Season 2 4th place finisher, Josh Gracin, was on the list of Idol alums set to appear on the April 7 finale, but it turns out he’s not going to be there after all. He explains to the Washington Post why not. Besides scheduling conflicts, Josh doesn’t think him appearing on the Idol stage one last time to sing other people’s songs will help his stalled country music career.
It’s been awhile since his last hit song and he’s eager to make another splash in Nashville – and have the industry take him seriously. He knows it’s unlikely to help if he’s in front of millions singing someone else’s song. Though he’s extremely grateful to “Idol” for launching his career, he politely declined the offer.
“If ‘American Idol’ doesn’t want to acknowledge what I’ve been able to do without their help…if they can’t even acknowledge the success that I’ve had and what I’ve been able to do, how am I going to get Nashville to acknowledge that and get past that stigma?” Gracin said recently in a phone interview.
Upon coming off Idol in 2003, Josh signed with Disney’s Lyric Street records, his debut album when gold and he had a couple of hits. After songs from his second album failed to chart, he split with the label, which folded soon after. He subsequently signed another label deal in 2011 that only produced one record. He has been struggling ever since.
Gracin has been touring heavily as an independent artist ever since, which is why it’s crucial to show people in Music City that he can write and produce his own songs – not just go on stage and sing covers. As he explains, it’s a very “clique-y” place, where a core group runs the town and throws all resources behind their own artists they support.
“Nashville isn’t taking anybody anymore unless you’re a writer that has a catalog of music that you’ve written for other people or you have an investor behind you,” he said. “Because they’re not wanting to take the risk financially anymore like they used to.”
Josh is also furious with TMZ. He claims the gossip site twisted the words of a troubling Facebook message he left during a rough patch with his ex-wife, “spinning” it as an appararent suicide note.
“When I got wind that was the way TMZ had took it and spun it, I was very furious,” Gracin said. In reality, he said, he was “going through a lot of stuff,” and needed space. “I’ve always been the guy to face and fight [problems] head on, and for once in my life I was like, you know what, maybe I do need to get away and go disappear for awhile.”
While Gracin admits he could have worded his post better, he’s still upset that the gossip site “twisted” his words: “I know a lot of people that have struggled with depression and struggled with that, and I felt like that does them a disservice that’s not fair, because they’re really struggling.”
So many Idols are returning for the finale, not minding singing other people’s songs at all. It’s the end of an era that Josh played a part in. Appearing on the show wouldn’t give his current career a boost, but I don’t think it would hurt either. I’m sure there will be networking opportunities he’s missing out on by not attending. There doesn’t seem to be a downside to showing up one last time.
Josh admits right after his Idol run, doors opened pretty easily
“Trying to get a single back on the radio and get things moving again, it definitely you appreciate how easy things were during that time of coming off a show,” he said, “as opposed to fighting and scratching like every other artist in Nashville has to from the very beginning.”
American Idol gives an artist a start, but after that it’s a ton of hard work.