Another American Idol Shocker: Melinda Ain't Mad at Nobody
For us bottom-feeding, scandal-seeking rumor mongers -- otherwise known as entertainment reporters -- it was anti-climactic as watching Simon Cowell crack a gay joke about Ryan Seacrest.
Because, despite the fact that she's been favored to win American Idol since the finalist competition began; despite the fact that America ignored Cowell himself begging them to keep her in the competition and despite the rumors that her age and the songs selected for her Tuesday were her downfall...
Melinda Doolittle was determined to leave Idol classy as the way she came in Thursday, facing reporters on a conference call by refusing to diss her fellow competitors or bemoan a third-place finish in TV's biggest talent competition.
“I was up against two amazing contestants," she said during the interview, which ended about an hour ago. "Also, I know that I was probably getting a little of the older vote, which is great. They may not spend a full two hours voting and that’s ok. I really feel personally that I’ve won as far as where I ended up in the competition."
She spent about 40 minutes talking to press -- why they couldn't make the subject of the most shocking Idol result in years available for at least an hour, I'll never know -- remaining as down to earth as you might expect about her star-making turn on the show. Wioth former employers such as Cece Winans and Anointedcalling her up to offer support and former Idol contestant Mandisa Hundley as her best buddy, Melinda is well prepared for post-Idol challenges.
What kind of solo album will she make? "The only way I know to describe it is soul music. I love a groove, anything where I can tell a story. I hope to have a great soul album.”
Why did she seem so surprised by her success? “It is part of my personality. Plus I was coming out of singing background for so many years, I get used to trying to sound like other people. American Idol was the first time I sounded like myself. It’s my little adjustment process there."
“Either I didn’t notice or I thought he was talking about the package they were going to show, of me going back to Nashville. I just assumed that what he was talking about. He was getting us ready for the next package they were going to show...A couple of my friends called and asked me did I even know. I don’t think it was even a slip. I just think that was what he was talking about. I was completely fine with it.”
Reaction to being called up with Blake to the front of the stage before her ejection: “When he called me up front, just by the nature of the show, I kinda had an idea that it might be me. I was kinda prepared for it and taking deep breaths and trying to get to the next step. It was actually a happy occasion that I made it this far. I’m kind of glad that it turned out this way.”
How was Simon, a consistent supporter, after the ejection? “He was ultra supportive last night. He was really explaining to me that he believed in me and wanted to see me succeed. That was really great to hear, especially from simon. I’m looking forward to what’s coming next."
On how she developed a sexy look over time: “I’m going to blame it on the new wig. I love them, I started to name them. Last night, I think I had Whitney on – so maybe she helped with that one.
On whether status as the oldest contestant -- at the ripe age of 29 -- led to her ejection: "I think it may have figured in, it may not have. In speculating, I’m not sure. It could just be that more people liked Jordan and blake and I’m okay with that too. I do’t know how much that played into it. I read that in certain places it played into that.”
On Jordin: “It does not make any sense for a girl that young to sing so amazingly well. She’s got one of the most mature voices I’ve ever heard. And she’s got such a pure heart, so I think it coems out whenever she sings.
“I was driving down with a friend of mine and wanting to support him. The way he talked me into it was saying remember the funny auditions – now you can see them in person. So we took a few more people and all went down to audition. I wound up being the only one to make it through. It’s forced me to take it by the reins and say OK God, we’re going to take it through.”