Alex Lambert, Lilly Scott, Todrick Hall, Katelyn Epperly – Satellite Interviews

Watch this space! I’ll be posting up transcripts of this afternoon’s satellite conference calls with the Top 16 eliminated contestants.

4th Update: Added Katelyn and Alex interview with FOX Boston, and Lilly and Todrick’s interview with Good Day LA

3rd Upate: Katelyn Epperly was good friends with Crystal and Lilly. She’s rooting for Crystal Bowersox all the way.

2nd Update: Todrick Hall wants you to know he’s not a scammer. After the jump…

Updated: Lilly Scott’s interview is a MUST READ. Check it out after the jump…

First up, Alex Lambert. He sounded really sad and tired on the phone. He wishes he could have overcome his stage fright, and felt he would have improved as the competition progressed. He says “everybody” had a completely different set of contestants in mind for elimination, and that’s why the kids were so emotional. A bright spot: Alex will be performing on Ellen next Wednesday…

After his elimination, what was going on off camera? “It was an emotional moment. I wasn’t expecting to go home. A lot of people weren’t expecting me to go home. It was such a shock…the 4 people who went home, nobody thought they were going to go. There were 4 other people that everyone had in mind…probably 6 other people had in mind before us. A lot of people who were upset were like ‘I made it and he didn’t?’”

Does he have any regrets? “When I said I want to break out of my shell, and show America what I could do, every time I got up there I couldn’t sing my best because I was so nervous. I had a whole ‘nother series of songs I could sing that sounded so much better than what I was like on the show. I don’t regret anything. I had never been on the stage before. I think I did great for not having any experience.”

Can he get past his nerves and have a music career? “I feel like I’m already past it. I just needed a few more weeks to get a little bit more experience on that stage. It wasn’t a nerve thing, I would get up there and be comfortable, it felt right, but I didn’t know how to look at the camera, I didn’t know how to react with the audience. I had never done it before. It’s something I’ll easily get past.”

Who were his friends on the show, “Everyone on the show, I became friends with but my best friends would probably be Siobhan, Andrew and Lee. I’m going to miss those three so much. Especially Siobhan, she’s such a nice person. She didn’t think I was going to go home at all. I think that’s why she was upset.”

Which Rolling Stones song was he planning to sing, “19th Nervous Breakdown”

What the judges said after, “They told me that I needed more experience. It was true. They felt vocally, it was my time, but I didn’t have enough experience on the stage. They all know I have a good voice.”

On Ellen’s “banana” analogy, “[chuckle] I probably won’t be able to look at a banana the same.”

On the kind of music he wants to make, “I know exactly the kind of artist I want to be. I really would like to do a bunch of acoustic stuff, but I would also like to be on some R&B tracks…a whole bunch of different stuff. I know my voice, I know what I can and can’t do. I’m not just one genre of music. I can sound good on anything.”

What could help him overcome his stage fright? “The only person who could help me overcome my nervousness and my stage fright was me. It was all in my head. I could have gone up there and had a great performance, but I was thinking to nail the song vocally-I wasn’t worried about performing. I never thought the show was so much like a performing show—it’s a singing competition. I wanted my vocal to be so much better than everyone else’s I lost track that it was a TV show.”

About his fans and what’s next, “I’m really sorry. I wish I could have stayed on the show because I know that I have a lot of fans. I wish I could have gotten up on stage and enjoyed what I was doing. I need to come back and finish high school, I’m going to be on ‘Ellen’ on Wednesday. I really want to focus on my music and take vocal lessons. This is the first thing I’ve ever done with my music.”

On his prior experience, “I had performed at a few coffee shops. The most that had showed up were, like, 40 people. Most of the people there were my friends and my family. I don’t have any experience singing in front of people that I don’t know. I feel like if I have more experience, the sky is the limit for me.”

On getting rid of his mullet, “The stylists already asked me if I wanted to cut it…I wouldn’t let them cut my mullet [laughter]”

Lilly Scott -Lilly was NOT expecting to be eliminated last night.  Her expectations for the kind of experience she’d have on Idol were pretty unrealistic. She’s on the cheesiest show in America, and she’s gonna hold on to her indie cred? Really? Her too cool for school attitude contributed to her downfall, I think. But she blames it on tween voters and America not being ready for a true indie artist blah blah. Oh Lilly, you really are talented, but STFU. Oh…she tried to clear “Nude” by Radiohead, but it was a no go.

