April 15, 2010
Posted: 07:58 PM ET
Ok Idol fans…we’re down to 7!
Do you agree with Wednesday night’s eliminations? Were you surprised? Angry? Happy? Indifferent? Let us know!
For those of you who went to bed early (and managed to stay away from your television, computer, radio and friends today), here’s what you need to know:
Katie Stevens, the 17-year-old who caused Kara and Simon to argue over whether she was a country singer or a pop/R&B singer (Katie sets the record straight for us here at LKL Blog) and Andrew Garcia, who wowed America and the judges with his take on former Idol judge Paula Abdul’s hit “Straight Up” during Hollywood week (but didn’t seem to live up to the high standard he’d set for himself), left the stage for the last time last night…
BOTH Idol contestants took some time for an exit interview with us this afternoon to talk about what the experience meant to them and what their future plans will be.
As always, let us know what you think about Katie, Andrew or anything Idol…and don’t forget to tune in Monday when Larry talks to SIMON, KARA, RANDY AND ELLEN for the hour about “Idol Gives Back”…live from our studio.
LKL Blog: After last night, what’s gone through your mind? Have you re-hashed the past few weeks?
Andrew Garcia: What’s going through my mind is needing a break from all the craziness that’s been going on. I made it that far. And just to be able to say I was in the top 9 out of America’s top singers, it’s an accomplishment that I’m just so happy for and grateful. It’s crazy to think about it.
LKL Blog: Were you surprised that you made it that far?
Andrew: I was. Because I went in with the intentions of an acoustic singer, doing what he does and just going in there. But I got to work with a full band. It was just out of this world.
LKL Blog: What did you learn as a songwriter, a singer, a performer – what has your experience on Idol taught you?
Andrew: It’s taught me to connect on different level than just musically. You’ve got to connect with your heart, your mind, everything. Literally put yourself in that music and connect with the audience. That’s where it counts.
LKL Blog: Everyone still talks about your performance of Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up.” How did that come about?
Andrew: I love people talking about that – it’s a work of mine, I put my own twist on it. They loved it, so it’s cool. But the judges let it blind them and not seeing what I’m doing now. And that’s where it kind of got frustrating. But I have got to get over it and just keep doing my thing.
LKL Blog: It’s funny you say that because some of the judges were talking about how that performance was just so amazing, it was hard for you to live up to it. That you set the bar so high for yourself. Do you think about that?
Andrew: It was natural to me. I only took 30 minutes making that rendition three days before Hollywood week. And I just did it. It was me being purely unintentional about anything. Just making the song because I love to do it.
LKL Blog: Is it harder for someone who is a performer to be coached and judged and given suggestions by all the people on the show? Does it make it more difficult for a contestant like you?
Andrew: It kind of does. You’re already set in your ways. You’re thinking, ‘this is what I do and I like what I do and this is how I’m going to do it.’ And then you get to a bigger platform and there’s more to than just doing that. You’ve got to work with other people, you’ve got to work with cameras, you’ve got to work with just so many more things than just me and my acoustic.
LKL Blog: What’s it like personally for you – you’ve performed for people before – but on this level, what is it like?
Andrew: It’s pretty insane. You don’t think about it because you’re so focused on your performance and the judges until after – then you’re like, ‘did I just perform for 25 million people?’ It’s just nuts. It’s a good feeling though.
LKL Blog: Do you and the other contestants, would you after the show sit around and dissect everything? Or do you turn it off?
Andrew: We sometimes do and we sometimes don’t. But we normally don’t do it any more. We used to, but it caused more stress on us. We toned it down a lot.
LKL Blog: Was last night tough for you?
Andrew: It actually wasn’t. I went in there expecting nothing. And you’ve got to learn to go with the flow. Especially on television like that. You never know what’s going to happen. And if you go in there thinking of what you want and not getting it, it’s going to tear you up. You’ve got to be appreciative, humble and just thank people for everything that’s been given to you so far.
LKL Blog: What’s next? How do you use this to move forward?
Andrew: Oh, man. How don’t I use it? It’s the most amazing thing to have. So many people know me now, that get me. That are supportive of me. So I’m just going to keep doing what I do. I’m going to write an album. I’m going to spend time with my family and get ready for the tour.
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