Quentin AlexanderQuentin Alexander interview

Moderator: That will come from MJ Santilli with MJs Big Blog. Go ahead, please.

MJ: Hi, Quentin.

Quentin: Hello. How are you?

MJ: Great. We’re going to really miss you on the show, that’s for sure. It’s great to talk to you this morning, though. I was wondering—what were you planning on singing next week?

Quentin: Next week, I was going to tackle “House of the Rising Sun.”

MJ: Wow. Okay. Great. That would have been fantastic.

Quentin: Yes, I was excited, but it’s not the end. I can still do it somewhere.

MJ: Yes. Absolutely. I was wondering if you felt that you were judged too harshly by Harry Connick, Jr.

Quentin: I do not feel that I was judged too harshly. I feel that he held me to a high standard, which is always great to do that to a student, I feel, because it gave me something to work towards, and I’m actually the least technically trained singer that made it through to the top ten, and the fact that I even was there was a great accomplishment, and I appreciated every chance he got to tell me that this is what you need to work on, so I knew exactly what I should work on.

MJ: Now, did you think you were going home this week?

Quentin: I wasn’t sure. I always have feelings, but this time I really kind of tried to drown that out and focus on the performance just so I could more so enjoy it than sit there and worry about if I was going to go home or not.

MJ: Thank you.

Quentin: Absolutely.

Moderator: Thank you. Our next question is from Judy Bergeron with the Advocate Newspaper. Please go ahead.

Judy: Hi, Quentin. How are you?

Quentin: Hey, Judy. How’s it going?

Judy: Hey, good. I didn’t think I would be talking to you this soon again, and I’m sorry the way that I am. But I wanted to ask you short range and long range, what is next? Will you have time to go back to New Orleans? And, going forward, where do you see yourself going in music?

Quentin: Yes. I have a couple more interviews to do and then I’m back home for a little bit, and then it’s back to work. But after all of that is said and done, I’m going to be focused on doing my personal things. I have a couple projects that I was working on before, and that is the short films that I’m working on that incorporates my music, as well as the fashion that I’ve created, so I’m really excited to introduce that to everyone, so we get a chance to see firsthand what kind of artist I want to be.

Judy: Wow. That’s great. We’ll be looking forward to that. The best in everything, Quentin. Thanks.

Quentin: Thank you so much.

Moderator: Thank you. Our next question is from Dave Walker with the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Go ahead, please.

Dave: Hey, Quentin.

Quentin: Hey, Dave. How are you?

Dave: Doing good. Sorry to be talking to you today, but I’m glad you’re doing it. Thank you for doing the call.

Quentin: Absolutely.

Dave: Could you just take a minute and reflect about the whole journey. It was almost a year ago when you first auditioned for the show here in New Orleans. Through Hollywood, through this last few weeks, can you talk about the ways that you’ve grown, the way this experience changed you? And, then the things that you take from this experience for your career going forward?

Quentin: Well, thinking back to January of last year when I first auditioned for the show. I would have never imagined that I would make it this far, and it seemed as though every week that I went through the process, I shocked myself more and more, and it ultimately built my confidence as an artist.

They really kind of nurtured my art within myself because I was afraid coming in to the competition that people weren’t going to understand or people weren’t going to be receptive, and they were automatically going to ridicule what I did, and the fact that they embraced it, and now they want more, it made it all worth it.

I’ve learned so much about my vocal strength and learning more about the stage, learning more about the technical aspect of it, as well as the business and work side of it, and I’ve gained so much knowledge, and so many tools, and so many relationships. The bonds that I’ve built in this competition are going to be there for life, and it’s great to know that I have something tangible to hold onto after everything is done.

Dave: Have you been approached at all by anyone about playing out and performing here in New Orleans in the coming weeks or months? Do you know if there’ve been like offers for that opportunity?

Quentin: I’m actually not sure. If it comes in the future, then that’s the greatest thing, and I’m expecting and hoping for it to be that way. Hopefully, I get home in time to catch Jazz Fest, but if not then it’s—New Orleans is a place of greatness, so I’m expecting nothing but that.

