Chris Daughtry, the former “American Idol” fourth-place finisher-turned-rock star has backpedaled a bit for some recent negative comments he made about the show that launched him to stardom.
Alongside a picture of him in a “What are ya gonna do?”-type pose, Daughtry posted a lengthy apology on his official blog on Monday for slights he made in a Rolling Stone interview that were perceived as a criticism of “Idol.” In the interview posted on the eve of the season seven debut , Daughtry was quoted as saying, “I feel like it’s definitely lacking some credibility at this point … It’s in a state of decline and if they don’t do something about it, it’s probably not gonna last too much longer. I’m sure that’ll be used against me, but that’s the truth, you know?”
On Thursday (January 17), RollingStone.com posted part of an interview that had been conducted with “Idol” judge Randy Jackson the day before. Responding to Daughtry’s slam, he said, “I love Chris. I think he made an amazing record that he sold extremely well. He’s a testament to the fact that no matter where you finish on ‘Idol’ — even if you finish 12th — if you make a great record and you got that kind of exposure, the public will resoundingly buy it. But the bottom line is there would be no Chris Daughtry if there wasn’t ‘American Idol.’ ”
Under the title, “I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m … Just Being Honest!,” Daughtry wrote on the blog that his comments to Rolling Stone magazine were taken out of context. “It’s so sad that when you’re asked something and you answer honestly … you’re made out to be the bad guy,” he wrote less than half a day after the RS interview posted. “Yes, I’m referring to the Rolling Stone post. The funny thing is, if you heard the whole conversation you would’ve heard all the good things I said about the show as well. Like for instance: How it’s an amazing platform to launch a career … ‘If you take it seriously!!!!’ Let’s not forget I was a struggling artist for 11 years that never got any respect or notoriety so know that I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity that ‘Idol’ gave me. And that’s where my comments came from.”
Daughtry explained that his comments came about when the interviewer, who he said was “great by the way,” asked him where the “Idol stigma” comes from. “Ya know … the reason people never take anyone from the show serious in the real world and why people say, ‘Oh they came from “AI,” they’re not real artists,’ ” he explained. “So, I answered that I don’t feel that enough ‘artists’ try out for the show because of how many people they focus on that are obviously there for comedic and entertainment value. And when you focus enough on people that aren’t serious about it, then it’s hard for the audience to take you as an artist serious.”
The singer, whose self-titled debut sold 3.6 million copies and was one of the biggest albums of 2006, added that he thought it was “AWESOME” that producers are letting contestants play their own instruments on the show this year, which he predicted would show viewers a side of the contestants that the audience rarely gets to see, lamenting that those comments were not include in the final article.
“My long-winded point is this,” he concluded. “I was never trying to ‘DISS’ the show or ‘BITE THE HAND THAT FED ME’ so to speak. I was simply giving my input on what I think would spice the show up a bit. Sorry for being honest.”
The site also has a link to what is described as the full transcript from the interview on the RS.com Web site, in which the interviewer kicks off the conversation by asking, “Are you gonna watch it next season, or do you even care anymore?” Daughtry responds, “You know, it’s kinda hard, to be honest with you.” He also suggests in the article that contestants should be given a chance to play their own songs and/or instruments.
At press time, a spokesperson for “Idol” could not be reached for comment on Daughtry’s blog post.
Get your “Idol” fix on MTV News’ “American Idol” page, where you’ll find all the latest “Idol” news, interviews and opinions.
[This story was originally published at 11:10 a.m. on 01.17.08]