There were a few celebrities and industry types in the show audience this week. Matt Rogers and Mikalah Gordon interview them:
- Songwriter Stephen Bishop likes the crying girl.
- The “crying girl” 13 year old Ashley Ferl is very excited to meet her favorite Idols.
- Michael Landes & KaDee Strickland from the FOX show “The Wedding Bells.” are impressed with the energy of the live show
- Singer/producer Brian McKnight is “surprised they continue to get a high level of talent every year.”
- Alaina Alexander, in the audience to cheer her buds on, geeked out like she had never been a part of the show.
- Neicey Nash from Reno 911 thinks “everyone did good”.
Click on the jump to read highlights of interviews with Taylor Hicks, Paris Bennett and Stephanie Edwards.
Next, is a taped piece on Idol winner Taylor Hicks as he travels through the south on tour.
- Taylor is very thrilled to travel the south and play music for fans.
- Taylor says the tour is about taking the songs off the album and performing them live with a big soul band. His vision was to create the songs on stage with a live feel.
- He works from about 8 am to midnight. It’s the “life of an entertainer” and he seems pretty thrilled to be living it.
- He loves his tour bus.
- After clips of Taylor singing “Takin’ it to the Streets” on Idol, and then comments from Simon praising his performance, Taylor says that he’s grateful to the fans who voted for him. If it weren’t for the fans, he would not be able to play the historic Ryman auditorium, which he calls “The church, where music was created and born early in the day…it’s special.”
- Taylor wants to be a career artist. He doesn’t see himself as the flavor of the month, but his own flavor for a long time. He says that’s the way he started, and probably the way he’ll end up.
Paris Bennett dropped by in person to talk to host JD Roberto.
- She’s been working on her album “Princess P.”
- All of her friends are guys, but no special boyfriend.
- She realizes that Hollywood takes you in and then spits you out, she is “doing her own thing” and not “getting all wrapped up.”
- A Paris “Superfan” came out to play a trivia game with Paris.
- Paris sang a pretty ballad from her new CD. She sounded great. She’s a talented singer fo’ sho’.
The Stephanie Edwards interview:
- JD interviewed Stephanie’s cousins who say that Stephanie has not been as focused as she could have been lately. But that at 19 years old, she’s very young.
- One of her young cousins was not “extremely surprised” when Stephanie was called into the bottom two, but she did not think she would go home.
- Stephanie was not surprised to be in the bottom 2.
- When she saw herself standing next to Chris Richardson, she knew she was going home.
- She thought her performance of “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” was a good performance. Stephanie says, “I felt like I kept getting compared to the belters in the competition.” And, “I didn’t feel that my upbeat songs where I was walking around and performing more so than showing more vocals was what the judges wanted, so I…tried to do a ballad…to do more singing…than performing. But it kind of backfired…[they said] we want to see you do more of the fast, upbeat songs. I can’t win…” Stephanie felt frustrated because she thought the judges wanted her just to sing, but then when she did that, she was criticized for it.
- After the Top 24 she realized that she “wasn’t part of the 3 anymore.” The judges were singling Jordin Sparks, LaKisha Jones and Melinda Doolittle out for praise, but leaving her out. She realized this, but thought she just had to “keep on trucking.”
- Stephanie roomed with LaKisha Jones and Gina Glocksen. They spent a lot of time together.
- Her parents weren’t there tonight because they wanted to give someone else in the family a chance to go to the show. At the time she sat down with JD, shortly after the show, she hadn’t talked to her family yet.
- Stephanie says the kids got styling help during the Top 24, and that Season 6 was the first time the stylists came in to help before the Top 12.
- She had a lot of input into what she wore, “I’m not wearing a dress above my knees…I’m not wearing “Daisy Dukes.”
- Her “secret stylist” is her Dad. He picked out all of the dresses she wore on Idol.
- She was a big fan of “Sponge Bob Square Pants.”
- She was homesick without her parents.
- Her future plans: She wants to go back to college.
- After watching her video package with JD, she started to cry again. It took her a bit to compose herself.
- Stephanie signed some autographs at the end of the show.
- There wasn’t time to broadcast her singout Wednesday night, but she did perform it for the studio audience that night. AI Extra rolled the tape. Stephanie broke down at the end of the song and could not finish it. Her castmates came out to console her.