain better than those who cram and ace the test but then forget it all.

  • Jake W.

    I don’t blame Angie or Burnell. I would be pissed if I had another contestant flub my group performance by not remembering the words or caring. He is ruining the chances of somebody else from having a chance at a recording career. Funny how he has no problem remembering the lyrics to his solo performances. He should treat both performances equal. Not one over the other. I wouldn’t be surprised when we see Kree,Candice,Amber, and Janelle throw some shade his way. A Lazaro group performance with them is coming.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    True, but as far as Idol goes, it doesn’t matter why Lazaro can’t deal with the demands of the competition. He’s failing and keeping him on the show will only embarass him further.

  • Miz

    Ahh, it could just be an oversight. Maybe he forgot Lazaro is still on the show.

  • Miz

    Even if he doesn’t get signed right away or ever, he can still put out an album. He certainly wouldn’t be the first to do so.

  • Eilonwy

    Nope. That’s why I didn’t say he wasn’t trying hard. I have no idea how hard Arbos is trying. However, it’s a matter of public record that he repeatedly screws up non-solo performances and relies on making excuses. Them’s facts. If I had to work with that behavior daily, under pressure, I don’t know that I’d find it as cute and appealing as Arbos’ fans appear to.

  • ohreli

    Now those are classy exit interviews. No blame. All the contestants should take notes from him.