Idol Worship

'American Idol' Mackenzie Bourg Talks Elimination, Post 'Idol' Career

MacKenzie Bourg
Courtesy of Fox

MacKenzie Bourg photographed for 'American Idol.' 

American Idol won't be hitting the road on tour this summer, but fans of eliminated contestant Mackenzie Bourg are in luck.

"There is definitely a chance I will be touring," the 23-year old Louisiana native told reporters on a conference call on Friday (April 1). "I don't think the show is going to do a tour but yeah, that's definitely the plan."

Asked if he was sad that the show's annual summer trek has been scrapped, Bourg said it's for the best.

"The tour would have been fun, but it also takes away from taking that first step as being an artist," he told Billboard. "I think it would kind of take away from putting an album together and setting up a solo tour. I think... everyone gets so caught up in the Idol tour that there is not a lot of time to put together something meaningful music-wise."

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Bourg was eliminated on Thursday night's (March 31) program after returning to his hometown of Lafayette, complete with a visit to the hospital where he nearly died. Though the hospital is being completely redone, his old ICU room was recreated through television magic.

"It added to the spookiness of it all because the whole rest of the hall was empty and they had to recreate the exact room I was in, so I didn’t really know what to expect and then I walked in and realized it," he said. "It was a lot to handle, but it was something very powerful and moving to do."

What he is thankful for, he said, is that Idol gave him the platform to perform his original song, "Roses," twice on the program. Audiences then got to hear it again as it was played over his goodbye package. Had he won, Bourg would have made Idol history as his song was slated to be his coronation song had he won.

"The only thing that I was bummed about was my coronation song was going to be 'Roses' and that was going to be the first time ever they said that an original song would have been that," he said. "It's all going to work out because I am going to release 'Roses' as my single and that is all being worked out right now."

Alas, Bourg revealed that, had he moved through, viewers would have heard him perform mentor Scott Borchetta's pick of “Rhiannon.” He wasn’t as jazzed about the judges pick: Sam Hunt's "Take Your Time," but it was not to be. Bourg said he already prepared himself for the possibility he was going home after the judges' critical reception to his performance of Cheap Trick’s "I Want You to Want Me."

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"After classic rock week, the only person that really got any kind of mixed reviews was me and the judges kind of sway the votes, so I figured I kind of knew right after the show I was pretty bummed then," he said. "I had a week to get over it and accept it and move past everything to kind of start real life and my real career."

The song, he said, wasn't even his first choice. That would have been Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name." He had even worked out an arrangement of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" Mentor Scott Borchetta, however, suggested Cheap Trick.

"The arrangement I thought was pretty good. I spoke with the producer who does our iTunes tracks. He produced the last two Cheap Trick albums and he said to me when I was recording 'Hallelujah' that Cheap Trick loved it and they actually told him that my version was better than theirs," he said. "I think maybe if the judges hadn't been so harsh on the arrangement things might have been different."

Another criticism confusing to Bourg, he said, was when judge Harry Connick Jr. bashed him for hitting the high note on Sia's "Titanium."

"That confused the crap out of me, too. That week was so interesting to me. I didn't really have any real truly negative comments before that week," he said. "Harry knows it's a TV show, too. It is interesting that he made such a big deal out of that knowing that we do those digital packages and they're edited. We don't edit them, someone else does. Obviously J Lo (Jennifer Lopez) stuck up for me as well as Keith (Urban). It was weird that he downgraded what I was doing. To me I was really stretching myself and pushing myself. It is what it is, and I am still happy where I am at today."

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That said, Bourg asserted comments he had said in earlier interviews that he was more free to express who he is as an artist on American Idol than when he had appeared on The Voice.

"I think American Idol has done me so many favors just by not trying to change me and by letting me be myself," he said. "I feel like me with just a guitar and going up there and singing as if I was in my room has really kind of resonated with so many millions of people in the country. I am thankful every day that they have given me the opportunity to do that and even to perform a song that I wrote twice on national TV -- I couldn't have asked for a better time on the show."