Following is the transcription of a conference call last Friday with eliminated Idol contestant Shannon Magrane:
Q: Hello, Shannon, how are you?
Magrane: Hello, I’m good. How are you?
Q: I’m good. First things first, right after you were eliminated last night, did you speak with the judges? Did you get a chance to see what they had to say to you?
Magrane: Unfortunately, I didn’t get to speak with the judges and … that I was able to because they give me the best and most honest feedback. They know exactly how it feels to be standing on that stage. They know when they’re told yes and they know how it feels. They know when they’re told no. They know exactly how I was feeling. So I never got to talk to them, which was really sad, but they know that I can sing and I know that I can sing, so I feel like I left on a good note.
Q: Good, out of this whole experience was there any one person that you met that you were super excited to spend time with?
Magrane: All of the 10 contestants I feel so amazing that I was surrounded by them because they know exactly what they want in their music and they’re so smart and they’re so alive. Also I really am going to miss the minors, those 16- and 17-year-olds because I was with them all the time and I was being in school with them all the time. I’m smiling right now just thinking about it, because I’m going to miss them all so much.
Q: Hello, Shannon, how are you?
Magrane: I’m good, how are you?
Q: I’m doing good. Thanks for taking the time today.
Magrane: Thank you.
Q: I just wanted to say during the last two weeks, you took on some powerhouse singers with your songs with like Whitney and then Mariah this week. Do you think that had any negative effects for you as long as like America is voting, because they’re so familiar with those songs and they put you up to a higher standard because of those choices?
Magrane: I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t think so, because it’s Whitney and Mariah and they’re intimidating people to sing, because they make such great music, but I don’t think that was in a negative area because it was just really hard to be able to sing their songs and do really, really well. But I think that I did it in my own way and interpreted it in my own way and I’m really glad wherever I am right now. I’m very proud of myself.
Q: All right. Then you were the top 11, so you got eliminated one step away from being Top 10 and getting to tour with everyone this summer. How does that make you feel being so close and not getting there?
Magrane: It’s definitely really upsetting because I really wanted to go on tour and this is what I’ve wanted to do since I was a little girl and I was so close to it. I would always remember sitting in front of the TV and saying, “Mom, Dad, I remember this. I want to do this. This is so cool. I want to show everybody what I got inside.” That’s exactly what I have to do. I got to stand out and sing on that big stage in front of millions of people. I’m really hoping that I’ve inspired a lot of people and showed everybody who I am.
Q: You definitely did and you are still young, so you got plenty of time in front of you. I wish you the best of luck.
Magrane: Thank you so much.
Q: Hello, Shannon, greetings from Tampa. How are you?
Magrane: Good, oh my gosh, my hometown.
Q: Exactly, I was just curious, I don’t even know if you’re aware of this since you’ve been out there for a while, but it’s spring break here, your spring break week. I wondered how does this spring break experience of American Idol compare with any spring break that you’ve had in the past?
Magrane: This is so surreal. That’s a really good question; I haven’t heard that one yet at all. It is like spring break is like when everybody is like let’s go to the beach. Let’s go look at-and I’m like hey, I’m on American Idol during my spring break, so not many 16-year-old girls can say that they’ve done that. It’s definitely an accomplishment in itself and I’m so happy and I’m so proud to be right here in this very moment talking to everybody, talking to you guys and learning from everything.
Q: Then a quick follow-up, when do you plan to be back at the wonderful hallways of Blake High School?
Magrane: I don’t know. The one thing I’m not looking forward to is school because at school I just want to sing all the time and I really wanted to do the tour and I’m really upset about that. But I’m really looking forward to making my own music and making myself an album and doing all that kind of stuff, so I’m excited to be looking forward for myself.
Q: How do you go back to being a normal 16-year-old after an experience like this?
Magrane: You don’t. Like it’s hard because you know you’ve been living in this lifestyle for a couple of months now and it’s just this giant bubble that you’re surrounded in where people … you have to go out the back way or you have to go out this way. You are taken through secret ways, but I still go to school, so it’s definitely really cool to stay with a grounded teenaged girl in school with my other minors and friends. But it’s definitely hard to be adjusting to a new environment, but I don’t think that I’m going to be normal anymore because there’s lots of people out there who know who I am now, and they’re waiting to hear more of me and I’m not going to stop until they do, so that’s what I’m looking forward.
Q: Now that your father doesn’t have to be so nice to the judges anymore, do you think he’s going to go have a talk with Steven Tyler about he said to you?
