April 15, 2010
Posted: 07:46 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 (how do you go back to high school after doing something like this, Katie??)
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: How are you feeling? You’ve had a little time to digest what’s happened…
Katie Stevens: I feel great. I feel happy that I’ve made it this far. And fortunate enough to work with all the amazing people I did. So I’m leaving this very, very proud of myself. It’s not the end for me. I’m going to continue to follow my dream. And hopefully put out an album at some point. So we’ll see where it goes.
LKL Blog: Were you surprised at last night’s eliminations?
Katie: I always go into it thinking that Idol is unpredictable. And sometimes the results are surprising. So it could be me at any time. And I had this feeling when I was on stage with Mike [Idol contestant Michael Lynche, who was saved by judges last week], that it was going to be me. So I kind of prepared myself to sing my song. And that’s what I did. I was emotional, but I tried to do the best that I could.
LKL Blog: It’s got to be hard. We’ve talked about this with other contestants too – when you’ve got the judges, who give criticisms and critiques and advice, and you’ve got the producers and everyone else that you work with on the show, taking all that in but trying to remain true to yourself as a performer – how does that all come into play?
Katie: I started off in the top 24 trying to do everything that the judges said and trying to appease all of them. And then I realized I just needed to do what feels right to me and to be myself. So I definitely learned a lot through everything. I learned to take the judges’ criticism and their advice and just see what I could use and what I couldn’t for what I ultimately want to become as an artist.
LKL Blog: What would you like to become, who would you like to become as an artist? Because Simon and Kara were arguing for a while over your style: country vs. pop/R&B…
Katie: I think I side more with Kara and Randy when they talk about pop with R&B leanings. I definitely want to put out and album, kind of like a Kelly Clarkson vibe, a soulful voice with a pop rock background. I think it’s something that I’ve always loved; and always loved to perform. So that’s the kind of album that I’d like to put out.
LKL Blog: Is there anything that you would have done differently looking back at it all now?
Katie: You know what? I wouldn’t have done anything differently because I think each choice that I made, made me stronger with the criticisms that I got. I built a thick skin with the more harsh notes I got from the judges. So I mean, ultimately this is going to shape who I am as a person, not only as an artist.
LKL Blog: Does it change you? It must be an experience, to say the least, to go from being a 17-year-old singer to being thrown out on this huge stage.
Katie: Definitely. It’s been the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to me. And it’s something that I’m proud to say that I did. It’s a big accomplishment for me. I was in high school walking down the halls, going to pre-calculus and psychology and stuff like that. It was a different environment for me. It made me stronger. And I grew up so much from it.
LKL Blog: Were you able to stay in touch with your friends from this? Or were you sort of off the grid for a little while?
Katie: I definitely stayed in touch with my friends. It was important to me that I stay grounded because I didn’t want to forget where I came from and who I was before this.
LKL Blog: So how do you come down from all of this? For the past six or seven weeks, you’ve been in the middle of America’s stage. What are you going to do to decompress?
Katie: Just go home, just sleep. Spend time with my family and friends.
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