Joey Cook Dishes on American Idol and Quentin Alexander

AMERICAN IDOL XIV: Joey Cook performs 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 fans were shocked Wednesday night when fan favorite contestant, Joey Cook, lost a sing off against Rayvon Owen. Today, in a satellite interview with reporters, she shared her feelings about her Idol experience, her upcoming wedding and best friend Quentin Alexander.

What was she planning on singing for “Arena Anthems” week? “I was going to do “Story of My Life” by One Direction, all acoustic, with just the guitar–switched up Joey style. And “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen!”

She sang the Postmodern Jukebox version of “Fancy” on the show. Band leader, Scott Bradlee tweeted her last night. Does she have any plans to work with the band in the future? “I can’t say yes or no to any of that. I would LOVE the opportunity to do that. I absolutely love Postmodern Jukebox. I didn’t even know that Haley [Reinhart] and Casey Abrams were on tour with him when I did that version of Fancy. He’s been a huge Idol of mine for a really long time. That opportunity would be amazing.”

On the confrontation between Quentin Alexander and Harry Connick Jr. What was she thinking while the drama was going down? “I was trying to telepathically send him my good energy (laughs)…tell him that everything is going to be fine..try to telepathically calm him down (laughs).”

On her relationship with Quentin, “That’s my best friend. [We’ve] been very close throughout the entire competition. We met pretty early on in Hollywood week. We really kept each other sane throughout this and kept each other grounded. I think me and him have very similar motives with all of this in the sense of being unwavering in who we are through the competition–doing what it takes…but staying ourselves in the process. We helped each other a lot with that while I was there. I’m going to be sending all of my good energy to him. I know he’s going to do amazing on this. I love him dearly. I cannot wait to see him again.”

What are her immediate plans? “Tonight I’m flying back to Virginia. I get to see my family for a little bit, which will be great. Then I go to New York for some more press things. Then back here for the finale. I’m getting back home to New Orleans as soon as possible!”

What was her conversation with Quentin like after the show? “We talked during the commercial break [and] after the show was done. I pretty much just told him that what he did was beautiful. I think [it] was the perfect representation of him. Quentin is a very emotional person and he is very ‘all cards on the table.’ There’s no sugar coating. He doesn’t hide emotions. He’s a raw human being. I think what happened last night was the perfect example of that, and how emotional of a person he is. He maybe got a little bit nervous about what happened. I just told him, ‘I love what you did. You spoke from the heart and I think you reached a lot of people with that and brought light to what us as contestants go through.’ Everybody sees this as a competition, a television show. This is our lives. We spend every single waking moment together. And then every single week somebody leaves our family. We talked about it for a long time and the separation anxiety that’s going to happen. I think we’re both pretty happy about how everything went last night.”

Does she think Harry Connick Jr’s scolding of Quentin was uncalled for? “Nothing was really uncalled for. There are emotions. I think last night was a very real moment on television that everybody got to watch. No opinion on any of it really, on whether anything was right or wrong or anything like that. I think that was a very real moment. I liked seeing it, personally.”

Was she confident that America would vote to save her since Rayvon was sitting in the bottom 2 for the 3rd time? “No. I knew. I don’t how, I just knew. I had a gut feeling that morning that I was going to be in the bottom. The day before, actually, as well. It wasn’t that I felt I did bad last week, it was just a feeling. I had a gut feeling. I love everybody in this competition. I want everybody to do well. I know what I’m doing after this. I want everyone else to go further in the competition. I am happy with the results. I think it was perfect. I think Rayvon deserves it. I think Rayvon is eating this competition up right now. He is proving every single week that he’s not ready to go. Everybody is opening their ears to it. While it was happening…I don’t think I was really surprised.”

How does she think American Idol has helped develop her vocally and develop her into an artist, “This show has done more than I could ever ever ask for in my entire life. They exposed me to millions of people. I went from playing on the sidewalk before this. It really is, just completely surreal. I’ve never had vocal lessons before. I’ve never had somebody tell me what arm movements I’m doing while I sing. I’ve never had any of these things before. Getting access to all this information and being able to work with my vocal coach and being able to learn. I’ve learned more about music in the past two months than I have throughout my entire life, thanks to this competition, and thanks to the best of the best that we’re surrounded by. They really just opened up a can of worms with this for me! The sky is the limit at this point. I could not be more grateful for everything.”

When did she begin playing the accordion? “There was a girl who showed up at my house in Richmond VA one night. We were having a housewarming party. We had just moved into a new apartment. She was a really little girl. Maybe like five foot, 90 pounds. Just itty bitty adorable little thing. And she had this giant backpack on. She pulls an accordion out. She doesn’t really talk to anybody throughout the whole party. Pulls this accordion out and sits in the corner and starts playing these really sad waltzes on it. And starts singing commentary about everybody at the party–like complimenting people’s dresses. That’s a really beautiful instrument! A few months pass, and I had a dream one night that I got to play the accordion. I [hadn’t] been able to stop thinking about this instrument since I saw it. I’m having dreams about it. I need to go find one! I found one at a music collective in Richmond. Picked it up, and just started playing it. My friend came down and said ‘that’s really cool. I didn’t know you could play the accordion.’ [It] was actually the first time I ever physically touched one in my life! It went from there. I started playing piano when I was young, so it transferred over pretty well. It was all very natural for me. It was kind of like a calling.”