Magrane: My dad is definitely the most kind and welcoming and gentle giant as you guys would say. He’s definitely, he took that as a joke, like my dad just … “Steven Tyler a moment,” so he wasn’t mad about that at all. He just thought it was funny, because it made great TV and lots of our friends thought it was hilarious. Looking back at it, I just thought it was really funny that Steven Tyler, the legendary Steven Tyler, said that about me, it made me laugh. As I was watching it on TV, it made me feel a little uncomfortable, like oh my God, when is this going to end, like oh my gosh. It’s was edited like that, though, but that’s the best, that it was edited, but it’s great. I love it.
Q: Sure, so what is probably the most important lesson that you’ll take away from your experience on Idol?
Magrane: Definitely to be yourself. I know lots of people don’t think that’s number one, but it is. When you’re yourself, you can shine more than everybody else and people recognize you because you are you. Like being surrounded by all these other ten contestants, I really close my eyes and when each person sings, I can tell that that’s … or that’s Heejun, or that’s Hollie and Josh and Skylar and Colton. You can tell each and every person who they are, because we are all so different from one another.
Q: In particular, is there anything that you would do differently in the competition looking back?
Magrane: I really don’t think there’s much that I should have done different. I really worked really hard and I got where I wanted to be. I really wish that I could have gone on tour and been with my friends forever. We miss each other already. They’ve already been texting me and I’ve been texting them and it’s definitely been a lifelong experience that I’m not ever going to forget, because this is just a little taste of what I’m going to get in the future.
Q: Good. So what was the sentiment in the mansion among the women this season, because last season the first four eliminated finalists all had been girls? The season prior to that it was a similar situation, so was that something yourself and the other girls had been concerned about or had discussed before the finals began?
Magrane: This is a good question. I actually haven’t gotten this question yet. Actually there’s been, as you know, there’s been lots of guys that have winning the past couple of years. All the girls I know are fighting for that spot to be the next American Idol and I certainly was. I just wish that-there’s like Phillip and Heejun and all those teenage girls who are like, oh my God, he’s so funny, oh my God, he’s so cute and we understand that, but it’s like we’re thinking like the girls have to vote for the girls. They got to stick with them and we have to have that girl power and we got to all stick together.
Q: OK, just to clarify on that, you do believe that a woman can win again, right?
Magrane: I believe it strongly, but the guys do have some competitive edge with them, too, so I really can’t wait to see what everybody going to bring out.
Q: OK, and this was the first week that the judges’ save was introduced this season. So do you think it would have been realistic for them to use it so early in the competition? Like what were you thinking once you landed in the bottom three?
Magrane: I don’t think that they should have used it this early in the competition because you never know; somebody can be so good and they can be kicked off and they won’t use it or they might use it. Just like last year they used the save for Casey, and I believe that they should have used it, because Casey was so talented. I just feel like if they used it for me, then America wouldn’t have too much to look forward to with the save and everything. I do feel really good about how I sing and how I am. I feel confident in myself and I feel like I can do so much better than I did. I really am looking forward to surprising myself later in the future.
Q: Hello, Shannon. The judges were pretty hard on you last week. Do you think that affected voters this week?
Magrane: Maybe it did, but I decided that it was that one note that I got wrong and I think that I performed to the best of my ability. I stuck it through and I did the best that I could and I’m beyond happy with myself, because what 16-year-old can say that they’ve made it on American Idol? I’m just so glad that I got to represent Tampa, Florida and my hometown and the Tampa Bay area and also the 16-year-old teenagers worldwide.
Q: Who do you hope to see win the competition now?
Magrane: I can’t even tell you, because I really want to tell you who I think, but I can’t even think of one person because they’re all so good and they’re all so talented in their own ways, they’re all so unique and special. Obviously, I know that this what everybody says, but truly they’re all winners in my eyes, truly. I just wish we could have all been the next American Idol as one person.
Q: So my question is when they showed you preparing for your performance this week, you were given advice to practice lying down and singing. So I was curious is that a weird way for you to practice for this week and was anyone giving you raised eyebrows, maybe even trying it themselves? Is it something that you’re going to maybe practice in the future?
Magrane: Do you mind repeating that question? I didn’t quite catch the whole thing. I’m sorry I couldn’t understand through this phone.
Q: This week you were given the advice to practice for this week lying down. I’m just curious was that weird for you? Was anyone looking at you funny or did they try it themselves?
Magrane: That was definitely an interesting piece of feedback from Mariah, so I took it and I executed it, because where I am, he’s done so much …, he’s so amazing. He’s so nice. He’s so good at what he does and so I figured maybe if he’s back there, he knows exactly what he’s doing, so I’m going to try it. It helped me hugely because I wouldn’t have been able to get out on stage when I was trying to learn how to breathe like that when I’m nervous like that. So that definitely helped me and made me feel better about my performance also.