On saying “I don’t know what America wants to hear’ after her elimination, “I wanted to break the mold…I wanted to be that offbeat contestant that did exactly what I wanted to do, and explain myself as an artist with my song choices. I certainly have no regrets…just watching people make it into the Top 12 who hadn’t done so well over the past three weeks. The [positive] judge’s comments on my three songs…it’s kind of frustrating –my fan base wasn’t really there. The producers and the judges seemed to love me, I was feeling like I was having a great run on the show. My voting demographic is probably more of the underground scene who probably doesn’t even own a TV, and if they do, they’re probably out riding their bike or doing something more productive than watching TV, let alone ‘American Idol’”

Why does she think she was eliminated? “I picked that song [“I Fall to Pieces”] because I love Patsy Cline and…that’s who I want to be as an artist. But then again, the American Idol voting demographic is mostly tweens—11 and 12 year old girls and I’m sure they don’t know who Patsy Cline is. That probably affected me, but I’ve been true to my song choices and I definitely have no regrets. Maybe my fanbase, the audience I was playing to, which is the underground market, probably were just watching the show and supporting me in their hearts, but not voting. And, maybe people just assumed I was safe and chose not to vote. Honestly, I have no idea what happened.”

Artists she would love to work with on an album, “I would love to work with Thom Yorke from Radiohead, and people like Bjork…just like the king and queen of the indie world. They’re who I strive to be as an artist, and their fanbase is so huge, they’re so respected as artists—I would love to collaborate with them.”

Where does she see herself going from here, “I definitely feel like I would fit into the big summer festival circuit, like Cochella, and Bonaroo and…really just doing some mass touring. I can have a whole different kind of audience coming out to shows if I did tour, and recording is definitely on my list of things to do. I know there’s a fanbase out there for me loving what I’m doing, I just don’t think that would necessarily be the American Idol voting demographic. I thought being on the show I could break the mold, but, I guess it’s just another season of the same old stuff.”

What did the judges say after she was eliminated, “Randy walked up to me and showed his sympathy, he was very upset to see me go. Kara came up to me as well saying that she thinks maybe America thought that I already had the whole package and was already ready to go as an artist, and so comfortable in my own skin, that maybe America didn’t know what to do with me. American Idol is really about finding that amateur artist that’s so vulnerable and then turning them into a huge pop star. I thought going into the competition with a lot of experience under my belt would be a good thing, but, I guess it turned out to be a not-so-good thing.”

Did she see her elimination coming? “I did and I didn’t. In past years, I’ve watched American Idol , and it seems every year the person I fall in love with goes home. I don’t know if that’s because I see true artistry, I definitely feel that I got cut early, I knew I could have done a great job next week with the Rolling Stones, I knew I probably could have really kicked butt in the Top 12. Maybe I was just too off the wall for people, or maybe it was my time to go out with a bang, so I can still keep my indie cred and and do my own thing without having the American idol label over my head.”

What were her expectations going into the elimination show, “The people who I thought were going to go home were completely different from the people who left last night, including myself. It’s really strange, but people who are roommates have gone home on the same night. Katelyn and I were roommates and Todrick and Alex were roommates, and Janell and Ashley were roommates.”

Did she consider doing contemporary songs from artists like Thom Yorke and Bjork on the show? “I definitely considered that…but in a way the producers swayed me against doing songs like that because they’re almost less well known than people like Sam Cooke and Patsy Cline. I actually did try to do “Nude” by Radiohead, which is their top charting song, more than “Paranoid Android” or their older songs, but that didn’t get cleared and I just figured, I love classic rock, and I was going to make that my niche this season, because unfortunately indie and underground music isn’t really ready for the big breakthrough. That was kind of re-affirmed last night by me getting voted off, that America may not still be ready to have that kind of music in the mainstream.”

Todrick Hall – Finally free to talk about the “Oz the Musical” scandal, Todd wants you to know that he’s not a scam artist.  Also, he is actively campaigning for a role on ‘Glee’.  Plus, he thinks his theater background may have hurt him.

