Last week was a big one for musician and reality show veteran Brianna Taylor. Sure, she was eliminated from "The Ruins," the latest "Real World/Road Rules Challenge" on MTV. But there was a silver lining, as she released her debut full-length album Fireworks at the Fairground. It's a stirring collection of singer-songwriter tunes that borrow elements of rock and electronic music for a heady pop brew.
Adding to Taylor's big week, she also stopped by the MTV Newsroom to chat with reality show expert Jim Cantiello. She played a pair of acoustic songs and also discussed her experience on "The Real World: Hollywood" and "The Ruins," her musical inspirations and her brief time on the fifth season of "American Idol" (she made it to Hollywood but was sent home when the finalists were selected). Because Cantiello is our resident "Idol" expert, he got some dirt on a handful of the high-profile contestants.
"Katherine McPhee's got a great voice. Taylor Hicks ... we all know what happened to him," she told Cantiello. "He's an awesome performer, but I think there were others on the show that had that spark. Chris Daughtry, namely." She added that Elliott Yamin was a grossly undervalued contestant on that show. "I didn't really know about that guy, but you can't judge a book by it's cover. Look at Susan Boyle," she said. "But I heard his voice, and it's seriously touched by an angel." She looks back on her brief "Idol" run with fondness, but adds, "'American Idol' was different, and I would have loved to see Daughtry win." All's well that ends well for Taylor, however, as Fireworks at the Fairground is in stores now.