Jimmy Iovine Talks American Idol 11 Final 2 and Post-Idol Success

American Idol mentor, Jimmy Iovine answered questions for reporters today in a conference call.  He seems to think the judges listen to thousands of kids sing during the summer auditions? It’s more like hundreds. A lot of the footwork is done for them by producers. Also, he kept making the point that Phillip Phillips success on Idol is very good for the show.  He also believes Jessica Sanchez has a shot at winning.

Would Jimmy consider taking a seat at the judges’ table? “No one has asked me. Not right now–I like working with musicians. I like the creative aspect of what I do on the show. I really enjoy that. It’s a lot of fun for me. Probably not, you know?”

On the mentoring sessions, “The sessions are approximately, a half hour each, maybe a little bit more. They happen on a Friday. I give a lot of thought before I go in.  I’ve been doing this a long time, so what I’m doing basically is what I do in my office. I talk to musicians. When I was a record producer [it’s] what I would do. What I was most shocked about this year is that everyone of these kids were cooperative and wanted to learn and wanted to be better. Especially the final 4 or 5. These kids really cared and were really interested? I really liked the kids this year a lot. It made me able to do more.  If we need more time, the kid leaves and comes back. Everybody is treated equally.”

What will Jessica have to do on Tuesday to win, “We worked on this. Jessica has to find that balance between what her capabilities are and reach inside and have the right songs to click the emotion. Because she has to get people to vote for her. People who haven’t voted for her in the past.  I believe in the songs that she’s chosen and that Simon has chosen for her. We worked on an original song which I really like. She’s a pro. She’s 16 years old, but when this girl’s 18, when she grows the next few years, she’s going to be a problem–meaning that she’s going to do really really well. She’s got all the capabilities and all the pieces to just do great. I get excited when I work with her.”

Why does Jessica have a chance to break the boy’s streak and win? “Jessica is born with one of those gifts that you see very very rarely. The tone of her voice, the range, her poise–she has every every chance to win this thing, because she can strike a chord in you with the right song that just–no matter what you’re thinking before you hear that–you will vote for her. She could change your mind on a dime. Because those voices don’t come around everyday. That’s why there are so few people that sing like that in the industry today.”

Was there any finalist that he was shocked to see go home early? “I had it pretty early on that Joshua, Jessica and Phillip had what it takes to be in the final 3. I did not know who was going to proceed or not when Joshua got cut. But those 3 I felt personally would be in the final 3.”

What does he think about this season of American Idol? “Phillip is a very unusual artist to get this far on American Idol. I’m really impressed with that. Phillip’s career is going to be based on–he’s a writer and a singer-songwriter.  You don’t have the world to pick material from. He may take some help in collaborations and different things that he does. For that secret to still be in the bag– to have him [go] this far–a big part of it is those songs.  Dave Matthews, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen–what are the songs? That part, the audience doesn’t know yet. But I believe in him a lot. I think he’s got crazy charisma, incredible sound. I’m really happy about that. I think it bodes well for American Idol that a kid like that can get this far. There’s something about this group–the judges what they do is so difficult–to go on the road and listen to people sing a cappella–thousands of them–I couldn’t do that. And differentiate and to find one kid and not the other? What they do is really extraordinary. And that’s what I think you’re seeing  on American Idol that was missing in some of the years right before that. The A&R process that these judges collectively do is really extraordinary. That’s the thing I’m most impressed at.”

On the last few male pop winners not doing well on the charts, “Singer songwriters–it’s a complicated thing. He has the advantage now of people hearing him in incredible circumstance that a lot of people know who he is. That’s an extraordinary advantage. Now he has to go make a record that lives up to the popularity and the hype and yet go make his first record as an artist. Which is not always the easiest thing.  He’s got to put a lot of work into it and we’re going to help him a lot. But he has this certain thing that some of those other people you’re talking about didn’t have. This guy–I don’t know how he was missed in the industry because he really has such charisma and such a vibe and such a great character that he was looked over, probably, and it’s great that he got on this show. It’s terrific for the show that he made it through.”

Jimmy on his role on Idol, “I’m in the creative process. I’m on their side. Then at the end of the game, we get to talk about what happened. If you’re in a playoff game and the coach comes back and says ‘this guy blew it’ it’s just about what it is. My responsibility is to say what it is and help the singers and the audience sort of give them my take on actually what’s happening and what did happen, why that happened. It’s part of the creative process. I’m on the front of it and the back of it. It’s my responsibility to train the team, and then let them know what happened.”







About mj santilli 35048 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!