Dave: Thanks a lot, and good luck to you.

Quentin: Absolutely. Thank you.

Moderator: Thank you. Our next question is from Judith Little with Yes TV. Go ahead, please.

Judith: Hi, Quentin. How are you?

Quentin: Good. How are you?

Judith: I’m great. Thank you. It’s nice to chat with you.

Quentin: Thank you.

Judith: My question is Scott Borchetta took you to the Dolby Theatre this week, and he said you took a big breath in before you opened your eyes, and thought about the possibilities, so how did it feel, or what was going through your head on stage with Rayvon waiting in those five minutes for the fan save to see what your fate would be?

Quentin: Really, it was more of I’m having fun, I’m enjoying this moment, and I’m so proud of how far I’ve come, and the fact that I’m standing on this stage right now is like a badge of honor for me. And, going against Rayvon—it’s a fun thing because we got a chance to really see each other—not go at it, but perform at our best or try to perform at our best.

And, sharing a stage with any of them is a huge, huge honor, and it’s always exciting to kind of see the new places we can reach with our vocals, like watching Rayvon hit that extremely high note was super, super, super exciting for everyone, and it’s a great moment to share with everyone.

Judith: Alright. And you haven’t just impressed everyone with your vocal abilities, but also with your style. I think you probably took the most risks, especially out of the guys with different hair and outfits. What is kind of your fashion inspiration and would we ever see anything in the stylistic realm from you with fashion in the coming weeks or months?

Quentin: Absolutely. I take a lot of inspiration just from being broke and having to go thrift for things, and seeing kind of the things that are in the shops, in the costume shops, and then watching people initially today, like Andre 3000, Erica Badu, Kanye West. They all kind of have their own look at everything, and they put things together just to kind of make themselves happy, I feel first, and then people just enjoy it. So, I kind of do that same thing, but I definitely sketched out a couple of things that I’ve been working on before, and hopefully within the next month or so there’s going to be some clothing out. So, just be looking forward to that.

Judith: Great. Thank you. We’ll be waiting and looking for it, filling my closet.

Quentin: Thank you.

Moderator: Thank you. And, next we have Beth Kwiatkowski with Reality TV World. Go ahead, please.

Beth: Hi, Quentin. Congratulations on making it as far as you did.

Quentin: Thank you so much.

Beth: I wanted to ask you—do you think your heated exchange with Harry Connick played any role in your bottom two placement, or even elimination this week? And, I guess, if so, any regrets about that situation because obviously maybe some viewers saw things from Harry’s perspective, do you know what I mean?

Quentin: Yes. It definitely could have played a role, but I don’t really know that, and I’m never really going to know, but either way, I’m still proud of the way that things happened. I wouldn’t change that moment with Harry and I for anything because it was a real, genuine moment, and for me to change it would be for me to change my journey overall. And I think things happen for a reason, and I’m all about timing, and it happened and maybe it wasn’t time for me to be on tour, or stay on the show. There’s maybe another path that I need to take first for that to happen, and I’m just excited and I’m glad that I came as far as I did. And, to go out on a note like that, I’m fine with.

Beth: Absolutely. Did you ever have a personal conversation with Harry following that exchange last week, like did you guys talk backstage or ever kind of hash things out, or did an awkward elephant kind of always remain in the room after that between you guys?

Quentin: We actually did not have a conversation after that. I spoke with him briefly once I was eliminated after I left the stage and all that, and we had a conversation on things other than that incident because I feel that we both, or at least I know that myself—I’ve moved on from it right after it happened, and I was just ready to move on and focus on the performances. And, I feel that he kind of thought the same thing, so it wasn’t really worth us dwelling on.

Beth: Okay. That’s great. Thanks again, Quentin.

Quentin: Thank you so much.

Moderator: Thank you. We have a question from Jenna Bagcal with CupidsPulse.com. Please go ahead.

