While Alex Lambert's nerves got the best of him during his early "American Idol" performances, the singer seemed to be getting on the right track, choosing perfect-fit songs by Ray LaMontagne and John Legend.
Unfortunately, Lambert fell victim to Thursday's shocking results night and didn't quite make the top 12, along with fellow castoffs Lilly Scott, Katelyn Epperly and Todrick Hall. We caught up with him Friday (March 12) to talk about his surprise elimination, what's next and much more.
Q: After you were eliminated, you said that you had more to show America. What did you mean by that?
A: When I said I want to break out of my shell and show America what I can do, man, honestly, every time I got up there, I couldn't even sing my best because I was so nervous, and I have a whole series of songs that I can sing that sound so much better than singing on the show. I don't regret anything, because it's the beginning of my career. I have never really been onstage before, so I think I did great for not having any experience.
Q: Do you think you'll be able to get past the nerves and have a music career?
A: I feel like I'm already past it. I feel like I just needed a few more weeks of just having a little bit more experience on that stage. ... It wasn't a nerve thing, because I would get up there and be comfortable and it felt right, but I didn't know how to look at the camera. I didn't know how to interact with the audience, because I had never done it before. I mean, definitely, it's something that I'll easily be able to get past.
Q: Did you get a chance to talk to the judges after the show?
A: They talked to me, and they pretty much told me that I need more experience. And it's true, but I felt like, vocally, it was my time. ... I didn't have enough experience on the stage is pretty much what they were telling me. They all know I have a good voice, and they told me I had a lot of future ahead of me.
Q: The judges have made a big deal about the contestants knowing what kind of artist they want to be. Do you know?
A: I know exactly what kind of artist I want to be. I really would like to do a bunch of acoustic stuff and I would also like some R&B tracks — a whole bunch of different stuff. I know my voice and what I can and cannot do, and I know what would sound good on what, and I believe that I could sound good on not only one genre of music; I could put it on anything.
Q: What helped you through the nerves? Did the judges help or your friends or ...
A: I would say it was all me. The only person who was going to help me overcome my nervousness and my stage fright was me, and it was all in my head. I could have gone up there and had a great performance, but in my head, I was thinking to nail the song vocally, and I wasn't really worried about performing, I guess. I never thought that the show was so much of a performing show as a singing competition. I had it in my head so much, like, "I want my vocals to be so much better than everyone else's." And I guess that's all. I lost track of the fact that this is a TV show.
Q: When the show came back from commercial after you were eliminated, things looked pretty emotional. What was going on?
A: A lot of people were talking to me and, yeah, it was emotional, because a lot of people weren't expecting the people that went home to go home. There's people in the top 12 that everyone thought was going home, and then when they found out it was me, that whole day I was nervous, and people were like, "Dude, why are you nervous? You have no reason to be nervous. You're going to be here." And then when I got cut, they were just like, "What?!?" And a lot of people that were upset were like, "I made it and he didn't?"
Q: Do you think if you'd made it to the top 12 you would have been encouraged to cut off your mullet?
A: [Laughs.] The stylists have already asked me if I wanted to cut it. I mean, even if they did tell me to — yeah, they probably would want me to cut it, but I wouldn't let them cut it. I wouldn't ever let them cut my mullet.
Q: What did you think of Ellen's constant banana metaphors?
A: [Laughs.] Well, I mean, I know it's all for entertainment, but it does make sense, I guess. I mean, I probably won't be able to look at a banana the same way.
Were you sad to see Alex go? Will you listen to his post-"Idol" music? Let us know!
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