“American Idol” took another shocking turn when La Toya London, widely considered a favorite to win the competition, was the ninth finalist eliminated. Simon Cowell criticized the 25-year-old Oakland, California, native for not showing more personality, but for the most part, the judges praised her all season. Randy Jackson called her elimination a travesty.
MTV: Another shocking week. Again, everyone is coming up with their theories. Do you have a theory that explains why you and Fantasia landed in the bottom two?
La Toya London: Honestly, no, because you don’t know, so I don’t even dwell on it. I just say, “OK, look toward the future, keep on going.”
MTV: One theory is that you and Fantasia have a similar style, so people who might have liked that style had to choose between the two of you.
London: There’s so many things that could have been the reason, but who knows? We can toss up thoughts all day, but all I know is this is where I am right now, and so I’m just enjoying all of this. I’m excited about my future and can’t wait to see where it goes.
MTV: You were the most reserved one of the final four. Do you think that might have hurt you a little bit? Perhaps America wanted to see more emotion.
London: It could have, but, I mean, this is me. I can’t change.
MTV: John Stevens said he was taught to just listen when people are giving him constructive criticism. Is that the same with you?
London: Definitely. I feel that if someone’s giving you corrective criticism, the best thing you can do is just sit there and listen. Even if it’s something that you already know, it’s not good to be like, “Yeah, I know. Yeah, I know.” It’s good to just sit there and listen, because they might say something that you don’t know. Just kind of keep your comments to yourself, and whatever you can take and run with, take it. Whatever you can do without, let it go through one ear and out the other. The best thing is just to stay humble.
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MTV: How did you feel going into disco week? Was that something you were nervous about?
London: I was excited. Every week I was excited. I’m used to doing a lot of R&B music, a lot of pop music, so with country week, disco week, big band week, I was excited to touch on some of those songs and see how versatile I can be.
MTV: The judges were really upset. Did they talk to you afterward?
London: Yeah, Randy, he just said if I need anything, give him a call. Paula, she was in tears. She just gave me the biggest hug in the world and just was like, “You’re a star.” And Simon, he just was like, “You have nothing to worry about. You did well.” So I definitely had support from them.
MTV: You said we haven’t heard the last of you. When we do hear from you again, what can we expect?
London: I don’t really want to put a label on it — R&B, pop or anything. I just want to do music that really hits the soul. I love Sade’s style, the different musical instruments and the mellow vibe, music that you can just ride in the car and sit with your loved one and make some babies to. … And you can expect a lot from me. I want to audition for a lot of movie roles. The sky’s the limit.
MTV: Are you surprised at all by the remaining three?
London: I think Diana, she’s done really well throughout the season at improving. Jasmine too. When I think back on the Pasadena auditions and seeing where they are now, we’ve all grown a lot. We’ve learned a lot about cameras, just showmanship onstage. Fantasia, she’s already there. She’s just the bomb. I’m not surprised to see all of them in the top three. I think they’re all wonderful performers.
MTV: A lot of people said Fantasia was the one to beat throughout the season. Did it feel like that?
London: Oh yeah, Fantasia, she’s got it going on. So she definitely is the one you’ve got to try and beat.
MTV: She was really upset too. Did you guys become pretty good friends?
London: Yeah, that’s my girl. Fantasia is my dawg. We’ll always be that way, and I just want to give her props. We’ll definitely see each other after this whole “Idol” thing is over. We’ll definitely all be able to just sit back and laugh and just see each other’s careers soar.