American Idol 14: Daniel Seavey on Being a Heartthrob and Feeling Overwhelmed

AMERICAN IDOL XIV: Daniel Seavey performs on AMERICAN IDOL XIV airing Wednesday, April 1 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Michael Becker / FOX. © FOX BROADCASTING CO. This Image is embargoed until 10:00 PM PT.

Happy Birthday Daniel Seavey! One day after being eliminated from American Idol 14, the youngest finalist turned 16 years old. He’s spending his birthday talking to the press. But later on, he’s flying home to Portland, Oregon, and will be able to celebrate with friends in family. In a telephone interview with members of the press this afternoon, The young singer talked about his Idol journey, being the youngest singer on the show, how he feels about being a heartthrob, the criticism from fans and judges alike and more.

Daniel had laryngitis on the show. How is he feeling today? “I’m exhausted of course, but I feel great going home and being able to see all my friends. The laryngitis is still there, but it’s not as bad as it was a couple days ago. I’t slowly going away. I’m just excited to be able to go home.”

What’s the first thing he’s going to do when he gets home? “Apparently, half of my school is waiting at the airport tonight for me. I’m going to see all of my friends. Which will be awesome. Then I’m going to sleep for about 10 years!”

What would he say to the people who insist he only made it this far because of the cute factor? “I don’t know how to respond exactly to that. It might be true. It might not. I just had fun with the experience and I’m so thankful for it, however I got [here]. I do want to be able to prove that I am an artist, and I can sell music. My next step is to start writing music, and putting it out there to show the world that I’m not just a cute kid.”

Was he surprised to be eliminated? “At the point where it was me, Clark [Beckham] and Rayvon [Owen] sitting, I looked over, and I knew Rayvon’s song was amazing, I knew Clark’s song was amazing–I kind of knew at that moment. I was ‘I think I’m going home.’ I was OK with it. [Idol] is a great experience, but it’s super tiring. Once you know you’re going home, it’s kind of like ‘I gotta go home, I gotta sleep, I gotta get my life back.’ And so, I was OK with it.”

How did he feel about taking on the challenging Kelly Clarkson songbook? Why did he sing “Breakaway?” “Kelly Clarkson is an amazing vocalist. She has the range of an angel. It’s hard to find a song of hers that I could sing, because she has such an amazing range, and I feel like you need to show that in your song. I chose ‘Breakaway’ just because the lyrics fit so perfect for this whole experience. I even grew up in a small town when the rain would fall down. It was just so funny how perfect it all fit! I loved the song before we even had to sing her songs.  Once the laryngitis kicked in, it took away from my range. I’m still happy with my performance.”

How did he enjoy working with Kelly? “I loved working with Kelly! She was probably the most genuine stars I have ever met in my life. I think she [understands] what we’re going through. She was awesome. She was so nice.”

Daniel turned 16 today. Does he have any special plans? “When I get home, I’m going see all my friends at the airport, which will be awesome. Besides that, I’m doing interviews like this one, and getting on a plane and sleeping a lot.”

What was the best advice that Kelly Clarkson gave him, “Just to kind of breathe, and be comfortable before a performance. It is really intimidating going from being on the streets in Portland to the biggest stage in the world, practically. That was a really scary transition for me. She gave me really good advice: ‘If you’re still in it now, that means people like you and they’re listening to you. If they’re voting for you, they like your sound. There’s nothing to be nervous about.’ That was actually off-camera, which was awesome too. She was nice off and on the camera.”

What did he learn about himself from the Idol experience? “I learned that I could really do music for the rest of my life. I have a lot of room to grow because when I came into it, I wasn’t coming into it to grow. I just wanted to make Hollywood Week, and get on TV once. That was my goal. Seeing how much I’ve grown just from the 6 month experience–kind of excites me to see how far I [can go] in a couple of years from now.”

How did it help Daniel having his pastor dad on the road with him throughout the process? “I loved having my parents with me on this whole journey. All the adults–they all wish they had family here. It’s like a huge homesick issue when you’re [here]. Having my parents here really helped that. Also, having my dad be a pastor, I was able to stay humble through it…like having them slap the back of my head if I started thinking about myself too much! They helped me a lot through this.”

