'Idol' Finalist Jacob Lusk: Jimmy Iovine's Negative Feedback 'Definitely Hurts'
That "Lusky Stank" could no longer save him from elimination.
On last night's (May 5) "American Idol," Jacob Lusk was eliminated from the top five following his ill-received performance of Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown's "No Air," which strayed from the underdog singer's gospel roots. Even sweet-as-pie judge Jennifer Lopez preached to Lusk afterwards about the importance of consistency in song choice, telling him, "It's going to be very important for you to pick songs that really represent you."
Video: Jacob Lusk's Elimination Performance on "Idol," "A House Is Not A Home"
Lusk, a Los Angeles native, said Friday (May 6) during a post-elimination conference call that he's ready to make an album of traditional R&B with a gospel flair -- "a middle ground that hybrids both [genres]," he explained, namedropping influential figures like Teddy Pendergrass. "It's a soul thing; not a church or a God thing." Lusk added that he also sees theater, perhaps even Broadway, in his future.
Read on as Lusk elaborates on his "Idol" journey.
Were you surprised that you were eliminated last night?
Jacob Lusk: I had expected it because of the judges' feedback and my performance this past week. I feel like I was the only one not in their element last week. Everyone else was in their element. I picked songs that weren't in my genre, that weren't really my thing, trying to do something different, and this wasn't the time to do that.
["Idol" mentor] Jimmy Iovine said he thought the pressure of the show was getting to you. Would you agree?
I wouldn't say the pressure was getting to me, but I would say I was getting a little tired. I was really trying to do some different things that he [Iovine] would like, and different things that America would want to see.
We've seen Jimmy saying a lot of negative things about you, like how you're not going to last this week. How soul-destroying is it to hear something like that, and still go out there and sing your heart out?
It definitely hurts a lot to have someone who is supposed to be mentoring me and feel like every time you turn around they are tearing you down. But what you have to remember is that you aren't doing it for him, you're doing it for people out there in America -- they're the ones who vote. It's definitely hard to have someone beat you over the head with a baseball bat then say, 'OK, go ahead and sing for your life.' but what I do and what I will continue to do is to really give my all and continue to show my heart and continue to do my best to touch people.
Do you feel like America understood where you were coming from? Do you feel like you fit in, or maybe like the audience didn't know what to do with you?
I think sometimes they didn't know what to do with me, but I think a lot of America got it -- got that I was the R&B crooner, soulful gospel guy. The lines oftentimes blur; people like Luther Vandross, Patti LaBelle got their start in the church -- even Mariah Carey has a lot of gospel roots. I think they got it. I wasn't really in my element on Wednesday and that was the reason I got sent home.