Conference call of April 3, 2015 with American Idol eliminated contestant Daniel Seavey:
Q: How are you feeling? It sounded like you had laryngitis on the show. How are you feeling today about your voice and about everything else?
Daniel: I’m exhausted, of course, but I feel great going home and being able to see all of my friends. The laryngitis is still there, but it’s not as bad as it was a couple of days ago so it’s slowly going away. I’m just excited to be able to go home.
Q: What’s the first thing you’re going to do?
Daniel: Well, apparently, half of my school is waiting at the airport tonight for me so I’m going to see all of my friends first, which will be awesome. Then I’m going to sleep for about ten years.
Q: I guess were you surprised to get eliminated? And obviously with having a singing career, there are fans and there are also haters, so I guess what would you say to the people who insist you only made it this far because you’re adorable?
Daniel: I don’t know how to respond exactly to that. It might be true. It might not. I just had fun with the experience, and I am so thankful for it however I got this experience. I do want to be able to prove that I am an artist, and I can sell music, and so that’s my next step, is to start writing music and putting it out there to show the world that I’m not just a cute kid.
Q: And so were you surprised to be eliminated?
Daniel: I think at the point where, I think, it was me, Clark, and Rayvon sitting, and I looked over. I knew Rayvon’s song was amazing, I knew Clark’s song was amazing, so I kind of knew at that moment. I was like I think I’m going home, but I was okay with it because I get to go home. Like it was a great experience, but it is super tiring. Once you know you’re going home, it’s kind of like, okay, I get to go home, I get to sleep, I get to get my life back, and so I was okay with it.
Q: Kelly Clarkson Week, that’s pretty intimidating taking on the Kelly Clarkson song book. How did you feel going into that? Why did you choose “Breakaway”?
Daniel: Kelly Clarkson is an amazing vocalist. She has the range of an angel. It’s hard to find a song of hers that I could sing because she has such an amazing range, and I feel like you need to show that in your song. I chose “Breakaway”just because the lyrics fit so perfect for this whole experience. I even grew up in a small town when the rain would fall down. It was just so funny how perfect it all fit, and so I thought it was a great song. I loved the song before even the show and we had to sing her songs. I just had listened to it and loved the song so I thought I would try it out.
And then once the laryngitis kicked in, it kind of took away from my range, I feel like, but I’m still happy with my performance.
Q: And how did you enjoy working with Kelly?
Daniel: I loved working with Kelly. She was probably the most genuine star that I had ever met in my life because I think she knew really what we’re going through. She was awesome. She was so nice.
Q: Since today is your birthday do you have any special plans for today?
Daniel: When I get home, I’m going to see all of my friends at the airport, which will be awesome. Apparently half of my school is there, which will be really fun, but besides that, I’m just doing a lot of interviews like this one and getting on a plane and sleeping a lot.
Q: What was the best piece of advice that Kelly Clarkson gave to you when you were working with her?
Daniel: I think the best advice that she gave to me was just to kind of breathe and get comfortable before a performance because it is really intimidating going from playing on the streets in Portland to the biggest stage in the world practically. So that was a really scary transition for me. She gave me really good advice just saying if you’re still in it now, that means people like you and they’re listening to you. If they are voting for you, they like your sound so there’s nothing to be nervous about. That was actually off camera which was awesome, too. She was just nice off and on the camera.
Q: I wanted to know what do you think you learned about yourself during this experience?
Daniel: I think I learned about myself that I could really do music for the rest of my life, and I have a lot of room to grow. Because when I came into it, I wasn’t coming into it to grow. I just wanted to make Hollywood Week and get on the TV once; that was my goal. But seeing how much I’ve grown just from the six-month experience, it kind of excites me to see how far I come in a couple of years from now.
Q: I was just wondering, as one of the younger contestants who had to have a parent or guardian with them at all times, how did it help you having your pastor dad on the road with you throughout the process?
Daniel: I loved having my parents with me on this whole journey because everybody else, all of the adults, they all wished they had family here. It’s like a huge homesick issue when you’re there, and so, having my parents here really helped that. Also having my dad be a pastor, I was able to stay humble through it a lot more, I feel like, having him slap the back of my head if I started thinking about myself too much. They helped me a lot for this staying humble.
Q: We know from social media that you’ve gone on some mission trips, you have a faith background, and you’ve got a great musical voice, but are there three other things that you can tell us about you that your fans probably don’t know?
Daniel: Three things. Let’s see, I love architecture, and building stuff; that kind of thing. I haven’t thought about this. What’s three things that my fans wouldn’t know about me?
Q: Do you have a favorite food, or a favorite color, a favorite TV show?
Daniel: Yes, my favorite color is like a teal-blue, almost a greenish blue. I love that color. I think I express myself the most through my hairstyle and my shoes.
Q: I was wondering, you were the youngest contestant on the show, and one of the youngest contestants ever to compete, I was wondering if the experience was overwhelming to you at times, and how you dealt with that if it was?
Daniel: Yes, it was overwhelming because again I came from the streets on Portland once a month, and so it’s like the most insane transition going from that to this big of a stage, and this grand of a show, and so that was always intimidating. I feel like I was just starting to get kind of past that and find myself in these last performances.