Jenna: Hi, Quentin. How are you doing today?

Quentin: Doing well. How about you?

Jenna: I’m great. Thank you. So, my first question is, how did growing up in New Orleans, like which is an epi-center of some amazing music and culture, influence you as an artist?

Quentin: Growing up there, it actually really, really, really played the biggest part in the way that I present my art and the way that I am, just because there’s so many different musical influences, so many different cultural influences, different ways of life all in one small bowl. It’s kind of the gumbo pot, which is what we call it. It’s just a mixture of everything, and I pride myself on that because I don’t think most people realize how far your reach can go when you’re kind of dabbing in each pot. You know what each flavor is like, you know how far you can go, and it ultimately shapes how I look at music and how I look at fashion, and it’s going to play a huge part in the rest of my career.

Jenna: That’s great. So, CupidsPulse.com is a website that focuses on relationships. So we have to ask, how does pursuing a music career affect your romantic life?

Quentin: I think for anyone dealing with that, it just becomes a matter of this is what I have to do for your personal life goal, and then the person that you’re with most likely will understand if they’re the person that you’re supposed to be with. It’s always great to have that teammate behind you, someone supporting you from the outside that isn’t really in the same kind of boat that you’re in, and I feel that in order for anything to work out, the best thing to do is to communicate; let each other know what’s going on, and just really stay focused on what your goal is, and just stay true to that love. So, as long as you focus on the work and that person is right there beside you, then I don’t think there’s anything to worry about.

Jenna: Okay. Thank you so much, and good luck with everything.

Quentin: Thank you.

Moderator: Thank you. We’ll go next to Emily Katharina with SciFiVision.com. Please go ahead.

Emily: Hi, Quentin. Thank you for taking the call today.

Quentin: Hey, how are you?

Emily: I’m good, thank you. How are you?

Quentin: Doing well, thanks.

Emily: I’m glad. My question was actually now that you’re eliminated, unfortunately, are you planning on catching up on anything pop culture wise, like are you going to be reading any books or catching up on any TV series, anything like that?

Quentin: I’m probably going to nap for a little while, just to kind of come down from the entire experience, but I’m hoping that I actually get home in time for the festivals because it’s the greatest time of year in New Orleans to have all the music come in and all the people coming from different places in the world, to just to see that; that kind of experience. But, as far as television goes, I’m the most analog guy, like I’m not sure what’s playing right now, but I should maybe get into it. No.

Emily: Well, that’s awesome. I hope you enjoy those festivals.

Quentin: Absolutely. Thank you so much.

Emily: Thank you.

Moderator: Okay. Thank you. Our next question is from Bill Pinella with the San Diego Union-Tribune. Go ahead, please.

Bill: Hi, Quentin. Thank you for doing this.

Quentin: Absolutely.

Bill: My question is this—I know your ultimate goal was to win the competition, but quite possibly your secondary goal was to be in the top ten. Are you really bummed that they cut it down to five this year, and that you didn’t make it?

Quentin: Yes. I wish that it could have been a top ten tour, not just for myself, but I think that everyone would have kind of appreciated having that bigger spectrum, but I understand it being a more concentrated thing because the talent is so great this year, and it’s great to kind of focus in on what their concert exactly would be like, as opposed to just putting on another episode of American Idol.

And, I’m grateful that I’ve made it this far because it’s a huge accomplishment for anyone. Not many people can say that they’ve even made it onto American Idol, and I get a chance to say, not only have I made it over hundreds of thousands of people, I made it to the top six of that many, and I’m really proud of that accomplishment.

Bill: So, when exactly did you learn that it was going to be five instead of ten, and do you know exactly why they did that?

Quentin: I’m not 100% sure, but I do think that it’s a better thing to benefit everyone. It’s a chance to really focus in, like I said, on the artist, and it enhances their experience more. And I don’t remember when I found out, but I was disappointed at first, but then once I thought about it, I understood how much of a benefit it would be to the five that actually went on tour.

Bill: Well, thank you very much, and good luck to you in the future.

