Eleven weeks ago, few expected Vonzell Solomon to stick around on "American Idol," but the 21-year-old postal worker from Fort Myers, Florida, came out swinging with a big voice, an even bigger personality and the guts to choose challenging songs, winning over the judges and America. After making it to the final three, however, "Vonzy" was eliminated.
MTV: Week in and week out, you picked the most challenging songs. Was that part of your strategy, and do you regret any of them?
Vonzell Solomon: No, I don't regret picking any of the songs. I picked them because I liked them or I thought other people would enjoy me singing them. I gave them my all, and I still feel blessed.
MTV: What did you think of the songs Clive Davis and Simon Cowell chose for you?
Solomon: I thought they were great songs. "I'll Never Love This Way Again" by Dionne Warwick was a beautiful song I'd never sung before. I was up to the challenge and I had a good time.
MTV: Last week you were even more emotional than usual. Any reason in particular?
Solomon: It was nothing serious, just that day for me was really emotional. I was stressed out and I just kinda broke down. Everything was going wrong — some things with my wardrobe and stuff like that. You know how sometimes you're just more emotional than others?
MTV: "The Vonz," "Vonzy," "Baby V." Did you have this many nicknames before "American Idol"?
Solomon: All my life my name has been difficult for people to pronounce, so I've always had a whole bunch of names. I'm used to it and I just embrace it now. They've been around, Seacrest found them on his own. It's kinda crazy how the same names just circulate wherever you go.
MTV: What "American Idol" qualities do you see in Bo Bice and Carrie Underwood?
Solomon: They're both really great people, really great singers. They both have big hearts. I feel so blessed to be on the same show with them because I could lean on them. When I wasn't having a good day, like last Tuesday, they were right there giving me a pat on the shoulder. Bo is funny, he keeps me laughing all the time. And Carrie's loving, she loves animals. She sees a dog on the street and goes, "Ohhh, doggie!"
MTV: What did you think of Bo's a cappella performance on Tuesday night?
Solomon: He's a great performer, so I only expect great things from him, from both of those guys.