Q: As old as your fellow contestants were, older than you and more experiences, what kind of lessons did you learn from them?
Daniel: I think I learned that I should be excited for what’s to come for me because I am so young, and I’ve already done something like this. A lot of them kept saying that I don’t know how you do it at your age. It kind of excites me to see what I could be capable of in ten years from now. I’m excited for what’s to come.
Q: What were you planning to sing next week for Billboard Week, could you tell us?
Daniel: I was either going to do “Hey There Delilah” or “Story of My Life”.
Q: Whenever we talk to contestants on the show, everyone always raves about the quality of the competition, and how talented everyone is. What do you think it’s going to take to win it? Do you have a sense of what contestants—
Daniel: I’m sorry; you’re breaking up. I can’t—
Q: I’m sorry. Could you tell us what you think, as a contestant, what do you think it’s going to take to win this competition. What do you think the contestants need to bring it, really, in the next few weeks?
Daniel: I think consistency is the best they can do right now. They’re all amazing now, all eight of them could win this thing. They just have to keep being consistent with their song choices and their performance. That’s what they really need to know.
Q: You’ve got all of these young fans now. There were girls going crazy for you. They were screaming in the audience. They were reaching out to you on Twitter. Was that a little weird for you? Did you ever have that kind of attention before?
Daniel: You know, no, I never had that attention before. It was kind of weird at first because I had some of the creepy fans that would find my house address. Yes, there were a couple. It’s weird; they would just kind of message me, “I know where you live”. I don’t think they meant to be creepy, it just came off that way. I feel like overall now that most of my fans are so supportive, and so I’m super thankful for all of them.
Q: What are your post Idol plans? It’s a little soon, but I’m sure you’ve got some ideas.
Daniel: Okay, I think my next step is to start writing music and getting that out to the world because I want to hang onto these fans, and I love being able to share my thoughts with them. So I am going to start writing them down and showing them—
Daniel: Should I say it all again?
Michele: Yes, one more time. You dropped out.
Daniel: I decided basically I want to start writing music and getting that out to the world and all of my fans because I want to be able to share with them my thoughts and everything. So I think that’s the next step for me is to write some music.
Michele: Okay, excellent. You think you’ve got some pop songs in you?
Daniel: Yes, I think I’m going for kind of a jazzy Ed Sheeran sound, but Ed Sheeran is kind of pop. And so, yes, I could tie that in.
Michele: Excellent, much luck to you. You had a good run.
Daniel: Thank you.
Moderator: Thank you. Our next follow-up will be from Kristi Turnquist with The Oregonian. Go ahead please.
Kristi: Hey, Daniel, hi again.
Kristi: And happy birthday. Were you kind of wishing that you’d be celebrating your birthday with having another week on the show, or are you okay with that?
Daniel: I’m kind of excited actually to go home on my birthday because I get to go home and see all of my friends, and so that’s kind of a nice birthday present. I was actually going to fly my friend, Christian, down for my birthday as a present. But this works out even better because now I get to see them all.
Kristi: When is the next chance that people in Portland or Vancouver can see you perform? When can people see you here at home?
Daniel: I don’t know. I think for sure I want to do first Thursday again. That would just be fun to get back on the street and play for fun, so I want to do that every month, but I don’t know what’s next yet.
Kristi: One last question, last night, we saw the first Twitter Fan Save. And I know that when I was watching it here in Portland the thing on the screen said “you can’t vote.” People on the West Coast weren’t really able to vote live. What do you think about that? Do you think you might have done better if some of the West Coast folks had been able to kind of be able to vote in real time? What do you think about that?
Daniel: I actually heard that the majority of voters are on East Coast, and so that didn’t bum me out too much. I mean it is what it is. I think it was a good test for me. I think it was fair. The only thing that kind of threw me off was the age limit of being 13 and up. You had to be that old so I feel like a lot of my fans were below that.
Kristi: Right, right, good point.
Daniel: Yes. But I know they try to as much as they can to be fair.
Kristi: Yes, okay. Well, as everyone said, congratulations on making it as far as you did. It was a great run, and all the best to you.
Daniel: Thank you so much.
Q: Is there any part of you that kind of wishes all of this would’ve happened, like say, five years from now when you would’ve been more mature and had more experience, and your voice would’ve changed?
Daniel: I don’t think I would’ve liked that more. I think this was a perfect time for me because it was like a huge kick in the butt for me to grow even more. This has doubled me in growth, I feel like, and so for me to be able to do this at 15, it excites me that [indiscernible] and I’ll be able to do later on in life. This was just a huge platform and opportunity for me.
Q: Did you feel like the little brother with some of the other contestants who were a lot older than you?
Daniel: Yes, they all kind of took me in as their little brother. It was great. We’re all like a big family, and so I was the little bro’.
Daniel: Sweet. I’d just like to thank all of you for coming to this call, and I would love if you could check out my Twitter, my Instagram. It’s all Seavey Daniel, S-E-A-V-E-Y, and then just my name. Yes, and then look forward to some music, I want to start releasing that so that’s my next thing.