Interview with Kellie Pickler from MTV.com:
- About “butchering” her last two performances, “I mean, 30 or 40 million people are watching each week and they see your performance and they see you’ve messed up. The judges know that. I knew that I did. So what are you going to do? Lie and say I didn’t mess up and blame it on something else? I think when you’re honest about it, it’s better. I messed up the words in some songs, I’ve been off-key and pitchy, and you know, you just admit it and work on your problems next week. If this is as bad as I got it, I got it good.”
- Did she expect to be eliminated? “Honestly, I thought I was going home last week. I deserved to get the boot this week, because I had two bad performances back to back, and there’s no excuse. I’m happy I made it this far.
- Did she regret any of her song choices? “I wouldn’t necessarily say I regret any of the song choices. I regret some of the performances…I try not to have any regrets…I hope that stays in the past and people give me a chance.”
- Was her “schtick” a calculated act? “People are going to believe what they want to believe, but I started out from the beginning being who I am. I’ve been real honest with my life and who I am. I don’t have anything to hide, I don’t have anything to lie about. It is hurtful to hear those things and to read about that stuff in the magazines…I’ve been real from the start. It’s no act.”
- Would she consider acting? “It’s always been something I’m interested in. Of course I always want to pursue music, but I would love to do TV or film. I’m excited about the different opportunities I may have. I did theater in high school. I’m a little drama queen.
- About her backstory, “Going into this competition, I was never really completely open about the different life I’ve had to overcome, because I was so embarrassed. I got a lot of criticism for crying about my dad and my mom and family in the beginning, but it was really hard for me. It’s not like I was used to getting on national television and talking about my life. It was embarrassing and I didn’t want to hurt my dad, but I knew if I didn’t come out in the beginning … that people would find out about it anyway. The most important thing you can do is be honest. And I’m not ashamed about my life anymore. For so long, I felt like I was looked down upon, and I don’t feel that way anymore. I’m proud to say I’m Kellie Pickler. And I may not have had the best upbringing, but it could have been a lot worse. And “American Idol” taught me to hold my head up high.”
- About her Mom, “It’s kinda weird to think that maybe my mom’s out there watching the show. I’m curious about what she thinks, her feelings towards me. For so long, I resented her and had so many hard feelings towards her. I think at the point I’m at now, one thing that is important in life is to forgive others. Who am I not to forgive someone? Am I so holy? I have forgiven her and I know that I haven’t spoken to her in years or seen her, and I probably wouldn’t know her if I saw her, but she’s my mother and she’s a person, and God tells us to love everyone.”
- About her Dad, “My grandpa is leaving for Florida tomorrow…hopefully my dad’s going to be getting out in the next few weeks. It’ll be my first time seeing him in over three and a half years. I’m really excited, I haven’t even spoken to him on the phone. In spite of everything we’ve been through, I love him. He’s my dad. I’ve always been a daddy’s girl. He’s made a lot of mistakes in life, but who hasn’t? I think he’s learned from them, and we’re going to leave the past in the past and look to the future.
Kellie is self-aware enough to know that as a singer, she was out of her league in the competition– especially as the contestants’ numbers dwindled. But she’s disingenuous to insist that she was always honest and genuine on the show. We know now that the backstory presented by the producers was tweaked for maximum impact. And Kellie’s schtick seemed phony, because she played it as caricature while insisting it was real. If she’d played it with a sense of irony and self awareness, folks might have bought the act. But, maybe that kind of layered presentation is beyond her modest talents.
And Kellie’s EW.com interview:
- About Simon apologizing to Kat, “I told her after her performance, ‘You were absolutely stunning. You did great and you’re not going home.’ She’s great, as well as the other contestants. But she had nothing to worry about. She deserved the apology.”
- What Kellie thinks went wrong, “I don’t think I’m the best at delivering ballads. It was two weeks of slow, ballad love songs, and I love the fast up-tempo ones ’cause I can swing my hair around and everyone can tap their feet.”
- About “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Oh, I absolutely love Queen. They were like the highlight of the whole journey. I knew it was a hard, hard song to do. I knew I would be stepping out of my element. I felt like I was getting so much criticism though. I felt like I didn’t get a lot of credit for things I’d done, so I thought maybe if I take a risk and pull it off, people will say something nice.”
- About Simon’s comment that he liked her more than Carrie Underwood, “I was completely shocked when he said that. It’s a compliment, but I met Carrie and she is one of the sweetest people I ever met and I would never compare myself to her vocally. She is phenomenal. I thought it would really hurt me because it would make a lot of Carrie fans upset…At the same time, I know she knew it’s just a TV show and it’s about ratings.”
- Kellie on “I’m Sawry”, “I felt like in the beginning of the show they get us through the first few rounds and they saw the potential in me. They see more potential than you do. It’s hard to see it when you’re on the inside looking out. I felt like I let them down.”
- Was she ever angry? “It’s really hard to get on that stage in front of millions of people and have the judges pick you apart. But at the same time, this is what we signed up for. In this business, if you can’t take constructive criticism, then get out and run fast. That’s what it’s about right now, though, taking constructive criticism. That’s what they’re there for. I would rather them say, ”Kelly, you need to work on this” than tell me what I want to hear.”
- Parting words from the judges, “All three said, ‘You’re great. You’re gonna go places.’ Of course, why did they have to save that for the end? No, they were very complimentary. At the end of the day, they do what they have to do. When the cameras are rolling, they aren’t there to be our friends or be nice to us. But when the cameras go off they’re the sweetest, nicest people you could ever meet. I hope in the future I’m able to still have friendships with all three of them.”
- What she was planning to sing next week, “I was going to sing ”You Give Love a Bad Name” by Bon Jovi, from my birth year of 1986. I had not decided yet on the second one, but it was definitely going to be something country.
- About her dad’s prison release, “I’m looking forward to seeing him. He’ll be there for the show’s finale.”
- Will she move to LA or NYC to pursue a career? “I’m ready for whatever curveball I’m thrown. I’m ready to get on the ball with my career while I’m young, not married, don’t have kids, no boyfriend. I don’t have anything to lose. I’m ready to relocate wherever. Beggars can’t be choosers. Albemarle [N.C.] is where the heart is, but if I pursue anything in music, it would probably be Nashville I’d relocate to. Acting, probably Los Angeles would be the best place.”
The Kellie that emerged in the last few minutes of Wednesday’s show not only seemed relieved, but real and down-to-earth. I’ll be taping her appearances next week. I’m very curious to see who Kellie is away from the competition.
Kellie says her dad “will be there for the finale.” I hope she means, “back home in NC with her grandpa for the finale.” The parole board has a duty here folks, to step in and just say NO.