Following is a transcript os Colton Dixon’s exit interview with the media on Friday morning:
What kind of album do you see yourself and do you plan to work with your sister?
“I definitely want to do Christian music. I hope that I get to, but right now I’m going to write as much as I can and see what comes out and then whatever the product is of that, will be where I’m placed as far as a genre of music. With my sister–I had someone earlier today ask me if I would do a duet with my sister on an album. I think that would be amazing. It’s a great idea. I’ll look into it and see if she wants to do, which I’m sure she’d love to. That would be so much fun. But we’ll have to see and cross the bridge if and when it comes.”
How did you make your song choices on the show?
“We have one to two days to choose a song or two songs, if it’s a two song week. It’s rough. They give you a song list and you choose either from 13 songs on a list or a two page list. For this week, it was a two page list for the Top 100 #1s from 2000 to now and then a two page list for Soul Train. You just have to go through and see what you can do with the song. Unfortunately, I don’t think I chose the best one this week. It’s all good. But with choosing a song you just got to make sure it’s something you can connect to and that’s what I try and focus on first. And then the musicality and how you’re going to perform it comes later.”
Talk about Carrie Underwood tweeting her support last night,
“I haven’t seen them through twitter, but during an interview last night afterwards someone told me what she had wrote and I just want to say thanks. She has done so well since American Idol and I love that she doesn’t shy away from her faith either. So it’s nice to see someone doing what I want to do away from the show give me good encouragement—it was amazing to see that and I really do appreciate it.”
What advice did you receive while on the show that you are now going to carry with you?
“Always stay true to yourself no matter who’s in your ear telling you to do this that and the other. At the end of the day it’s your decision. Unfortunately, song choice got the best of me this week. It was a hard lesson learned, but you know, I needed to learn that lesson. You have to have a valley before you can peak. What’s cool about this is I don’t think I’ve peaked yet. Which makes me excited for this album–or hopeful album, I should say! We’ll see what happens. Always remaining true to yourself, for sure.”
Do you plan on working and writing in Nashville?
“I miss Nashville so much. I have several friends who love to write in and around Nashville and Franklin and Murfreesboro—so I’m excited to get back and start working and see what we come up with. I definitely plan on staying somewhere around Nashville for sure.”
Would you like to have a career like Lifehouse or Switchfoot that appeals to a wider audience?
“Absolutely. I’m so thankful for the Idol platform because I was able to reach so many more people than just the Christian market. I’m extremely thankful for that. Doing a Switchfoot route would be amazing. It would be exactly what I want to do. I could get the best of both worlds. I could maybe tour with a Chris Daughtry, or Paramore or even Switchfoot and then hit the main churches along the way too. It’s about a ministry for me. I’d be able to share the message with people who already know and for those who maybe don’t know. I’d love to be able to do that.”
Tell us about your apology after you were eliminated last night.
“First of all, seeing the way I came across on camera after going backstage after “September”—I was kind of disappointed. One, with TV editing. But again, I said it. That’s definitely not who I am. That struck me the wrong way. But especially with song choice—I’ve taken pride in knowing who I am and really taking a stance in my faith. I think by choosing “Bad Romance” I turned off a lot of those voters, which are my core voters. It was an apology for both of those things. I’m sorry that I got caught up in the musicality and performance this week instead of what it should have been—which is the connection to a song that I normally bring every week. I hate that I had to go out on that note, but I got a chance to do “Everything” by Lifehouse again and I’m glad I got to do that.”
Talk about singing “Everything” – a song with strong religious feeling– on the show,
“The producers and everyone else on the show are saying ‘be who you are—you got this far based on that.’ I was going to do this anyway, but that just really gave me a good little kick into doing “Everything” by Lifehouse. I’m a Christian and I’m not going to shy away from it. I thought I should share that with everyone watching. I got great feedback from what I did. I was so glad I got to do it, not once but twice on the show. I think that made an impact and that encouraged fellow believers to take a stand for what they believe in and not be ashamed of it.”
Daughtry once said that he was glad that he lost, because winning would have wrecked his rock cred. Do you agree?
“I’m not sure if I completely agree with that. Winning provides many, many many opportunities that me and 5 other people aren’t going to get to experience. However, Idol is such a huge platform, and so many people watch it, from a certain point on that people now know who I am and who I stand for and what I want to do. I understand what Chris is saying. But at the same time, I think—I’m not going to lie– it would have been nice to win. But by not winning, I’m more flexible with what I can and can’t do. Everything happens for a reason and God’s got a plan so I’m just going to trust it and go along with it.”
Who do you think will make it into the finals?
“In seasons past I could clearly pick a winner, and I’m not just saying this just because they’re all dear to me, but it’s anyone’s game. I genuinely mean that. I would think a lot of people were surprised by me leaving last night. It goes to show you that no one is safe. America has to vote for their favorites. There are a couple of people who stand out every week, but at the same time, there’s room for dark horses in this race. Everyone did so well this week, and I know that streak is going to continue. Honestly, I’m just as curious as everyone else who is going to take this thing home. I honestly have no clue.”