As the youngest contestant on the show, was the Idol experience overwhelming at times? If so, how did he cope? “Yeah, it was overwhelming, because I came from the streets of Portland, once a month. It was the most insane transition going from that to this big of a stage. That was always intimidating. But I feel like I was just starting to get past that, and really find myself in these last performances.”

What lessons did he learn from his fellow finalists? “I learned that I should be excited for what’s to come for me, because I am so young. I’ve already done something like [Idol]. A lot of them kept saying, ‘I don’t know how you do it at your age.’ It kind of excites me to see what I could be capable of ten years from now. I’m excited for what’s to come.”

What was he planning to sing next week for Billboard Hits? “I was either going to do ‘Hey There Delilah’ [Plain White Ts] or ‘Story of my Life.’ [One Direction'”

What will it take for somebody to win this competition? “I think consistency is the best they can do right now. They’re all amazing. All 8 of them could win this thing. They just have to keep being consistent with their song choices and their performance.”

How does it feel to be the “heartthrob” of American Idol this season? Is That a little weird for him? “I never had that attention before! It was kind of weird at first, because I had some [fans that were] creepy and [found] my house…there was a couple. They would message me ‘I know where you live.’ I don’t think they meant to be creepy, it just came off that way. I feel that overall now, most of my fans are so supportive. I’m super thankful for all of them.”

What are his post Idol plans? “My next step is to start writing music, and getting that out to the world. I want to hang on to these fans. I love being able to share my thoughts with them. I think I’m going for kind a of a jazzy Ed Sheeran sound. But Ed Sheeran’s kind of pop. I could tie that in.”

Does he wish he could be celebrating his birthday on the show, or is he OK with that? “I’m kind of excited to go home on my birthday because I get to go home and see all my friends. That’s a nice birthday present. I was going to fly my friend…down for my birthday as a present, but it just works out even better, because I get to see them all.”

Would he have done better in the twitter vote if more West Coast fans were able to vote? “I read that the majority of voters are East coast. That didn’t bum me out too much. It is what it is. I think it was fair. The only thing that thew me off was the age limit. You had to be 13 and up. I feel like a lot of my fans were below that.”

Is there any part of him that wishes he would have waited, say 5 years–a time he would have been more mature and had more experience? “I don’t think I would have liked that more. I think this was a perfect time for me, because it was a huge kick in the butt to grow even more. For me to be able to do this at 15…this was a huge platform and opportunity for me.”

Did he feel like a little brother to the other contestants, who were a lot older than him? “They all kind of took me in as their little brother. It’s great. We’re all all like a big family. I was a little bro!”

Does he think the new Idol fan save is more or less brutal than singing for the judges save? “The fan save is a good idea, because it gives both of [the contestants] a second chance to prove themselves. It gives America the chance to show who they really like. It needs a little work, but it was a good idea.”

Was it hard to deal with the judges’ criticism at his age? “I think the judges’ criticism was great, because you don’t get an opportunity to have Harry Connick Jr. or someone like that, tell you how to improve. Any criticism to me was to help to make us better. I loved when we had the chance to be told how to improve.”

How bad was his laryngitis going into the show? Did the doctor recommend that he sit out? “I didn’t do interviews after the show last night because of it. The doctor gave me some steroid pills to tone it down, because there wasn’t much else that we could do. It masked it for the show as much as it could.”

Which contestant is he closest to? “We are all so close…I think I was the closest to Adanna, but she’s off the show. We hung out every night, and she was like my older sister. In the group now, we’re all such a big family, I couldn’t really distinguish who I think is the best, or who I like the most.”

On the nickname “The sponge” the contestants have given him, “That was from Joey. She called me that, because apparently I take everything in and grow from it. She said I took a part of Quentin’s style, and Clark’s lungs, and her originality and stuff…(laughs). She ended up calling me The Sponge.”

Curtain Call: Daniel Seavey

About mj santilli 29780 Articles
Founder and editor of, 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!