'American Idol's Burnell Taylor: I could feel my elimination in my stomach and bones
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/08/2013
American Idol eliminated Burnell Taylor during Thursday night's live results show broadcast on Fox, determining the twelfth season's Top 6 finalists.
Burnell, a 19-year-old from New Orleans, LA, became the fourth finalist sent home from American Idol's twelfth season after he received the fewest home viewer votes following Wednesday night's performance show, which featured the Top 7 finalists performing rock songs.
Burnell's elimination became official after American Idol judges Randy Jackson, Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, and Keith Urban announced they were not going to prevent his departure by using their one "The Judges' Save" of the season. The decision would have to be unanimous amongst the judges to utilize the special save, and in Burnell's case, the vote was not.
During a Friday conference call with reporters, Burnell talked about his American Idol experience. Below is a portion of Burnell's interview. Click here for additional highlights from his call, and make sure to check back with Reality TV World on Tuesday for more.
Throughout your Idol experience, is there anything that you could've lived without?
You sound a little bit like John Legend. I was wondering if he's been your inspiration at all or if you have any plans to make music that's sort of that style -- or if you want to do something different?
Burnell Taylor: Definitely. John Legend is definitely one of my inspirations. As far as me making the same type of music, I feel like there's already a John. I try to be as original as I can get, so I just want to do something that nobody ever heard before. I love John. John is a big inspiration in my life, and I know I get a comparison with the voice. That's a good thing, because he can sing.
Why do you think that it's such a year for the ladies? What are the guys doing wrong?
Burnell Taylor: Honestly, it's nothing that we're doing wrong. You know, it's just calling a spade a spade. It's a girl year this year. You know, I would love to see a girl win, because it's been too long since one has won, so I would love to see a girl win. If a girl wins, the fact that I'm going to know her makes it 100 times better.
The judges all obviously seem to be fans of yours, particularly Mariah Carey, whom you made cry on more than one occasion last night. You kind of made everybody cry. I wondered, did she offer you any words of support after your elimination?
Burnell Taylor: Yes, she was just telling me, "This is not the end. Take this and run with it." That's what I'm going to do, because I just feel like it's about what you do after the show. So, that's my focus.
You've also garnered a huge fan base out there who've really come to appreciate your voice, your style, and your personality. Just real quickly, what would you like to say to them as they kind of lament your departure from the show?
Burnell Taylor: Fans, I don't call them fans. I call them family, because we're a family. I love you all so much no matter what. We shall meet again, "Team Burnell." We shall meet again, and it's not going to be too long.
You were in the bottom three last night with Janelle Arthur, so when you heard that your name was part of the bottom two, what was your overall reaction? Did you have any idea at all that you were going to be sent home last night?
Burnell Taylor: Well, honestly, I had a feeling in my stomach, in my bones the whole week. I guess it was just a sign from God, you know, trying to prepare me for the situation, because it was a possibility that it could happen.
I was just prepared and I know that I had to sing -- it wasn't about me getting saved, it was just about me leaving my mark regardless and performing my song. It wasn't perfect, but I do feel like I dug deep in, you know, deep enough for somebody to reach out to.
If you were able to go back and maybe change any of your performances, would you go back and maybe make different decisions on which songs you did sing during your time on the show?
Burnell Taylor: Nope, I wouldn't change anything, nothing that I've done, because I did it for a reason. You know, everything happens for a reason. I wouldn't be who I am today if I wouldn't have done the songs that I did. I appreciate all the songs that I did.
American Idol has been a really good stepping stone for your career, so what do you think your next step might be?
Burnell Taylor: When I get home, actually, I'm going to the gym, because I gained 10 pounds. So I'm going to the gym as soon as I get home. I'm not going to even get off the plane fast enough, I'm going to start running, because I want to lose some more weight.
Besides that, music-wise, I really, really, really -- I'm going to start back writing, because I did a lot of writing in my younger days, but I stopped. I'm going to start back writing and just taking the time out to do the things that I need to do so when it's time for me to be free, you know, on my own, I can just start putting everything out.
Is there any particular musician that you hope one day to maybe work with?
Burnell Taylor: Well, I can sit here and name a whole list, and hopefully, they're listening. I would love working with Frank Ocean, Rhianna, even Chris Brown, [Miguel Jontel Pimentel]. You know, everybody -- like [Brandy Norwood], India.Arie, everybody. I just want to be heard, and I want to be appreciated. As much as I can get my voice out, that would be amazing.
Some of the judges seemed to think that the song that you sang Wednesday night was not in your genre and that you looked uncomfortable. Did you feel that you were that uncomfortable singing that song and why did you choose that song?
Burnell Taylor: Actually, I had the time of my life performing that song. The fact that I performed a rock song on live television -- if somebody would have told me that, I never would have believed them.
If nobody's proud of me, I'm proud of myself, because I knew what it took. I knew what it took for me to overcome that performance and shine through it even though it probably was difficult for me. I just got to roll with the punches and not make excuses for what it is.
Above is a portion of Burnell's Friday conference call with reporters. Click here for additional highlights, and make sure to check back with Reality TV World on Tuesday for more.