On the “Oz the Musical” scandal, “I’m so glad that I can talk about it now, it wasn’t the time to talk about it when I was on American Idol, because I needed to focus on the show, but I want everybody to know that I’m not a scam artist, I’m a nice person. No 23 year old I know in the history of the world has ever tried to put on a show, and I think that if people think about that they’ll realize that I’m just an ambitious kid that got wrapped up with a producer who didn’t know what he was doing, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I allowed my name to be attached to that, but I’m going to get on the phone Monday and hopefully call a lot of those people, because I do want to go there, and I love kids and I wouldn’t want people to think negatively of me in that way. I think the show will happen again, and we’ll be able to fix that situation. Just for the record, I was just the writer, director and choreographer of that show, I did not produce the show, and I never had any of that money, I never dealt with the money…”

What are his future plans? “I’m making it my personal job now to be my own campaign manager to get myself a role on “Glee”. I would be perfect for that show, and every time somebody asks me what I’m doing now, I just tell everyone that I would love love love to be the next cast member on “Glee”. And I didn’t even think about campaigning for that until Simon said the other night, ‘You look like you’re doing American Idol the Musical’ and Randy chimed in and said Glee! And I was like ‘Actually, I think I would love to be on ‘Glee’ it’s the perfect show for me.”

What did he do as soon as he was eliminated? “I took a deep breath, and just thought, ‘what do I do next?’ You pick yourself up. I’ve had a lot of experience…I was more concerned for Alex, and some of the people who maybe have not necessarily gone through this, but I just thought of the ‘Glee’ thing and I said something to Ellen about it and now Ellen is helping to promote the fact that I should be on “Glee” on her TV show. I think that’s amazing, I wouldn’t be pushing myself for the role if I didn’t think I would do a good job.”
What was he planning to sing for Rolling Stones week? I was planning to sing “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and I was going to dance for the first time. They’ve kept yelling at me for dancing, but then Ellen last week said last week, ‘I think you should dance’. I was going to be the first contestant to actually do a dance break. No one’s ever danced, I was looking forward to doing that. Hopefully, I’ll get to be dancing on ‘Glee’.”

On his theater background influencing the judges, “When people know certain things about you, it’s kind of hard to shake those things, but I just told someone today that I felt that Lady Gaga is one of the most successful artists out right now, if she were on American Idol, they wouldn’t have good things to say about her because to a certain extent they do want you to be out of the box…they kept telling me that I was changing things too much, and I would hear them tell people, ‘You aren’t changing it enough’ and not making it their own. You have to try to find that line when it’s not changing it too much and making it too cookie cutter and making it a karaoke version, which sometimes they’re OK with, and sometimes they’re not. I feel like I’ll be rewarded for being true to myself and being different in the end.”

Did his dance background help? Was he helping to choreograph the group numbers? “It did come in handy for the performing aspect, but it kind of hindered me, because I was always so frustrated in the rehearsals because I’d be ‘C’mon guys, it’s left-right-left-right’…I had to remember ‘they’re not dancers’. It was one of the things where I had to let my dance background go. I actually think announcing that I was a dancer, and announcing that I was on Broadway could have potentially hurt me, and might be part of the reason why I’m not on the show anymore.”

What does he think went wrong? “I feel like I should have done that a couple of weeks earlier [the Queen song], the problem is that I’m an African American , and a lot of people expected me to sing…Usher, Chris Brown, Ne-Yo, Brian McKnight, Stevie Wonder, any black artist that basically you can sing, but that’s not the kind of music that I want to sing. I’m happy that I stayed true to myself, but I sadly feel that if I had just sang the cookie-cutter songs, that people expected me to do, and not gone so far out there, with the clothes and the performing –a normal guy that got up there and sang, I would have maybe done better, but I’m happy that I stayed true to myself. “

If he could have chosen any song, what would he have picked? “I wanted to do “Black and Gold’ which is on the “Fame” movie album. I love that song and I wanted to dance, but it didn’t fit any of the criteria for the categories so unfortunately I couldn’t do that.”

Who he’s going to miss the most, “My best friend was Jose Munoz, he was the first guy that I met. When I was there, I took him with me to see ‘The Color Purple’, he hadn’t really seen any Broadway musicals, so I was probably the closest to him and to Alex Lambert, because Alex was my roommate. Those are probably the two people I’m going to miss the most from the show.”

Katelyn Epperly – Katelyn will be going back to Des Moines where she’ll be writing with a band called “Love Drug”.

Does she think the judges were too hard on her, “They definitely were more critical towards me. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been performing for so long they maybe expected more out of me than what I was giving them. I started out on a pretty strong note, maybe I didn’t live up to their expectations week by week.”

Her most memorable moment, “Playing ‘The Scientist’ on that white piano. I’m most definitely in my element when I’m sitting behind the keys without a band, just super raw. I definitely had my own personal moment.”