Which performance was Joey’s favorite? “My favorite performance that I gave would have to be ‘Fancy.’ Just because of the experience of hearing that song in my head. Obviously it started with the Postmodern Jukebox version. But it kind of grew into something more than that towards the end there. I couldn’t just do that version of the song. I needed to still tweak and mess with it. Being able to communicate with the band, ‘I want a big drum hit here and I want it to get really really quiet right here, and then just get REALLY loud.’ [Explaining] to them what I was hearing in my head, and then having them play that sound back to me, was just a mind blowing experience. Favorite performance of mine would have to be Quentin’s ‘I Put a Spell on You’ or Tyanna’s performance from last night, because she KILLED last night with her Tina Turner song. I was dancing my little butt off!”

Which mentor gave her the best advice? “Everybody realized that I’m super in love with Boy George. I made it very obvious on the show. Meeting him was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. He’s been supporting me ever since. He tweeted me last night. He’s just a really, really, really amazing person, and had some amazing advice for me. Generally, my vocal coach, Kenya Hathaway–she pulled some sounds out of me that I did not know I was capable of. She really pushed me as a vocalist to be more confident in myself and to recognize that I am singer. I’m not just a musician. I’m a vocalist. I’m a good singer. She really really gave me some outstanding advice. She’s a goddess among women. Everything she said to me I will remember forever.”

Does she plan on doing any reading? “Yes. I actually started a new book last night called Zeitoun by Dave Eggers about New Orleans. I love Dave Eggers so much. I think he’s a genius. He’s one of my favorite authors of all time. I found a book that I hadn’t read yet by him about the city that I live in! Match made in heaven. I have a long flight tonight, so I have a feeling I’m going to get a solid chunk into that book before I get home.”

How did her fiancé Evan, propose? “He called my family and made sure my mom was going to be there for the show, and my best friend…was also there. In the hotel we were staying at, there’s a place…which is like a little garden with a bench. It’s really beautiful. I only had 10 minutes of time, because we were running around doing photo shoots and stuff. He stole me away for 10 minutes and did the one knee thing. He started with all this really heartfelt stuff, ‘We’ve been through so much together. It’s been 5 long years…’ I was ‘Are you about to break up with me right now? Because you should wait until the show is done.’ (laughs) He [said] ‘No! It’s actually the opposite! Don’t freak out!’  It was really sweet. It was really heartfelt. He is the love of my life. I adore him and always will.”

What does her elimination mean for her wedding plans? Will she begin planning now that she has more free time? “Yes. Most definitely! I definitely want to do the wedding before December. December is going to be our six years together. We want a summer wedding. I think we’re going to try and knock it out this summer.”

What are her career plans? “I would like to record my album ‘big girl’ style. That’s my plan. I have an album I recorded called ‘Hey I Love You Songs and Stuff on the Ukulele’ by Joey Cook! I recorded the entire thing on my iPhone using voice memo in my basement in one take. It’s not really quality. I’m very proud of it. My heart and soul in an album. I would like to take that album and I would like to get a band. I want a full band. I want a horn section. I want all of it. I want to do it in a big studio. I want to do it ‘big girl’ style with the headphones and the pop filter and everything.  I want to do it right. I have it all together. I’ve always just needed the resources to do it professionally. I think I’ve gotten to that point, which is so exciting.”

Out of the mentors, is there anybody she would have liked to work with in the future? “There’s so many people. I kept telling them Prince. That’s completely unreasonable I think! (laughs) I want to work with David Bowie. There’s so many people–Erykah Badu I would love to be able to talk to her and get some advice from her. There are so many people out there I would love to work with.”

From the Idol journey, what has she learned about herself? “I’ve learned that I’m capable. I think before this competition I knew what I was doing and I was was confident. I was a musician. I wasn’t necessarily confident as a vocalist. This show has shown me that along with playing instruments and writing music and everything like that, I’m a singer. That’s what I do. That’s what I’ve always done. It took me a long time to realize it. It’s proven to me that I am good enough. That I’m capable and that I’m deserving of whatever it is to come.”

On how her personal style evolved, “Having access to the stylists was just amazing. They ended up being some of my closest friends. Me and Quentin just hang out in the stylists room. That’s pretty much what we do. They were just so excited about having me and Quentin on the show this year, because they could put me in these crazy dresses and dress me up like a space cadet. I was 100% open to it and ready. It was so exciting. Just the way I dress normally–I look for things that I love. The way my mom explains it…that [when] everybody else [gets] dressed in the morning, they look in their closet and find one of their favorite articles of clothing, and then they build around it. Me, when I look in my closet, I find every single one of my favorite articles of clothing and wear all of them at one time! That is the goal. (laughs).

Through competing on Idol, does she have a different perspective of herself as a performer? “One hundred percent, yes. I obviously remained myself throughout this, can’t really be anybody else. I’m stuck being myself (laughs). [But now] I have a different vision of myself as a performer and what I’m capable of. Prior to this, I was completely happy playing my ukulele to a small room of ten people, singing my songs to them. It’s still a beautiful thing! That is a very personal connection that you have in a space that big, with a little amount of people. But it made me realize…that’s not all I can do. I can ‘Quentin out’ and have pyro and all of these crazy things for a performance, and [enhance] it. I always kind of thought of it as a little bit corny. I think prior to this, I didn’t really understand. Now that I’ve been soaked in the world that is American Idol, I see myself so much differently as a performer–what I can do [visually with] a show. What a backdrop means for a performance [for instance]. All the little things like that. It made everything larger than life for me. Pretty exciting.”

About mj santilli 34993 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!