James Durbin’s eliminated conference call with the media on Friday morning:
What was going through your mind when your name was called?
“It’s been a whirlwind of emotions. I’ve been thinking about why I came on the show. I’m brought back to those feelings. It’s for my family–give a voice to a genre of music that is fading away. I accomplished a lot on the show. I’m grateful.
Have any celebrities reached out to you?
“I became good friends with Chris Jericho. I’ve been a wrestling fan since I was 12. We could talk about singing and wrestling. It really worked out.”
How did working with Kids on Broadway Theater as a child help you?
“Social awkwardness–I had a lot of it. Being in that theater org. Being around people constantly helped with that. One performance to he next was a complete 360 of my attitude. I was able to talk to people without getting upset. I and everyone else noticed a real change.”
Tell us how you met your girlfriend Heidi.
We met Heidi at church. He had a play date with her younger sister. “I was singing karaoke, and she was at the restaurant and we crossed paths.” He didn’t remember her from church. “She is my saving grace, my guardian angel.” He was living at his mother’s house with nothing –no diploma when he met her. She helped him become a better person. “Behind every successful man, there is an amazing, amazing woman.”
What actor would he like to play him in a movie?
“I don’t know, I think I would want to play myself. I don’t want to sound conceited or anything. Maybe Matt Damon. I was told I kind of look like him. Steven Segal can play me as an old man.”
What is the best piece of advice you got during the show?
“Don’t hold back, just roll with it, keep giving it everything. Randy said this is your competition to lose. It felt like I was going out on top on two of my best performances. I’m really proud of myself and really excited. I was ready to go home for that top 3 visit, but not everything works out as expected.”
How does it feel to share your emotions with America?
“I’ve gone through so many changes throughout the show. Idol has really helped me change. I’ve never been business savy. I got to let loose and get into my stage manager/production thing. Every single one of my stage performances was all me. Every performance had an idea. I just ran with it. I’m happy. It sounds cliche, but I did what I wanted to do. I came in and put my foot straight through the door.”
Who are some of the people in the Metal world you’d like to work with?
“Mike Portnoy from Dream theater, Zak Wylde..my best friend back home–I asked him to be my guitarist. We have a plan to bring back great front men and their great guitarists. For some reason it seemed like it stopped. We want to bring it back.”
What was it like going out fourth like Chris Daughtry (who said he was glad he didn’t win-it would have taken away his credability)?
“That makes plenty of sense, but winning would have been great too. First instinct when you’re going home is ‘Gosh I wanted to win so badly. I failed.’ But thinking about it, I haven’t failed at all. It’s like a rollercoaster. Idol is clicking up the track before it drops down into the craziness. I’m still clicking up the track. I Getting to work is exciting. I’m really stoked.”
How did your conditions (asperger’s and touretts) affect you off-stage?
“I went off medication when I was 16. I’m not going to let a man-made substance control me. I’m going to run with it and I’m going to be me. I’ve been looked at funny, and I don’t care. I’m a freak. Diferent is the new normal.”
Do you have any record deals?
“Who knows? Expect the unexpected. We’re still going with the flow on the show. We get to write stuff and figure out that sort of thing. Yesterday I heard my potential first single, but that doesn’t signify a record contract” [Somebody sent him a song].
What would your record sound like?
“It’s got to have a real throwback feel. All Marshalls, Les Paul. My guitarist is a total shredder and he’s amazing. We’re going to force it on the airwaves. It’s no joke. We feel strongly about our music. It’s dying out. It was taken off the list for Grammys. We’ve got to find a way to get it out there. I’m really excited to collaborate. It’s going to be totally awesome.”
Were you blindsided last night with the result?
“I definitely was. There was something off with the kentic energy in the studio. I felt it off people’s body language. There was a real somber mood. I freaked out a little before the show. I just knew it.”
Any plans for the finale?
“Expect the unexpected.”
What was your family’s reaction?
“I didn’t get to see him last night [his son]. When I was standing up there, I kept looking at Heidi and trying to reassure her. I don’t think I’m ever going to have to worry about affording diapers now.”
What was the first thing you did after the cameras stopped rolling last night?
“I thanked the band and the crew…everyone. those are the people who put on the show. It’s not just emotion about getting eliminated…I see those people everyday and we don’t get to see them anymore. It was a rough night. I wasn’t expecting it. I’m running off adrenaline.”
Who are you pulling for in the finale?
“I’m closest with all the guys, really. Stefano is going to be my best man. Paul will be one of my groomsmen. I have a feeling about who might take it. At this point, you can’t really choose.”
Why do you think you were was eliminated?
“I don’t know. It’s kind of funny. Chris Jericho, big metal head. the last song that he danced to before his elimination was “Don’t Stop Believing.” The song eliminated Chris, me and Tony Soprano.”
“I’m really, really excited. It’s been a whirlwind of emotion. I’ve only just begun. I feel I’ve been given something special. To give a voice to a new generation. Maybe bring an old voice back to a new generation. Give metal a chance!”