Wednesday night's "American Idol" was filled with totally radical renditions of '80s music, but unfortunately, another one bit the dust during Thursday's elimination round — and that someone was the falsetto fresh prince DeAndre Brackensick.
With the week's mentors, No Doubt's Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal, and Jimmy Iovine urging him to lose his nerves, it appeared DeAndre took note as he owned the stage with his groovy moves, inevitable hair tosses and finally, for once, a finishing smile. The judges across the board praised his performance of "I Like It," with Randy Jackson claiming he could be a newer, 2012 version of DeBarge.
But when it came to Thursday's result night, America did not agree with the judges' praise. Neither did Iovine, calling DeAndre's act "the weakest of the boys" because he wasn't excelling as fast as powerhouse Joshua Ledet. Although Ledet and Brackensick have two completely different styles of singing, the 17-year-old contestant had nothing but respect for the music executive backstage after the show.
"Everybody has their opinion," DeAndre told MTV News. "My voice is one of the voices where either you love it or you can't stand it, and I just think Jimmy didn't really have a feel for my voice. But it was fine because I take everything he does say to me, and I take it to heart. I try to put it into my performances as much as I can. I have much love for Jimmy."
Iovine's criticism adds to his sometimes-conflicting opinions with the judges, particularly J.Lo, who was once again outvoted when it came to the decision of saving someone. But if she couldn't save the San Jose, California, native, she was sure to give him some advice to take along.
"J.Lo told me to just let my defense down," DeAndre explained. "And stop trying to make it seem like everything is fine, which is really easy for me, because throughout the whole 'Idol' season, I'm crying. In every episode, I'm crying, so it's fine. It's just tonight I just didn't want to be sad. I didn't want America to be sad about something.
"I picked 'Master Blaster' just because I just wanted the crowd to be going, and I wanted to end up on a happy note. I wanted people to be happy about my accomplishments, not about what I didn't do in the future."
Did he have any nerves or regrets? "I felt no nerves at all. No nerves at all. My last performance, in my opinion, I think was my best performance. So even though I did get cut, I'm glad I went off on something I didn't regret. I have no regrets at all."
So, while this season might be DeAndre's last run with "American Idol" — let us not forget he failed to enter the top 24 last season — he promises, just like in the past, he won't stop believing. " 'Idol' has changed me in the best way possible," he shared. "I'm so grateful for this experience ... and hopefully after the ['American Idol'] tour, I just keep going on with my music. That's what I want and that's what ...," he paused and corrected himself with a laugh, "not even what I want — that's what's going to happen. So, yeah, you're gonna see me later on in music someway, somehow."
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