May 20, 2010

American Idol's Casey James on Going Shirtless and "Blue Skies"

Posted: 05:16 PM ET

By Carol Buckland
LKL Editorial Producer

Less than 24 hours after being voted off AMERICAN IDOL, semi-finalist Casey James says he’s feeling elated.

“I never really thought a guy like me would make it so far,” explains the 27-year-old Texan native. “I’m still soaking it all in, being grateful for all I experienced.”

Was he surprised to be eliminated? “Surprised?” he echoes. “Like I expected to be in the finals? No. You can’t really ‘expect’ results on AMERICAN IDOL. You’ve got to be prepared for anything. I went into a bunch of Wednesday nights thinking I might be packing up and going home.”

James cites his performance of John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy” as one of his favorites, partly because it let him show a different side of himself. He hesitates when asked which performance he’d most like to have as a do-over, then finally settles on “Blue Skies”, which he did during the Frank Sinatra theme week mentored by Harry Connick, Jr.

He says it was a challenge to put down his guitar and sing with a hand-held microphone, so he’d like a shot at trying it again. “But you know,” he laughs, “I could probably do it over a whole lot of times and still not get it right.”

As for what he’s learned from his IDOL experience, James is still working that through. “So much,” he says. “To have this kind of chance…I learned a whole lot.”

James drove all night to IDOL auditions in Denver at the prompting of his mom, Debra. When it comes to the stir he created during those auditions when he took off his shirt, he has no regrets. “I probably wouldn’t have made it through if I hadn’t done it,” he admits wryly. “I really hadn’t shown them much with my music.”

He claims he didn’t think much about shedding his shirt until hours later during a call to his mom as he was driving home. “She said, ‘You do know this is going to be on TV,’” he recalls. “And that’s when I when I realized…”

Next week’s showdown pits Crystal Bowersox against Lee DeWyze. It will be IDOL’s first mixed-gender finale in four seasons. Casey James sidesteps when asked for a prediction about who will win. According to him, there’s no way to tell what’s going to happen. But he adds, “I’m just looking forward to being there for a really great show.”

As for what’s he’s most looking forward to: “Making my music. Just making my music.”

Filed under: American Idol • LKL Web Exclusive • Uncategorized

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Pam   May 20th, 2010 6:17 pm ET


Congratulations on a great run on Idol! What I really want to comment on though is the amazing amount of class you exhibited last night after being told you were "going home". Your singing was relaxed and without attitude!!! (so nice to see) and you appeared genuinely happy with everything you had accomplished in making it so far.
I seriously think you could teach a course on how to behave when your time is up!
Best of luck to you in your bright future, I for one will be forking out the $$ to buy your music.....for me and my daughter both!

Deborah   May 20th, 2010 8:26 pm ET

Casey should have been a finalist and won the whole thing-
He is by far -the better all around artist-
He is the best guitarist ever that American Idol has had- he is also extremely good-period
He is very good looking and that is important in promotions
He has a great bluesy voice
Look into his eyes and you see his soul
He is a natural-
He will sell far more Albums (CD's) that the other two
I hope a label picks him up soon
Idol was not good to Casey-
He had lousey lighting and background music on Monday-
He was not completely highlighted either in his home town visit-They never showed him singing to the crowd-
AND it was almost sexual harrassment the comments from the judges he had to endure all season
I hope he is successful and shows them all up
Up until this point I was always a fan of American Idol
Next year the judges should be:
Victoria Beckham (brutally honest with class)
Piers Morgan
Sharon Osborne
and MAYBE Randy Jackson IF he gives more constructive advice AND gets some more verbiage
As far as Ellen goes-I love her-just not as an IDOL judge
Kara was weird this year
AND Ryan needs to be more respectful towards the judges-He should be setting examples for the contestants and the YOUNG viewing audience-He was really rude this year
AND the best mentors & when the contestants did their best was Shania Twain and Adam Lambert-
What was the show thinking when they picked a Sinatra night-Pathetic

Cindy   May 20th, 2010 9:26 pm ET

I don't think Casey was as promoted by the judges as Lee and Crystal. He is a class act and will do great. At this point, I wish the finalists were Lee and Casey. Crystal has never appeared to be really committed.

Idzan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   May 20th, 2010 9:27 pm ET

No worries. He's got the looks, a good attitude. The whole package.
He will be a star one day.
Now it's Crystal and Lee. Both are equally good.
I changed my mind about wanting Crystal to be THE IDOL.
You go, Chicagoan Lee.

Alberta   May 20th, 2010 10:03 pm ET

Casey, you were always my favorite. You have the voice and skills to go far in the music business. But please, please go with the bluesy kind of sound, you are a natural for that. And the judges were wrong to play up the sexy angle in a singing competition. However, you are one good looking, sexy young man and that will go a long way. Just the way it is...... Try some Eric Clapton type songs.......

