Anthony Fedorov Says Simon's Cruel Criticism Was Helpful

Ousted 'Idol' singer calls judge's role on the show 'pretty brilliant.'

From his first audition, Anthony Fedorov was compared to second season runner-up Clay Aiken, and like Clay, Anthony's signature torch ballads carried him through most of the competition. However, the 20-year-old from Trevose, Pennsylvania, was never a favorite of the judges, and after several close calls he was eliminated Wednesday.

MTV: There were a lot of references to this being an emotional week for you guys. Was there anything in particular that made it more emotional than past weeks?

Anthony Fedorov: I think it was just everything in general, because you come so close to getting the gold medal. It was just a combination of everything that was happening, and it got to some people this week.

MTV: Did the "Primetime" report have any effect?

Fedorov: Actually, it didn't have any effect at all. There's too many things going on, and you have to think about one thing and that's your performance. We really didn't even discuss it. We just didn't have time for it.

MTV: How did you and Carrie both end up singing "If You Don't Know Me By Now" on Tuesday?

Fedorov: We did not know that we were singing the same song at first. It's one of my favorite songs of all time. I heard I could do it and I was like, 'I'm doing this song, I have to.' Then I asked Carrie which song she was doing and I was like, 'Wow, I'm doing the same one.' And we were both excited to deliver two really good versions of that song. I honestly felt like she did a great job. I liked the arrangement, she made it interesting. I don't think the comments she received were the right ones. They told me good things and I appreciate it, but I wished they wouldn't have trashed her.

MTV: Was there ever a song you really wanted to sing but that the producers couldn't clear?

Fedorov: It happened a couple of times, but it is what it is. It frustrated me sometimes. A song that finally got cleared, by Marc Anthony, "Love Is All," I was going to sing that next week, but I guess I'll have to do it on tour.

MTV: Do you have any regrets?

Fedorov: I don't think I would [change anything], because you have to experience the good and bad to appreciate the whole experience. I'm just happy this ride is over on a high note. I feel like I finally did a good job, and I don't usually say that, because I'm never happy with my performances.

MTV: Simon was always particularly harsh on you. What's your relationship with him like?

Fedorov: I have a lot of respect for Simon. The way his personality is on the show is pretty brilliant. Everybody looks at him as this menace, but in reality, if you take what he's saying in the right way and if you filter out all the silly comments he makes and focus on the meaning of the comments, that can help you out a lot. I have tough skin because of that, and I'm thankful for that. It's been an experience being judged by him, and I hope I can work with him in the future.

MTV: What is next for you?

Fedorov: I'm gonna do the things I love the most. I just want to put out a couple of really nice beautiful ballads. I want to incorporate some Latin elements to my ballads, because my whole influence comes from Latin music. And maybe mix in some rock things -- Bryan Adams, Michael Bolton, Richard Marx, that type of thing.

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