Quentin: Oh, thank you so much, man.

Moderator: Thank you. We’ll go next to Michele Angermiller with Billboard. Please go ahead.

Michele: Hello, Quentin, my fashion idol. What am I going to do without seeing all your crazy outfits every week?

Quentin: Just follow me on Instagram. I swear I won’t stop.

Michele: Oh, my goodness. I was always so impressed with how you put everything together. Your outfit this week, by the way, beautiful, spot-on. It was great.

Quentin: Thank you so much.

Michele: A question for you—do you think the show had you at a disadvantage by like playing back to the drama from last week. There was a promo on TV this week. I think, I know that you moved on, but it doesn’t seem like they—it doesn’t feel like it was moved on from a show business perspective. Do you think that may have hurt you before you got a chance to sing?

Quentin: Yes. It could have, and ultimately I wouldn’t change it only because I put myself in that situation. Like you said, I may have moved on, but it was still something that was going to linger on regardless of how I felt. I’m still very okay with how everything went down, just because it was a real moment that I shared with Harry, and with the contestants and it’s a reality television show, and the fact is, we all have genuine emotions, and we all hurt for each other, and it sucks sometimes. So, ultimately, if that had anything to do with the reason that I went home, then I’m fine with that because it was just me being myself.

Michele: You know that Trevor and Savion are doing their own tour, their own separate tour. Is there any possibility maybe seeing maybe you and Joey do some shows together? That might be fun.

Quentin: You know I would not be opposed to that. The great thing about Joey and I is we both live in the same city, so that’s something that could happen very, very easily. So, we’ll definitely be discussing that.

Michele: Have you talked to her?

Quentin: Yes. Joey texted me, actually, right before the show and I haven’t got a chance to talk to her today because I’ve been working non-stop, but we’re going to get a chance to have that conversation and we got a wedding to plan, so it’s going to pretty awesome.

Michele: I can’t wait to hear what you do with that wedding. Are you excited about that?

Quentin: Oh, absolutely. It was a super fun conversation to have when it first happened. I’m really happy for them, too. Her and Evan are the perfect, perfect couple, and they’re really good for each other, so I’m excited for that.

Michele: Well, thank you, Quentin. You’ll be missed. I’m sure there’ll be more to hear from you in the future.

Quentin: Thank you so much.

Moderator: Okay. Thank you. We have a follow-up from Dave Walker with the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Go ahead, please.

Dave: Hey, I forgot to ask—have they been holding your job at Canal Place. Will you be back there?

Quentin: You know what? I’m not sure. I need to actually figure that out. I do believe that I can just go in there, and everything will be fine, but I’m not 100% sure because it’s literally been three months since I’ve clocked in.

Dave: Okay. Well, good luck to you. Thanks.

Quentin: Thank you, Dave.

Moderator: Thank you. Our next follow-up is from MJ Santilli with MJs Big Blog. Go ahead, please.

MJ: Hey, Quentin. Hi, again. I was just wondering what your plans for the future are? I mean, what would you like, say the next year to be like for you?

Quentin: The next year is just going to be me working non-stop on putting out my art that I’ve been working on for a while. Like I was saying, I have some short films that I’m working on that has all my music in it, as well as the fashion that I’ve created, and the type of artist I want to be is one that touches on all of the senses.

A concert of mine would be something that would be just as appealing visually as it is musically, and I think ultimately that’s the best way to approach it, at least for me because I feel that that way there’s something that people can take from—if you put out enough branches, people can take what they want and be happy because someone may not like what I do, or someone else does vocally, but they love visually and vice-versa. So I’m excited for you guys to see that package when it does come out.

MJ: What kind of album could you see yourself making?

Quentin: Like I said, with—as my influences, there is a bunch of different things that I’m influenced by, but I feel that an overall vibe of the album would be like a really cool bluesy soulful rock album with hints of modern music, and I think it’d be really cool to kind of mesh that old, classic flavor with the new, and make something that, I don’t want to say hasn’t been done yet, but hasn’t been done enough.

