Siobhan Magnus never quite fit into the “American Idol” mold — and that’s exactly how she liked it. But she might have stretched a bit too far with her honky-tonk/screamo performance of Shania Twain’s “Any Man of Mine,” getting eliminated Wednesday night .
We caught up with the 20-year-old glassblower from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on Thursday (April 29) to find out what’s next and where she learned to hit those gigantic notes.
Q: Where did you learn to hit those big notes?
A: I’m pretty sure I figured out how to do that in the shower in high school one night. [Laughs.] I’m an avid shower singer, much to the dismay of my family and my neighbors, but I was singing a Kelly Clarkson song, and I went to hit one note, and I reached it and I was able to resonate it in a different part of my head that I could feel it that high. And ever since I figured it out, I started to use it more and more with different stuff — in school choirs and in my band — and it became very useful with the style of singing that I like to do. A particular time that it came in handy was when I was singing with my friend’s band, and we did “Great Gig in the Sky” by Pink Floyd, and I had a blast just wailing on those huge notes in a battle of the bands, and we won. One of my favorite singers of all time is Janis Joplin, and I learned very much through imitation, so when I hear a singer I love, I try and emulate that, and that kind of added up to the way I sing today.
Q: You often told the judges that you didn’t want to pigeonhole yourself into one genre. Was that an important message you hoped to send you to your fans?
A: That’s definitely something that was important to me from the beginning to show people that that is something I care about, that I take very seriously. I’ve always been an independent person and a different kind of person, but I’m very stubborn and strong-willed, and it’s something important to me to get that across, that I’m not going to change to please other people. I do what I do because it rests well on my heart and who I am. The feedback that I’ve got, the positive feedback that I receive from fans and viewers, was tremendous. I couldn’t ask for anything better than receiving letters from younger girls who said to me, “I get made fun of at school because I’m different, but watching you has helped me accept the fact that it’s OK and that it’s a good thing to be who I am and not back down just because other people intimidate me.” I’ve received letters where I’ve been brought to tears just because I have achieved something that has been a goal of mine for so long: to be able to influence the lives of young girls in a positive way. To show them that who you are on the inside is a beautiful thing, and you shouldn’t let anyone take that away from you, because we are all perfectly made as who we are. To be able to have that connection with fans through this whole experience, through the television and know that I reached people, even if it was just one person — I always said if I could influence one person’s life, then that’s what I’m here for, so I’m just so honored.
Q: Were you disappointed that the judges’ save wasn’t available for you since it was already used on Michael Lynche ?
A: No, not at all, because I couldn’t imagine it not being used on Mike. That was so shocking that there was the chance of him going home that week, and I think we all knew when it was announced: “They have to save him. There’s no way he could be going home.” And it would have been cool if that didn’t have to happen, but I have faith that everything happens for a reason, and I couldn’t be luckier to be where I’m at and to have gotten this far. So I love Mike to death, and it’s awesome that he’s still in it.
Q: What did you think when people compared you to “Idol” alum and mentor Adam Lambert ?
A: It was wicked flattering being compared to him right off the bat. I just respect him so much for his individuality and his confidence, and his stage presence is just tremendous. It’s undeniable that he’s born to do what he’s doing. And he was extremely helpful as a mentor, because he was the first mentor that the show ever had that was a past contestant. So he knew firsthand what it was like to be in our shoes, and that was helpful, because he was sensitive to that. He knew just what to say, and the things that he said were so dead-on, and I really just tried to absorb every single thing he said.
Q: What would you say to people who were disappointed you’re off the show?
A: I would say not to worry, because this is just the end of one thing and it’s the beginning of a new thing. I have so many big ideas and things that I hope to come in the future that I probably wouldn’t have got a chance to do without this experience, and I’m so grateful for the entire thing. Hopefully, this will just be the gateway to all of the other things I aspire to do.
Were you sad to see Siobhan go? Will you check out her post-“Idol” music? Let us know in the comments!
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