Coronavirus

'American Idol' Finalist Quentin Alexander on his Elimination, On-Air Drama: 'I Moved On'

quentin-alexander-american-idol-protrait-season-14-billboard-650.jpg
Michael Becker / Fox

Quentin Alexander

The New Orleans native looks back to the famous "wack" attack and ahead to a creative future.

Just one week after Quentin Alexander expressed his ire at the elimination process on American Idol, the season 14 finalist was gracious in his exit from the series. “I’m a strong believer that things happen the way they’re supposed to and if it wasn’t meant to be to win American Idol, maybe I’ll win at something else,” he told Billboard shortly after Ryan Seacrest announced the results of the fan Twitter save on Wednesday night. “It doesn’t mean that my journey ends. It means there are several roads that I can take now. [The show] gave me a platform, it gave me the tools and the knowledge and the experience and the exposure.”

The next morning, Alexander showed that experience by defending his intense on-air exchange with judge Harry Connick Jr. to reporters. To recap: Alexander, upset that his best friend, Joey Cook, landed in the bottom-two, declared “this whole thing is wack,” which prompted Connick to scold him for being “disrespectful.” Although the two men came to an understanding, you could surmise that Idol voters didn’t, whacking Alexander out of contention in favor of bottom regular Rayvon Owen.

It seemed Idol producers weren’t content to let it go, either. A promotional commercial showcased the Alexander confronting Connick at the judges table, and a handy recap opened the show. Could all of this have affected the outcome before a note was even sung?

'American Idol': A Look at the Show's 5 Infamous Feuds

 “It definitely could have played a role, but I don’t really know that and I am never going to really know,” Alexander said of the result. “But either way, I am still proud of the way that things happened. I wouldn’t change that moment with Harry and I for anything because it was a real genuine moment and for me to change it would be for me to change my journey overall.”

Overall, Alexander felt Connick’s treatment of him was fair.

“I do not feel that I was judged too harshly. I feel that he held me to a high standard which is always great to do to a student. It gave me something to work towards,” he said. “ I am actually the least technically trained singer that made it to through to the top 10 and the fact that I even was there was a great accomplishment and I appreciated every chance he got to tell me that this is what you need to work on.”

Alexander said that he spoke to Connick briefly, but not about last week’s drama, as it “wasn’t worth dwelling on.”

“I moved on, but it was still something that was going to linger on regardless of how I felt. It was a real moment that I shared with Harry and the contestants,” he said. “It’s a reality television show and the fact is we all have genuine emotions and we all hurt for each other and it sucks sometimes so ultimately if that had anything to do with the reason that I went home then I’ll be fine with that because it was me just being myself.”

'Wack' Attack: 'American Idol' Finalists, Scott Borchetta on Wednesday's Dramatic Confrontation

Looking ahead, Alexander has a couple of days of press interviews on his plate, then he will return home to New Orleans and is looking forward to sleeping in his own bed for the first time in four months. “It’s been a year-long process but January was the last time I saw my own apartment. I can’t wait to fix my own food. I miss New Orleans food so much.”

Once home, Alexander is going to chill, but just for two days. “Then it’s back on the machine. But first I want the chance to look back on this entire experience and embrace what I’ve been through and take in all that I learned. I’m excited to be able to finally sit down and exhale.”

In just three short weeks, Alexander will be on stage at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles for the finale. His wish list for singing partners include Lenny Kravitz, Erykah Badu and Annie Lennox for a duet of “I Put A Spell On You,” a cover of which appears on her latest album. “I would love to share that moment with her because she is such a monster on that song,” he added.

Then what? Alexander will focus on his career. “I’m going to take the opportunity to show people what I really have. On Idol, I shared the stage with other contestants. Now I get a chance to focus on my personal projects and my music and film and fashion.”

Aside from being back in a couple of weeks to begin rehearsals for the season finale, Alexander is looking forward to a lifetime of friendship with his fellow season 14 contestants. “We’ve really bonded, far beyond this competition and far beyond music. I’m really grateful to share this experience with them. After all of this is over, we’re going to have each other. I’m excited for the future so we can look back on what we did.”


THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.