Q: You have great potential but sometimes you push yourself a little too hard. I’m just curious what your take on that is. Is it impossible to sing without pushing yourself maybe just a little bit?
Magrane: Everything is practice makes perfect and honestly you can never practice enough. To me I just want to practice all the time and I love doing what I’m doing and this is truly most people don’t think singing is a sport. But to me singing is a sport, you have to-there are certain things; you have to take care of your vocal cords and you have to take care of the most strange things that most people don’t think that’s relevant to taking care of, your diaphragm. You just have to learn the most random things, but it really helps in the end and I feel like if you practice enough that it’s just not from memory and then you can get it right naturally on stage.
Q: Last week on the call, Jeremy Rosado said that you were like a little sister to him. He was very, very kind talking and saying you were one of his best friends, that you flew to auditions. I want to know did you think there’s some kind of Florida conspiracy? Did Michael Lynch ever reach out to you guys, Big Mike?
Magrane: I don’t know. I don’t think so, but I know … he is the most inspirational guy that I’ve met and he is so true to himself. He’s so genuine and so humble. I think that rubs off on me. He made me feel so special and so important and I’m looking forward to making and continuing a life-lasting friendship with him, because we live so close to one another too.
Q: Maybe a collaboration. My other question is what did you do after the show, because that was really an emotional sendoff with you.
Magrane: Yes, I know. I had to go through lots of interviews and stuff, but it was kind of like therapy. I just let it all out and like my dad and mom said they said sulk about it for a little while, but then you have to pick yourself back up, get on your feet and hold yourself high because this isn’t the end for you. It’s not the end for me, because I know I’m going to pop up somewhere. You guys have to look for me, because I’ll be popping back up soon.
Q: I have a question about Jermaine Jones. What was the reaction like on set when he was sent home and how did you feel about it?
Magrane: Actually this is the worst part. We were surprised just as much and we found out when America found out. We are all sitting in the dressing room wondering, oh my gosh, is this really happening? All of our jaws just dropped to the floor as we were like so surprised and shocked. I know exactly how it feels to go home. It’s not the best feeling ever, but, this is just a road for both of us and I’m ready to take the highway.
Q: Hello, so did you think the judges’ decision to not save you was more about wanting to keep the favor on longer in the competition to make sure they would avoid a repeat of last season where they saved Casey and then were no longer able to save Pia Toscano later on? Do you have any insight on that?
Magrane: I do definitely agree with that. There are people who are older than me and who know more music than me and who are a lot more experienced. I think that they thought that I wasn’t ready yet, but I feel in my heart that I am ready. That’s why I’m going to go home and I’m going to practice and I’m going to come back and I’m going to be a lot different than I was before. I think that I’m going to surprise everybody.
Q: OK: You mentioned during the call that you didn’t really get to talk to the judges after your elimination and you didn’t get much of an explanation as to why you were eliminated. But did you ever find out which of the judges actually wanted to save you or whether it was a unanimous vote?
Magrane: It’s hard to tell, because they have given me the best feedback and they’ve been working on helping me grow as an artist and performer throughout the past half of the .… God, it’s so weird to say that because I’ve grown. I’m looking back at August at my audition, and thinking about it, and I’m thinking, oh my gosh, I’ve grown so much and I can’t take anything but good memories from this whole thing. It was such a great learning experience and this is just a little taste of what’s going to happen in the future and I know that all three of them are so proud of me just as much as I’m proud of myself. I’m going to come back and have guns in my hand and be ready and put a bang out.
Q: Sure, and just one last question, Shannon, you talked a little bit about how you found out about Jermaine Jones’ disqualification and what your initial reaction was. But what are your thoughts on the subject now that you’ve had some more time to think about it and since a lot more details have surfaced?
Magrane: It’s honestly the same, and I know exactly what he’s going through. It’s really painful and I feel bad for him. None of the contestants have really texted him yet or anything because we just wanted to give him room to breathe and room to think about everything and we just thought that was the best choice. We really miss him, so that …, but I know exactly how he’s feeling.
Moderator: We are out of time, Shannon. Do you have any closing remarks?
Magrane: I’m just going to say I know this sounds crazy, but I just want to say thank you to everybody who has been so loyal to me and so honest, true to you, and I just want everybody to stay true to who they are because that’s what let me get so far on the show. I just want to say thank you to all my loyal fans and my family most of all because I really couldn’t have done it without them giving me the best advice ever.