First of all, you had one of the funniest moments in Idol history when you looked into the camera at the end of last night’s show and said, ”Why did I decide to scat? America don’t care for jazz.” Was that planned?
No. I didn’t know what people do. I’ve never seen the show. I can’t imagine people keep their cool when they’re voted off. It was just so crazy to be in that moment. I walked away and I was like, ”What did I just say?” I had to ask someone.
You and Gina must have gotten close, because she was crying hysterically when you got voted off.
If the tables had been turned, I would have not let go of her while she was singing her song. I would have been gripping her legs. We hit it off at the end of Hollywood week and she was my roommate. I don’t think I would have gotten through all this without her.
What’s your mood at the moment? You seemed pretty down last night.
I’m good. At one point I think I was delirious. But it stopped when I just got really good news and I’ m so excited.
Really good news? About your career?
I don’t think I can say, but yes, involving my career.
I was so nervous for you that you wouldn’t be able to get a note out.
Yeah, I was emotional. I wanted the girls to come down and hug me and cheer me on. I was being honest, I guess. I still haven’t watched it yet. I’m dying to see what it looks like. In the moment you forget you’re being filmed. You don’t think that millions of people are watching you. I’m sure I’ll see it and think, ”Quit crying, you baby.”
A.J., I’m usually good at predicting things, but I did not see you getting voted off this early.
I feel ya. It was a shock to me, too. I’ve been a fan of the show for years now and I haven’t really seen someone who’s gotten good reviews from the judges go home so soon in the competition. But I’m glad I went out on a good note as opposed to going out on a week the judges said I was horrible.
Since we won’t get to hear you on the show anymore, what were you planning on singing next week?
I was going to do another Stevie Wonder song, ”All I Do.” I did it in my first audition but it never got shown so I wanted to show that fun side of me.
Is there a positive?
Well, I talked to the judges after the show and they said I shouldn’t be going home. They told me they felt like I was one of the stronger ones vocally and I need to keep going and hopefully there will be something in the works with one of them.
Really? With one of them who says ”dawg” a lot and has his own label?
We’ll leave that up to the imagination
So what do you think happened? Because you weren’t the worst singer up there.
I don’t know. It’s the total package. Maybe with the target audience I wasn’t a favorite. Maybe there are some other audiences that could have appreciated my talent more. But the lowest person last night got upwards of a couple of million votes, so there’s definitely a fan base that appreciates my voice. There is no shame in me going home.
Any regrets that you came back for a second beating on Idol?
No, my experience last year made this all the more sweeter. I was so defeated and crushed last year, and for me to come back and have this level of success is a huge moral victory. How many people can say they reached the top 20? I’m very happy I came back.
After Ryan told Jared to stand up and then said he was safe, did you think you’d also be safe after he told you to stand up?
I was like, ”Oh boy. Here we go.” I was like, ”This is what they did with poor Amy [Krebs] in the same seat too.” I said to A.J., ”I’m in the hot seat.” You just try to prepare yourself. It’s like you’re there but you’re not. I’m sure if you go back in slow motion you can see the exact moment my heart broke.