One can expect a healthy share of nostalgia for the 15th and final season of American Idol, which premieres on FOX Wednesday, January 6. Keith Urban, Harry Connick Jr., and Jennifer Lopez return as the judges, and Lopez talked about the pride she feels in taking part in this iconic show.
It was a big news week for American Idol, as Fox announced that next season will be AI’s last. Although the landmark show has nurtured its share of successful artists, saying goodbye to American Idol isn’t going to be easy for Keith Urban.
On last night’s “American Idol,” we said goodbye to C.J. Harris, and even though he tried to finish his rendition of “Can’t You See” by the Marshall Tucker Band, his emotions got the better of him as his fellow Idol colleagues took to the stage and hugged him.
“This whole journey has been amazing,” said Harris after the show. “The people that I’ve met. This whole experience has been something I can’t even explain to people. You’ve got to go through it and really figure it out, man. It’s amazing.”
For judge Keith Urban, watching any of these artists go home is tough to watch. “At this point, I feel close to every one of them,” said Urban. “So yeah it’s a little bit sad to see them go. Particularly C.J., because he’s such a good heart and good spirit. But he’s got a killer voice and he’s going to be fine.”
Don’t expect the Alabama native to fade into the woodwork anytime soon, as Harris is taking part in this summer’s “American Idol” tour. During his post-elimination interview, the singer showed a ton of class and heart by talking about his fellow Idol colleagues. His easygoing and kind demeanor are just a few reasons this talented musician was one of this season’s most likable artists.
Click on the media bar to hear C.J. Harris talk about his love and respect for his fellow “American Idol” competitors:
The top 5 singers continue their “American Idol” run next Wednesday at 8 pm et/pt on FOX.
Although MK Nobilette may have been eliminated last night from American Idol, she thankfully has a big picture view on her experience with the program. It’s a positive and determined attitude that should aid in her fledgling career as a music artist.
“I think one of the points of American Idol for me is that you do the show to make fans and to represent you and your music,” said Nobilette, who performed Pink’s ‘Perfect’ during this week’s competition. “I think (with) some people it’s to win American Idol. For me, I’m a musician and I want to make music and that’s what this whole thing was about. Now I have a fan base and I hope they stick with me, because I’m going to stick with them.”
Click on the media bar below to hear Nobilette talk about the greatest piece of advice she’s received during her American Idol run.
As for getting eliminated, Nobilette is taking everything in stride. “Top ten was my goal,” added the singer. “I’m proud of myself. I’m happy. I think I should be upset, but I’m not at all. This is already a huge deal. What’s the point in being upset about something amazing, you know?”
I truly love her rendition of John Legend’s “All of Me.” If you haven’t checked it out, here goes:
Ben Briley was eliminated on this week’s American Idol, and if the adage that adversity builds character rings true, then this Tennessee native will still be standing long after this season is over.
“If you want something, you got to take it. You got to go out and get it,” said a determined Briley after his elimination. “And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
But first things first. Briley, who performed Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets” this week, plans to take a much needed respite before hitting the boards once again. “I’m going go home, and I’m going to take a really long nap and hang out with my wife and have a glass of whiskey and a big ole steak for free, hopefully. I think I’ve earned that at least.”
The steak and whiskey comment, considering Briley’s candid and effusive personality, should be taken with a dash of humor. When it comes to his career, however, the singer is extremely serious and focused about his future opportunities.
Click on the audio bar to hear Ben Briley talk about his success, as well as his feeling of personal gratification, for the American Idol experience:
My favorite moment from Briley came with “Turning Home,” as it perfectly captured his down home, countrified persona. He also has solid vocal range, so take a gander below if you haven’t seen the performance:
Kristen O’Connor was eliminated last night on American Idol, and although it’s understandably a total downer for the singer, she handled her exit with grace and appreciation. During her exit interview, the singer reflected on her American Idol journey.
“I gained so much from this whole experience,” said O’Connor, who sang an inspired rendition of Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Beautiful Disaster’ this week. “My whole life I have been singing, but this is the first time in my life that I’ve had people be objective with me. For the first time I’ve had people who’ve made it in the industry tell me ways that I can improve.”
The mentor section of American Idol also left O’Connor with great memories. “Working with Chris Daughtry, I think that might have been a highlight of my life,” added O’Connor. “He told me my voice is sick. He said I gave him chills. That was amazing and it’s definitely something I’ll take with me forever. And (with) Adam Lambert I got to talk to him for a long time. He gave me great advice and he’s an awesome guy.”
Click on the Soundcloud audio to hear O’Connor, who just received her nursing license, talk about her plans post-Idol:
American Idol judge Harry Connick Jr. also said that O’Connor handled her elimination with “great dignity and class.”
Click on the audio to hear Connick Jr. explain why he really didn’t need to give advice to the talented singer.
Although they’re technically judges on American Idol, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr. are trying their best to impart their respective pearls of showbiz wisom for all of the singing hopefuls that come their way. One of this year’s biggest pleasures is the lack of bickering that infested last season, and the return of Lopez and addition of Connick Jr. certainly helped with the refreshing change.
“We have similar hearts,” said Lopez about her colleagues. “We have a similar feeling for what we are doing. We love music. We love our children. We have a sense of family. There’s a commonality of a lot of things about us besides the business (aspect) of it that makes the whole thing work.”
Part of Lopez’s decision to return to American Idol was to also have the ability to give salient advice and insight to up and coming artists, and she understands that such a collaboration isn’t a two way street. “I think about mentoring and why people who love something love to mentor and pass on what they know,” she added. “Because in that exchange you also learn something.”
Click on the bar below to hear Jennifer Lopez talk about why she loves being a judge/mentor on American Idol:
American Idol continues its Hollywood Round tonight on FOX (8 pm et/pt).
Harry Connick Jr. is a crooner, jazz man, actor, and as seen from his previous work on American Idol, a candid and hands on mentor.
With Jennifer Lopez returning to the fold and Keith Urban back for another go round, American Idol is expected to regain its mojo.
The continued tension between Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey turned off many American Idol enthusiasts, and last season’s finale drew an all time low 14.3 million. But the chemistry should dramatically improve this season.
“Just to be able to have a dialogue of music and entertainment and business is so stimulating to me,” said Connick during Monday’s TCA panels. “I just love it. And American Idol – it’s the best of its kind. The reason it has the track record that it does is because of the formula and the people that are involved this year.”
“The way they presented the opportunity to me of being a judge – I was just so happy that it worked out because we are really having a good time. And there’s some great talent this year.
In the audio featured below, Harry Connick Jr. talks about the importance of having a musical education and he also gives his thoughts on having “passion” for one’s craft.
American Idol has its season premiere Wednesday on FOX at 8 pm et/pt.