La’Porsha Renae may have come in second place in the Thursday night finale of American Idol, but she said she still feels like a winner.
Shortly after Ryan Seacrest dimmed the lights — “for now” — Big Machine Records President Scott Borchetta announced that he would be singing both Renae and winner Trent Harmon to the label. Renae will be signed to Big Machine Records/Motown — the first artist on the label.
“I kind of in a sense won for myself already,” Renae told reporters.
Asked about Borchetta’s criticism of how she didn’t “push herself” when performing her single “Battles,” Renae said she “did her best.”
“It was about what America wanted, and my kind of singing is not really popular, you know, here, so it’s understandable why they would prefer Trent,” she said. “That’s completely fine. But do I feel like I didn’t win the competition because I didn’t put my best food forward or I didn’t deserve it? I don’t think that’s the case.”
Renae already has a clear vision of who she is as an artist, she said, and shared some details about what she hopes her debut album would sound like.
“The kind of artist I would like to be is definitely versatile. I don’t like being boxed in or put into a genre, so to speak,” she said. “I have a lot of written material and all of it’s different. Some records that I have are country, some pop, some alternative rock. I just write what I feel, so I can’t specifically say. I just want to be an artist of truth, and an artist that stays true to herself.”
Though several American Idol execs have hinted at the show’s return, Renae is sad to see the show go this time around. Renae credits the show with giving “regular old normal people” like herself the chance at a successful career versus shows like The Voice which have notably allowed contestants to compete like Judith Hill, who sang backup for Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder.
“What made American Idol different from The Voice and all these other singing competitions… American Idol just gave regular old normal people like me and like Trent a chance,” Renae said. “I mean, [Trent and I are] both from Mississippi… we didn’t know what we were doing when we got here. We didn’t know anything about this kind of life and American Idol was definitely that platform, so I really am gonna miss it. It was the Cinderella story, from rags to riches.”
One reporter wondered: Is there a chance La’Porsha will work with her No. 1 fan, original Idol winner Kelly Clarkson? “I hope that I get to collaborate with her,” Renae said. “Kelly Clarkson definitely reminds me of Motown. She’s pop, but she’s also very, very soulful. She can just about sing anything she wants, so… that would be a huge blessing.”