Who she was closest to on the show, “Lily and I were best friends. We were roommates throughout the show, we went out all the time. It was kind of ironic that we both got eliminated on the same day.”

Did the criticism of the judges (‘The Scientist’ was too slow) cause her to move out of her element a little bit? “It totally did. I was definitely trying to find a song that would portray me as an artist. It’s difficult for singers in this competition. First of all, I don’t listen to mainstream music, and I don’t typically perform covers. I tried to scramble around last minute, I brought out the Wurlitzer keyboard, I wanted to do something edgier. I t didn’t work out for me but I definitely don’t regret doing it, because I love that era and I love the song.”

What are her future plans? “I’m flat broke—I’ve got to go back to Des Moines and start working, and continue to persue recording and writing music with all sorts of artists. There’s a band called “Love Drug” that’s been a band that I’ve been listening to since I was young. I’m going to get together with them and hopefully start writing some music with them and as well as other artists—just getting back in the studio and getting back to what I truly love to do.”

About the moment when she was crying and hugging Lilly, “Lilly, Crystal and I have gotten really close and I don’t typically hang out with girls very often, so you know, this was a rare thing for all three of us to really truly have female friends. To get along so well and to be supportive of one another—turning around and seeing them there—for me I wasn’t sad about that. It was a pretty big disappointment for me to see Lily go home. ‘Cause if I were to be at home watching that show, she would by far, over all the other girls, not be the one going home.”

Was she going to play the piano next week? “ I was hoping to bring out the piano more if I stayed on the show and do more of my intimate stuff that I like to do so much. Hopefully some of my performances, especially ‘The Scientist’, which is more of my roots—people will remember that and hopefully that will help me move forward.”

What inspired her to do ‘The Scientist’? “Without going into anything too specific, it’s definitely a song that comes to mind when I think about anything hard that I’ve had to do—any sort of loss . It’s a very touching and riveting song. I covered it a lot this summer, and it helped me cope with a lot of things I was going through. It’s sad, but also hopeful. When they said it was too slow, it was OK with me, I was waiting for that comment. I wanted to do it slow, I wanted to focus on the lyrics. The song—it just cries. I wanted that to be portrayed and I think I portrayed it despite what the judges might have thought.”

Who is her favorite Top 12 contestant? “I really do—not to be cheesy—wish them all well. I got to know them so well, and we’ve worked so hard. Honestly, from the start, Crystal Bowersox, whose been this very true true friend to me. When she sings, it comes from the heart. She totally deserves it, and I’m going to be pulling for her all the way.”

What surprised her most about being on the show, “I didn’t expect to get along so well with everyone. I’ve been doing music my whole life, and never really got along with a lot of the people in choir, etc. I thought it was going to be a bunch of divas walking around. There were some, of course—there’s going to be some in every bunch—but I definitely didn’t know about all the behind the scenes people you work with. The show is so huge, there’s so much that goes on. I’ve never realized until now, because I haven’t seen the show in a few years , I never realized how big it was. You go from being nobody to walking down the street and people calling out your name. It’s awesome. It’s probably one of the best marketing platforms to start your career off on.”

Is she glad American Idol has embraced musicians?

“I think that’s very important. What made me so much more OK with being on the show, because I did have some pride issues with it at first, because a talent competition isn’t necessarily my thing, I’m a person who likes to sing and dance and just have a good time with music, rather than make it something competitive. But seeing so many singer songwriters this year—people who really are credible musicians and have been working at it their whole lives and truly deserve it than somebody who rolled out of bed one day and wanted to be on a TV show and have an OK voice and a pretty face. It  was really kind of fun, we all got to sit around backstage while we were waiting for rehearsals and stuff. We got to just jam out and stuff. We’d all pass around the guitar and sing. It was awesome.”

Should the show make room for original songs, “That’s a tough one. We were talking about that, Lilly and I. It would be really awesome because I feel people like Crystal, I and others–we would definitely excel in that category. But at the same time, it’s a show where you get judged. It’s really hard because original music—especially the music I write—is filled with a lot of emotion and based on your personal experiences, and I think it would be hard for me to get up in front of 4 people and hear that my personal experiences are invalid and my song that I wrote when I was going through a hard time wasn’t good enough. It’s mix and match, but I definitely think it would be a cool twist to bring to the show.”

Alex and Katelyn Epperly on FOX Boston

Lilly Scott and Todrick Hall on Good Day LA

About mj santilli 29665 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!