MJ: Okay. Thanks.

Moderator: Okay. Thank you. (Operator instructions.) And we have a follow-up now from Beth Kwiatkowski with Reality TV World. Go ahead, please.

Beth: Was it a surprise to you when viewers chose to save Rayvon for the fourth straight time because, obviously, viewers seem to be voting for Rayvon when he’s in trouble rather than getting him out of the bottom two to begin with?

Quentin: I actually wasn’t surprised because of how great of a performance he put on. I would have been glad to bow out to that because it was amazing, and that’s the good thing about it. We don’t look at it as a have to be better than you, or this person has to be better than me, I have to make it in this position. It’s just going out there, enjoying the performance and doing what you can, and in that moment what he did was spectacular. So, he definitely worked his butt off to get it, and deserved it.

Beth: Okay. When we talked to Joey Cook last week, she said that you two bonded because you had very similar motives in the competition, and you were unwavering when it comes to being yourself and sticking true to who you are as artists. I guess, does that kind of mean you guys think other contestants along the way had different motives or weren’t staying true to themselves? I don’t know if you think mentors and judges and criticism and all that sort of changed some contestants?

Quentin: I won’t say that. It’s just that Joey and I both come from similar likes of the beginning of everything in our lives. We come from a different spectrum, and so therefore we look at everything differently, and we appreciate things, smaller things more than other people would, like just the bonds.

That’s one thing that I really held onto, whereas other people, we definitely got along, but they look at other things. So I wouldn’t say that anyone is kind of faking it, or not being themselves just to kind of play the game, but it’s just the way that Joey and I went about doing it. We somehow attracted, and it’s something that it’s hard to explain, but it’s kind of obvious to look at Joey and I and see that we’re oddballs, and naturally like we’re not the outsiders, but the outsiders. We kind of had to gravitate towards each other to keep each other sane, and to have those conversations of like why are we here, and what we want to do, and how far we can go, and how big this opportunity is for two people like us, which Idol has never really had before.

Beth: Okay. That makes sense. And, just quickly about Rayvon, do you have any insight as to why viewers might be voting him into the bottom and then saving him every week? Do you think they might think he’s going to be safe since he’s been in the bottom so many times, and so maybe they don’t vote? I don’t know.

Quentin: Yes. That could be a theory, or they could just like shaking him up, just—it’s like shaking us, so what if just for the excitement of the pop. But either way, he’s an amazing, amazing singer, and he’s going to get exactly what he deserves, and in that sense he got what he deserved, so I’m very proud of whatever he’s going to accomplish.

Beth: Awesome. Thanks, Quentin.

Quentin: Thank you.

Moderator: Thank you. Our next follow-up is from Judith Little with Yes TV. Please go ahead.

Judith: Hi, there. My question is you were being critiqued week after week by judges who have a career in the music industry. What was the best piece of advice or takeaway that you received from them throughout the process?

Quentin: The one thing that I definitely held since—I want to say top 24, I think it was top 24, it may have been earlier, but JLo—we had a sit down, all three of the judges and I, and JLo said to me, hold on to your art because it’s the one thing that makes you you, and that’s one thing that definitely stuck with me because it’s the truth. It’s the one thing that separates me from everyone else is my art, my personal feelings, how I go about doing things, and it’s the same for every other contestant.

So, it was great to hear that from her because I know she could kind of tell at that time that I was struggling to understand my position in the competition, and where I stood as far as should I compromise my performances just to kind of fit this mold, and she confirmed for me that no, it’s fine. You be yourself, and everything will work out as it’s supposed to.

Judith: Alright. And, as a follow-up, Mother’s Day’s coming up in a couple of weeks. Can you share with us a little bit more about your mom and how she helped you get to this stage in life?

Quentin: Yes. My mom is definitely number one supporter. She’s been there for me since day one, not only because she had to be, because she wanted to be.

Bill: Hi, Quentin. Can you hear me?

Quentin: Yes, sir.

