American Idol Quentin Alexander Speaks Out on Confrontation With Harry Connick Jr.

AMERICAN IDOL XIV: L-R: Quentin Alexander, Ryan Seacrest, Harry Connick, Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban on AMERICAN IDOL XIV airing Wednesday, April 15 (8:00 PM-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Michael Becker / FOX. © FOX Broadcasting. This image is embargoed until 10:00PM PT.

American Idol hasn’t garnered much buzz this season, despite having Mr. Taylor Swift himself, Scott Borchetta, mentoring the charges. But when something finally did go viral, it turned out to be a heated moment between contestant Quentin Alexander and judge Harry Connick Jr. Egged on by host Ryan Seacrest after his first performance, Quentin expressed displeasure at his friends, Joey Cook and Rayvon Owen winding up in the bottom two. Harry piped up, calling Quentin’s remarks “disrespectful.” Can you say awkward?

After the show, here’s what Quentin, Harry and more had to say about the incident

Quentin wouldn’t take a moment of it back, he told Billboard. Also, he doesn’t believe he disrespected anyone:

“I want to clarify: I wasn’t disrespectful with anyone. It was me being honest with the moment and honest with myself and honest with everyone else. I love Harry Connick Jr. I would never disrespect this man that gave me this opportunity. It was just a conversation that was aired on TV. No negativity, no hard feelings. We shook hands [afterwards] and I hope that he is not feeling any bad things. My intention was not to disrespect him. We all know that I have those eyes. And everything goes through my eyes. And it looked like I was going to go punch him, but I would never do that. I respect him too much.”

“If I could re-do the night, I wouldn’t do anything differently,” said Alexander. “I wouldn’t change anything about my performances, I wouldn’t change that moment with Harry because ultimately, it is the real. It’s a reality television show. The truth is it was real emotions — real feelings, real relationships… That was a real moment for myself as well as the world. For me, it felt like my family was being ripped apart. It hurt. So for me to go back and change and put on a façade and paint on a smile, that would be disrespectful to myself and to America [because I would be] lying.”

Quentin told People magazine that some of Harry’s remarks threw him off:

“What kind of threw me off was how he said, ‘If you think it is whack, you can go home.’ If you think I’m being rude, to be disrespectful back isn’t right. Two wrongs don’t make a right,” Alexander says. “He said I could leave. I know I can leave. He can leave as well, but he chooses to be here because he loves to do what he’s doing. And that’s the same for me. Ryan just asked how I was feeling, and I was honest. I was upset.”

“This is a reality TV show. People watch for the reality of it, and there are moments where life is not all rainbows and kittens,” he says. ” We all just have to remember to be honest with ourselves. And in that moment, I was being honest.”

On his best friend Joey Cook leaving the competition:

“My fear was that they’re going to pit both of us against each other [in the bottom two], but I was also very uncomfortable that I [got voted through] and she didn’t,” says Alexander. “But I’m happy that she gets to branch out and flourish now because she is a monster. She gets the chance to fly now – to soar.”

ETA: Quentin shares his feelings with Zap2it:

“We think we’re supposed we’re supposed to censor ourselves and kind of put on this act that everything is okay. In that moment, I couldn’t. It wouldn’t have been genuine,” Alexander says. “I was not trying to offend anyone or be disrespectful. It was a slew of emotions that I was dealing with and I’m glad I got it out when I did. I’m really glad that Harry responded the way that he did. It gave me an opportunity to talk to America and say ‘That’s not what I meant,'” Alexander explains. “I was hurting and I can’t control that.”

ETA: Joey Cook weighs in on her friend Quentin via Zap2it

“That moment explains our entire friendship. His emotions tonight — they just took over. They overflowed. It was the most honest and true thing. It was a performance in and of itself. I thought it was art.”

“He was not attacking anybody. It was meant to point out the craziness of this entire situation. He was not saying ‘American Idol’ is whack,” Cook says in her friend’s defense.

“He is just as appreciative of this whole opportunity as I am, as all of us are. He was not bashing the show in any way. He was just pointing out how awful of a situation that is for us to have to sit through every week.”

ETA: Scott Borchetta shares his feelings with Zap2It

“There is no reason why any artist would sit there and take criticism and not be able to comment back on it or not vocalize how that person is feeling about a situation,” Borchetta says. “There is nothing in the world wrong with him saying, ‘This is hard for me. I think this sucks. My best friend might go home tonight’. I love that he came back out and talked to Harry about it. That’s what a man does.”

Scott Borchetta tells Billboard magazine that he LOVED the moment:

“I was loving every minute of it. That’s what live television and rock and roll is all about. There is no reason that the world should be so PC and so boring. Quentin was obviously very moved and felt very strongly. And he vocalized his emotions and that is what a great artist does.”

Nick Fradiani offers his thoughts:

“It was an emotional little outburst. I don’t think he meant it in a punky way. It was not him completely. Quentin’s my roommate, I love the kid — he’s real soft-spoken and kind. He is also very emotional. He wears his heart on his sleeve. He and Joey [Cook] bonded and became very close friends, so he was upset seeing her potentially going home and I think he was also very excited about his song and didn’t agree with some of the judges comments. He had a moment and the only difference her is every little thing is nitpicked and voted on. But it definitely made for good TV.”

Tyanna Jones, Clark Beckham, and Rayvon Owen also share their reactions with Billboard.

Audio snips from FOX Audio Central:

Quentin will officiate at Joey’s upcoming wedding.


Scott Borchetta believes last night’s Idol was the BEST EVER


Keith Urban on Quentin vs Harry


Jennifer Lopez on Quentin vs Harry


Harry Connick Jr. weighs in


And finally, Quentin spoke out on the incident last night via twitter:

In case you haven’t seen it…

After Quentin’s first performance, “Are You Going to Go My Way”, he and Harry have words

After Quentin performed “Sound of Silence” later in the show, he clarifies his remarks.

About mj santilli 35052 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!