After the jump, check out excerpts from Melinda Doolittle’s post-Idol interviews.
- Melinda was not surprised to be eliminated.
- She was surprised that her performance of “Have a Nice Day” was so well received.
- If she could have a do-over, it would be Latin Night–she wasn’t feeling “Sway.”
- When She was eliminated she felt a sigh of relief that she would be able to sing from now on without being judged and voted on.
- She really didn’t think anything of Ryan’s remark, “After the break, Melinda goes home…” on Wednesday night. She does not believe it was a slip of the tongue.
- She thinks she may have been eliminated because her fan base skews older and aren’t power-voters.
- Her dad says that she writes music.
From the American Idol Extra interview
- According to Melinda’s dad, she writes music.
- Her dad is a drummer.
- She wasn’t surprised to be eliminated
- She calls Simon a “precious teddy bear” and appreciates his comments Tuesday night.
- She always made it a rule to never sing a Whitney song.
- She admits to missing the words in “I’m a Woman”
- If she had the chance to do-over, it would be Latin Week. She wasn’t really feeling “Sway.”
- Melinda and Jordin were roommates
- She loved having the opportunity to bring the background girls upfront during “I’m a Woman.”
From People Magazine via the Ryan Seacrest show:
- About her elimination, Knowing that I had made it this far and knowing that I was going to be able to sing from here on out without being judged and voted… it was just like this sigh of relief. Now I’m getting ready to sing just because I love it.
From Starry Constellation Magazine (you can download a podcast of the entire satellite interview there)
- How did she feel when Ryan spoke the words, …After the break Melinda going home, I think maybe either I didnt notice or I just thought he was talking about the package that they were going to show about me going home to Nashville, because I knew I was the next person for them to show. So I just assumed that what he was talking about. Ive heard a lot of speculation about that, but I dont think it was that at all, I think he was just getting us ready for the next package they were going to show.
- What she was thinking when she was called up front for the results? You know what; when he called me upfront, just by the nature of the show and how it normally goes, I kind of had an idea that it would be me. So I was kind of prepared for it and I was just kind of taking deep breaths and kind of ready to go to the next step. It wasnt as bad as I thought it was going to be. I thought I was possibly going to lose it, but it was actually a happy occasion that I made it this far. So Im kind of glad it turned out that way.
- Melinda and Mandisa are friends, what kind of advice did she give her? Mandisa has been great for me. She has just kind of been the person that understands what Im going through, so if I need to bounce anything off of her I can. And not necessarily advice other than, …Be yourself. Love it. Live in the moment. And give 100%. So she been a great rock.
- Paula told Melinda she was waiting for her to let loose. Was she finally able to let herself go on stage? You know what; sadly, I think the first time I let loose was after I got eliminated last night. I was ‘ there so much that goes through your head while youre onstage, getting ready to be judged and getting ready to be voted on, that I dont know that Ive completely achieved letting loose like during the actual show. I think Ive gotten close, but I dont believe that I completely achieved it. So last night was kind of a full-circle moment for me in the fact that I was able to just let go.
- Which live performance turned out better than Melinda expected? Better than I expected, oh goodness. Im trying to think. I think maybe …Have a Nice Day, because I was most afraid of doing rock because Ive never even attempted it before, so it was kind of out, way out of my comfort zone. Im still dumbfounded that people really liked it, so I think that one was the one that ended up turning out better than I ever expected and have a great time onstage. So it really meant a lot to me.
- Why Melinda thinks she was sent home, I was up against two amazing contestants. … But also, I know that I was probably getting a little bit of the older vote, which is great, and I had a lot of people come up to me and say, “I voted for you five times last night, it was so good.” Sometimes they may not spend a full two hours voting, and that’s OK. But I really feel like, personally, that I’ve won as far as where I ended up in this competition.
- About looking surprised when she got a compliment, It’s part of my personality. Plus, I was coming out of a singing background for so many years, I got so used to having to sound like other people. “American Idol” was my first time really stepping out and finding out what my voice sounded like. So the fact that people liked it and were giving me good comments was surprising to me. It was a great honor. And it always kind of shocked me right at first. It was my little adjustment process there. I couldn’t help it!
- About song arrangements, Sometimes you can have an arrangement that you love and people don’t really connect with it because they’re so used to a different version of the song. Then there are other times where you can take the song to a whole other level. I really commend Blake for taking risks like that. And I think that he did a great job taking a song and making it more like Blake and kind of taking it to another level, as opposed to taking it backwards.
- How did she end up auditioning for Idol? Deciding to audition for “American Idol” kind of happened on a fluke, because I was driving down with a friend of mine and wanting to support him. The way he talked me into driving to Memphis was [by saying], “Remember the funny auditions? Maybe now you can see them in person!” So we got a couple more friends and we all went down and had to audition to get inside. So we all signed up to audition, and I ended up being the only one out of that group to make it through. And as it kept going, I was like, “Oh my goodness. I’m still here?” It kind of forced me to take it by the reins and just be like, “OK, God, we’re gonna do this, I guess.” The growth in me has just been amazing, and just me learning about myself and learning how I react to these kinds of situations and how I react to being up front.
- Behind the scenes of American Idol, Because of the pressure of what we go through, when we get backstage, we are ready to let go. We are a silly bunch. We love to hang out, kind of like one big, happy family. We tease about certain things that maybe are on the Internet or certain things the judges may have said. We try to take it as lightly as possible so we don’t go home crying.
- Who did she joke around with the most on the show? Everybody’s hilarious. I’m kind of the mama of the bunch because I’m the oldest, so I call them all my babies. Jordin, being the youngest, is my baby girl definitely. We all hang out. Blake is kind of the class clown, so he might have been one of the funniest ones.
- About this year’s Top 2, First of all, Jordin is 17 years old, and it does not make any sense to me for a 17-year-old to be able to sing that amazingly well. I am just in awe of her. She’s got one of the most mature voices I’ve ever heard, especially on someone her age. And she’s got such a pure heart ‘ I think it comes through when she goes to sing and when she goes to emote her song. That’s my baby girl and I wish her the best. … I think that Blake may quite possibly be one of the most original performers “American Idol” has ever had. He takes a song, he makes it his own ‘ whether it’s beatboxing, dancing, kind of putting a different groove to it. I believe that he took risks, and I am so proud of him for doing that and for stepping out and making people listen to a different style.
- What kind of album would she like to make? The only way I know how to describe it is just soul music. Anything from the heart. I love a groove, I love anything where I can tell a story. For me, I just call that soul music.