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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 12

'American Idol's Burnell Taylor: I was terrified of Jimmy Iovine

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/09/2013 

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 and here for more from his call.

Were you surprised at all that they didn't use the save on you?

Burnell Taylor:  Honestly, it was already established and it was already -- I knew I just had a feeling, honestly.  I had a feeling that -- that's why I sung my song the way I sung it.  That's why I walked over to the contestants, because I knew. I had a feeling that this was the end for that chapter, because this is not the end, but I just knew it was the end for that chapter.

When you were first on the stage with the huge audience, what was going through your head?

Burnell Taylor:  Well, in Vegas, we had heard the audience.  We were like, that was our first time doing it for a live audience, and it was like, "This can be really good or this can be really bad."  When I went on the stage and the energy from the audience, it kind of just made me feel like I was right at home performing.  It took everything away.  I enjoyed performing for so many people, because for me, the more people the better.

What did you find the most challenging so far?

Burnell Taylor:  Well, of course, the themes are very challenging.  I guess I have to say that, because some of the times, we don't know the songs -- all the songs.  We always want to pick the best songs, so you know, that could be a challenge.  It's a good challenge, too.  It's a good challenge.

I was wondering, last week, Nicki was tweeting and she said that she was not going to save any of the boys.  I was wondering how you felt about that, what was your reaction to that?

Burnell Taylor:  Honestly, I don't know what you're talking about, but everybody's entitled to their own opinion.  I love Nicki and Nicki loves me.  None of that matters because she showed me that she really loves me.  She showed me that she was genuine, so I don't really let that get in between the relationship that I have with her.

What was the most surprising thing to you about this whole experience being on Idol?

Burnell Taylor:  Surprising.  Well, honestly, two years ago, three years ago, I just found out that it's themes and all that, so being on the show and watching the show is two different things.  It's just so different. 

I always thought that, "We get to pick any song we want to sing." We do get to pick out songs, but it has to fit into the theme.  I was under the impression we pick out our own songs and we can sing whatever we want to sing. And it's not like that.  That was kind of surprising.

Did you find the grind to be easier, harder or -- in the respect of the day-to-day rehearsals and things like that, was the routine of the day different in some form than you expected?

Burnell Taylor:  Yes, I believe when the grind is hard, that's when you know you're doing what you need to do.  When it's easy, it's boring, so I appreciate the hard grind and waking up.  It makes us feel like we're doing something instead of us being home not doing anything, not living our dream.  It makes us feel like we're living our dream.

What would you like to say maybe to all of the kids at Sarah T. Reed High School and your teachers and friends there, you know, who watched you last night and were really rooting for you?  What would you like them to know about how you're doing right now?

Burnell Taylor:  To my people at Sarah T. Reed, I love you all so much.  The support that you all give is just amazing, and I cannot wait to come personally and thank all of you when I get back to New Orleans and just show my love, because the love that you all showed, I just can't even explain.  I love you all and you all know I'm not going anywhere.  The grind is about to get even harder.

Do you think that you'll be staying in New Orleans a lot in the future or do you think that maybe it's going to be somewhere else for Burnell Taylor?

Burnell Taylor:  It's a possibility.  Only time will tell.

The mentoring sessions you had with Jimmy Iovine, how did you think those went and what did you think of his critiques of your performances?

Burnell Taylor:  The first time I saw Jimmy Iovine, and we had our first interview, honestly, I was terrified.  I have tough skin, but I was terrified.  He's like another Nicki.  When you're looking for honesty, that's who you can go to.  If you're looking for pure honesty, that's who you go to. 

I appreciate what he's talking about, because he knows what he's talking about.  There's a difference if somebody doesn't know what they're talking about and they're just talking.  He knows what he's talking about, and it's just taking the advice that he gives you and learning from it and doing your homework.  You know, that's what I've been trying to do.  That's what I'm going to do.

I heard you broke your glasses, what happened?

Burnell Taylor:  Long story.  I don't know.  The screw seems to have fallen out, so I can go get another pair. It isn't a big deal.

Burnell, any final words?

Burnell Taylor:  Thanks to everybody that took the time out to support me.  Thanks for the people that are doing these reports.  You all mean a lot, because this is just advertising me. 

To all the people and all the audiences that are listening out right now, I just want them to know that in the future, I'm going to work with all of you.  So get prepared, because I'm coming.  I'm not giving up on what I started.  You know, I love you all so much.  See you all.

During a Friday conference call with reporters, Burnell talked about his American Idol experience. Above is a portion of Burnell's interview. Click here and here for more from his call.

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