Now, how do we go about getting rid of Kara? Ugh.

Easwari   May 20th, 2010 10:04 pm ET

I honestly think Casey James should win the AI. He's such a class act, has his own style and just love the VOICE! Sigh.

Naked truth   May 20th, 2010 10:38 pm ET

I think Kara asking him to take off his shirt during the audition was sexual harassment. I mean if one of the male judges had asked a woman to remove her blouse, it would have been an outrage. I noticed it in the footage they played last night after Casey was eliminated. Why was that ever allowed to happen? I think it was a power thing with the judges, and Casey would have done anything to pass the audition. If Casey was smart, he should file a lawsuit against American Idol. Also, that may have made a lasting impression on viewers to think he is just nice to look at and not be taken seriously.

Idzan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   May 21st, 2010 12:28 am ET

Naked truth

Wasn't Kara the one the other judges teased with Casey?.
Taken aback, Kara replied: "Yeah I am Mrs Robinson."
I think kara really likes Casey.
Casey sure is pleasing to hte eyes of us women.

James S.   May 21st, 2010 1:17 am ET

Dude looks hot without his shirt on, and isn't that sometimes enough?

Linda goh   May 21st, 2010 2:48 am ET

Casey James..he's very good lookingI like, handsome smile & a nice vocal.... Not easy though to be No3. He sure will gain popularity from now on....

vincent barbarino   May 21st, 2010 3:59 am ET

Casey is going to be the most successful of this years class. rock on Casey James!! PS..... Slash and Velvet Revolver have been seeeking the ultimate front man.... you're the Dude for this ultimate Super Group!!

Jessie from Auckland, NZ   May 21st, 2010 6:26 am ET

Sorry to see him go and all the best to him for the future.

Wendy   May 21st, 2010 9:15 am ET

Casey was so much fun to watch. He's so talented and I really do enjoy his singing. He seemed so down to earth and always happy. Best luck to Casey and I hope we see him around some more! You showed more class than most! Thank you!

alice   May 21st, 2010 10:52 am ET

Casey James was always my favorite. The complete package.
I wish him the best.

Ellen   May 21st, 2010 10:58 am ET

@vincent - Velvet Revolver? Are you kidding me? Did you watch and actually listen to Casey during his run on AI? He's a bluesy/rock/country singer. Not a rocker like Daughtry.

Casey will do just fine and I look forward to hearing more of his music and of couse seeing him. He is very easy on the eyes.

Taylor   May 21st, 2010 11:41 am ET

I reallly hope the girl does NOT win... she is awful.. I vote the guy

laurie Velez   May 21st, 2010 11:43 am ET

Casey, Congradulations......You are well rounded in your music, but most off all you have a humble spirit about you. This will carry you through with your own music. KEEP GOING, don't let us down. Take care, and God Bless.

AIGirl   May 21st, 2010 12:00 pm ET


vincent barbarino   May 21st, 2010 12:46 pm ET

@Ellen.... this dude has the tallent to rock the house down at whatever he does. And yes I've watched and rooted for him every show. He most definately is a rocker with a Phenominal voice. I certainly wouldn't compare him to daughtry. Although quite good, daughtry is not my favorite. Casey in my mind would headline a show between them. The country and the blues is what the man had to sing in the competition and he did awesome! However Casey has a beast on the electric guitar and has one of the best rock voices i've heard in quite some time. Nothing like tinker bell finalist #2 from last year.

Susan   May 21st, 2010 1:57 pm ET

Casey is nice looking but not talented like the other two contestants left behind! Crystal needs to get her act together before Tuesday and win this competition hands down–Simon is walking away from all this because of his "cutsey" personality–he gets on my nerves–first we hear about his high salary and then we hear he's leaving–what next!?? I wish to God they would get American Idol back to what it used to be!!

Southern Girl   May 24th, 2010 9:50 pm ET

@Vinnie Barbarino, Ayyyy! I totally agree with you dude. Casey is a very talented musician & will make more money doing what he does- music – than Daughtry or any other Idol. The reason? He is an honest, down to earth person and that all comes through in his music. His live shows are amazing....he shines cause that golden heart is glowing.

Lady South   May 25th, 2010 6:58 am ET

I have watched all the performances Casey has done and I watched all the video footage of his home visit. I have to say that not only is he a handsome guy, his music is great and he is a very humble guy. He strikes me as a genuinely good person. His personality shines. Even in all his exit interviews he has not one bad thing to say about anything, he is just appreciative for the opportunities, I will definitely be on the look out for Casey's upcoming CD because he will go far. he is the TOTAL package and I have been around music all my life.

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