It was an emotional evening of American Idol on Wednesday night, and it’s becoming clear that the top six are getting a little lonely. “We don’t have friends here. We don’t have family here. We have each other. That’s all we have,” Clark Beckham told Billboard backstage.
So when the going gets tough, who do the Idols lean on for support? How is the Idol experience affecting their relationships outside the television bubble? And just how fab is it to have the stylists at their beck and call for the whole ride? Billboard has the answers to these burning questions below.
What does Scott Borchetta think of Rayvon Owen’s chances for next week?
“America isn’t loving him. They keep giving him the sympathy vote,” said the Big Machine label head. “Is the third time a charm or does he strike out here?” Borchetta said now that Owen has been in the bottom two for three weeks in a row, America has to make a decision: Move him up or “finish the deal”: “No more sympathy votes.”
Is Nick Fradiani still tight with his band, Beach Avenue?
“They were actually here today, which is pretty cool,” Fradiani said. “This whole thing has not been easy. In my perfect world, all of this will help all of us. I don’t know if it will be Beach Avenue, but I just hope we can all make this work together, because they are all talented kids, and I wouldn’t be here without them.”
Fradiani’s band impressed on America’s Got Talent with an original song, “Coming Your Way,” but judge Howie Mandel bristled when they insisted on doing another original in the next round. How is it different for Fradiani to now be doing covers only?
“Howie didn’t get it. He thinks if you are in this type of environment, you should be playing songs America knows, which I understand what he is saying, but I wouldn’t want to hear him do any Richard Pryor jokes when he was coming up either.” Either way, Fradiani said it’s all cool with AGT judge Howard Stern, who plugged the singer’s Idol run on his Sirius show. Fradiani ran into Stern and had a good conversation with the King of All Media, who told him, “Well now I know I’m the right judge, because you are number seven on Idol.”
How important is it to Tyanna Jones to have her mom at the shows ever week?
“Just having her around me and supporting me through this, I know there is a lot she could be doing with how many children she has in school, but I’m just really blessed,” she said. As a matter of fact, Jones said her mom helped pick her song, “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?” by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers. “[She said,] ‘This is your chance to show that a little girl can start it off in this competition,’” Jones said. “Proud Mary,” however, was Jones’ choice. “I think I feel more comfortable on this particular stage,” she said.
Is Clark Beckham getting annoyed that Jennifer Lopez keeps giving him fashion advice?
Not at all, he said. “At first I didn’t understand, but I worked on it and talked to the stylists: ‘Let’s up my game a little bit,’” he said. “But even then, we went to a standard black-and-white suit, and it worked really well. J.Lo alluded to it, that [everything] has been so good, they just want to nitpick. No matter what, I am never going to change who I am,” he said. “ I would rather go back and play on the streets and be myself than be the #1 recording artist and tour the world as someone I’m not.” That said, he appreciates Lopez’s advice. “She wants to excel the journey that I am on, so when she pushes me in those ways I gladly accept the challenge and go for it,” he said.
How important is fashion to Quentin Alexander?
Idol’s most flashy performer puts a lot of thought into each week’s ensemble. “As the type of performer I want to be, I am very much about visuals. It all works together,” he said. “I feel that fashion is important for what I want to do. I want to touch people in different ways. I want to touch on all the senses if I can.” So how exactly does he put together all of those fabulous looks? “I sketch out a lot of things,” he said. “When I figure out what song I am doing, I get an idea of what I want the image to be. I would want the image to be like I am doing a music video.”
Is Jax the second most famous person out of East Brunswick, New Jersey, behind Jesse Eisenberg?
“Everyone keeps saying that to me,” she said with a laugh. Interestingly, she and Eisenberg are both originally from New York. “Jesse Eisenberg. I have had a crush on him for the longest time,” she said. Jax said she is appreciative of all of the hometown love, and shouted out the Milltown Diner, who has been rallying votes for the singer. “The Milltown Diner has my back,” she said. Jax knows the high stakes of making top five-it means going on the tour, which includes three stops in New Jersey. “I love The Count Basie Theatre,” she said. “I played the Count Basie Theater at the Glen Burtnik Christmas Extravaganza. That was fun.” Jax has been getting a lot of celeb love on Twitter. Just this week, the singer got a tweet from Tori Kelly. Last week producer RedOne tweeted how excited he was to see her do “Pokerface,”, and then Lady Gaga herself retweeted it. Oh, and one other thing excites the singer: “Taco Bell tweets me all day long,” she said.
Does being in the bottom every week motivate Rayvon Owen?
“Being in there the third time in a row brings some kind of fight out of you,” he said. His strategy, he said, is to treat each performance “as a Rayvon Owen show.” “I think maybe a few weeks ago I was more inside my head, but I’m not doing that anymore,” he said. Owen has one more week to duke it out and hang in there if he wants to make it to the tour, but he does have some ideas for duet partners to sing with at next month’s finale. “ I would have to say Lionel Richie,” he said. As for songs? “All Night Long” or “Dancing on the Ceiling.” His other choices? Celine Dion, and “past Idols like Fantasia or Kelly Clarkson. That’s just a few people on my wish list!”