Bill: Okay. My question is a couple things. One, were you a fan of the show before you got on it, and two, were there any huge surprises, things that shocked you about the show, having gone this far?

Quentin: I definitely was a fan of the show before, like in the earlier seasons because it was something that I watched with my family constantly, and it was a beautiful thing to be able to experience watching that. But later on, I got older and I couldn’t really watch television, but I was always a fan of the concept and the idea, and the fact that they’re doing this to promote and help people become artists.

And, as far as the surprises and shocks, I came into it not really knowing anything, and not knowing what to expect, so everything always came as a shock, but I would take it as is because ultimately in this kind of field, in this career, you never know what’s going to come your way, so you just kind of got to roll with the punches, take the waves as they come, and if you survive it, then it means that you’re destined to do it.

Bill: Well, thank you very much, and I must tell you I’ve listened to these conference calls for like the last six years, and you’re probably the most articulate, well-spoken contestant I’ve ever heard. I think if they had played this for the audience, this conversation, you would have won, hands down.

Quentin: Oh, man. I really appreciate that.

Bill: Good luck to you.

Quentin: Thank you, sir.

Molly: And, then before we move on for our last question, actually I want Quentin, if you could finish the thought you were talking about with some things about your mom and Mother’s Day?

Quentin: Yes. Just like I was saying, my mom is number one supporter. She’s always been there and she’s got this big, big, big support for me, and the thing I love about her is she supports me no matter what I decide to do. I’ve changed what I wanted to do in my life so much; I wanted to be a paleontologist at one point in my life, and she stood there and she supported it, and I wanted to be a chef, and she stood there and supported it.

She’s there for me to fall back on if I need to, and the best thing about this is the fact that she got to experience this with me, and I feel that I could even say my mom was more happy than anyone else was, or even than I was just because she got a chance to see her baby boy do what he’s been talking about doing for so long. I’m so grateful that American Idol gave me that opportunity to share that moment with her.

Moderator: Okay. Thank you, then. Our final question will be a follow-up from Michele Angermiller with Billboard. Go ahead, please.

Michele: I second, third and fourth what he said. This is really a fantastic call, Quentin, congratulations to you on that. Your mom taught you how to speak well. Onto the question. The finale, coming up at the Dolby, are you excited about that, and who would you like to perform with if you had your pick, or do you know?

Quentin: I am extremely excited for that. We go into it looking forward to that big bang ending, and I’m excited to see who’s there at the finish line because it’s like I said, we’ve built such a strong bond that it’s like a family. I’m going to be proud of whoever it is, and it’s going to be exciting.

If I had a chance to perform with anyone, at this point I don’t really know who it would be just because I feel that everyone is so great, and if it was anyone on the show, automatically, it’s going to be an amazing performance.

Michele: I’m thinking Lenny Kravitz.

Quentin: Oh, we mean in that aspect. Well, then of course, I would definitely choose like Lenny Kravitz, or someone like Erica Badu, or Lorde—really Annie Lennox with doing “I Put a Spell On You” I would love to share that moment with her because she’s such a monster on that song.

Michele: Yes. That was pretty darn amazing when she did that earlier this year. I can see that, I can see a duet with you two on that.

Quentin: Yes.

Michele: Here we are planning the show. Thank you, Quentin.

Quentin: Hint, hint.

Michele: Thank you.

Quentin: Thank you.

Molly: Okay. And, with that, we’re going to wrap up this conference call for today. Thank you everyone so much for joining us. As a reminder, American Idol airs Wednesday nights on FOX, and all artwork can be found on foxflash.com. At this point, I’m actually going to turn it back over to Quentin for a quick final remark and then Kathy will provide some additional information and playback instructions. Quentin, go ahead.

Quentin: I just want to definitely thank all of you guys for taking the time out to really talk to me. It’s always great to be able to get out there and express what’s going on, and I’m glad that all of you were super receptive and super nice. Since the beginning, I remember a bunch of you being supportive, so thank you for all of that.