Were there any judges in particular that you felt were too hard on you? Did you find yourself getting frustrated with any of them?
“I was frustrated after I did “September”, just because they tell me to be true to who I am and they love the way that I change up a song, and yet they didn’t like “September”, which I thought I did to a T to who I am. That was a little frustrating. But at the same time—it didn’t show off a lot of vocals, and the range wasn’t crazy. I understand it from a vocal competition standpoint. It’s frustrating, but at the same time I kinda get it. After hearing comments like ‘I can hear you on the radio today…You’re ready to make a record today’ from Steven—so encouraging. It makes me want to write this very second and get a record together. I am stoked for what’s going to happen.”
Which judge gave you the best advice?
“I think Randy has given the best. I love them all and they all bring something different. Randy has really reached out and invested in me, and I love seeing that. He told me, ‘Never stray too far from who you are, always up your game.’ It’s not week to week now, but it might be song to song or album to album hopefully. I’ll definitely take that and always remember that.”
What was his riskiest move as far as song choice?
“I think the biggest risk was “Bad Romance” Lady Gaga. I think it was a bad risk to take because I didn’t really think it through. I think musically and performance wise and image I was so happy with the way it turned out, but at the same time—the message that was portrayed wasn’t really who I was. And that’s normally the first thing that I think about, and for whatever reason I overlooked that this week. I lost sight of what I normally think of first. I think that’s the main reason why I’m talking to you right now, honestly. But it’s a lesson that I’m going to learn from. And I’m going to get back on my feet and I’m going to write and hopefully put out a record sometime soon. No harm no foul. I’m totally excited about the future.”
What songs will you do on the tour, and what would you have done for Queen week next week?
“I have no clue what songs I’m going to do on tour. I’m sure we’ll do a couple that we did on the show. So I’ll probably ask fans what their favorites were and figure it out and give them what they want. For Queen, I was wanting to do “The Show Must Go On”. I think that would have been an awesome song. I love the way “Moulin Rouge” did it. That would have been such a fun song—I would have had a choir. I was totally excited about it. I hate that I’m not going to get to do it. That would have been a lot of fun.”
Do you think the votes were split between yourself and Phil Phillips?
“I don’t think they were necessarily split. I don’t think it was you were either a Phillip fan or a Colton fan. The demographic for voters are the same for a lot of us. So I hate when Jimmy compared us that way. Phillip is phenomenal at what he does. I’m happy he stayed. He’s fantastic. I’m excited to see what he does on the show, excited to see what he does with Queen. I don’t think it was necessarily split. I know a lot of my fans are Phillip Phillips fans too. It’s going to be cool to see how all of this unwinds.”
What was going through your mind leading up to his elimination? What were you thinking immediately afterward?
“I had a feeling I was in the bottom three. That didn’t surprise me so much, especially after I was standing next to Jessica and Phillip. That was kind of a giveaway to me. I was surprised just because I’d never been in the bottom. At the same time, I’m OK with it. I’m glad Hollie gets to stay longer. She’s going to kill it next week. All is going to be well. Honestly, it all happened so fast. And since I had never been in the bottom, I didn’t fully understand what was going on. Even this morning when I woke up, I was thinking, ‘Ok, well get ready for the mentor session.’ And then I’m like ‘Oh wait! That wasn’t a bad dream last night!’ It’s weird being on the other side of things and outside of the Idol bubble. I’m excited for what’s coming up. Everything’s going to be OK.”
Are the female voters starting to help out the girls more now than in past seasons?
“Honestly, I don’t even know what to say. If a girl is going to win any season, it’s this season. The girls are so good. But then again you have Josh Ledet and Phillip Phillips still in it. Seriously, anyone can take it this year. It’s just about who’s willing to put in the work and change up a song and make it their own and really outshine the rest of the group every week. I’m wondering and excited who’s going to take it, just as much as everyone else is, and I know them all. It’s going to be cool to see.”
What would be your ideal theme week if you were to choose his own,
“This has never been done on the show, and probably won’t because not everyone is a writer. I think it would be awesome if a theme week one week would be to write a song completely from scratch and play it. That would be so much fun. I love to write. It’d be cool to sit in a room with different co-writers based on each artist. I might need to talk to Nigel about this! I’m getting excited about this theme week! I would love that. That would have been so much fun.”
Do you think the judges would have used a save if they still had it last night?
“Based on this week, and just from their feedback, I don’t know. It’s up in the air. I think I was pretty consistent up until this week, so I would hope they would. But at the same time, I’m really glad they used it on Jessica. She totally deserves it. She’s going to do great things. I would like to think, and hope that they would. I guess we’ll never know.”
Colton’s closing remarks.
“Thanks for calling in. I’m excited for tour. Be looking out for an album hopefully sometime soon. I’m so excited to write with many different people that I’ve met through this journey. I can’t stress enough my faith and what that means to me. God gave me a voice at 13 years old and I just want to share it. Whether that’s through Christian music, secular music—whatever Thank you for supporting me or following me through the journey. I appreciate it. Stay tuned, there is going to be more to come, for sure.”