'American Idol' eliminee Malaya Watson: It's really weird, the girls are getting scarce!
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/11/2014
American Idol eliminated Malaya Watson and determined its Top 7 thirteenth-season finalists during Thursday night's live results show on Fox.
Malaya, a 16-year-old student from Southfield, MI, became the sixth finalist sent home from American Idol's thirteenth season after she received the fewest home viewer votes cast following Wednesday night's performance show, which featured the Top 8 finalists performing songs from the 1980s.
During a Friday conference call with reporters, Malaya talked to Reality TV World about whether she was surprised to get eliminated and what's her take on a few of the other contestants. Below is what she had to say.
Reality TV World: Were you surprised to be eliminated? Based on your performance Wednesday night, I know many viewers weren't expecting you to be in the bottom two let alone be the one going home.
Malaya Watson: I kind of knew, but at the same time, I didn't. I mean, we all got nervous, but we didn't know what to expect. So, yeah.
Reality TV World: When reflecting on your song choice of "Through the Fire," are you glad you sang that or, looking back, do you wish you had picked something different? It was obviously a tough song which I'm sure the judges and vocal coaches considered a risk.
Malaya Watson: Yeah, it was. I don't know. I was really like -- I'm glad I picked that song. I really wanted to do that song.
Reality TV World: Were you planning on playing the tuba at all on the show?
Malaya Watson: Yeah, I was planning to play it this week. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: You were obviously the youngest person in the competition. Did you find yourself pretty impressionable? I can only imagine producers and mentors offering you conflicting advice or criticism may confuse you.
Malaya Watson: No, I just picked whichever opinion sounded more realistic and more the thing I could work on to improve myself and just work on it. So, yeah.
Reality TV World: So being only 16-years-old, did you enter the competition already knowing what kind of artist you wanted to be or did that develop over time?
Malaya Watson: It kind of developed throughout the competition.
Reality TV World: In the Top 7, there's only two girls, and someone like Caleb Johnson, for example, has definitely been a frontrunner in the competition. He doesn't seem to have a bad week. So what are your thoughts on there only being two girls left? Do you think Jena Irene and Jessica Meuse are in trouble at this point or could you see either of them actually winning the whole thing?
Malaya Watson: I don't know. It's really tough to decide what will happen now that I am gone. But yeah, the girls are getting a little scarce! It's really weird, but I mean, at the same time, you never know. Because America changed its mind a lot.
Reality TV World: How tough was it for you to sing your final song of "I Am Changing" by Jennifer Hudson? You clearly got very emotional as the song progressed.
Malaya Watson: Oh yeah, I was trying. I guess it didn't work. (Laughs) It was really hard, but at the same time, it was just cool singing on the stage for the final time. It's all good.
Reality TV World: This was the third week in a row C.J. Harris has landed in the bottom two or three and has survived the cut. Did you guys like consider him the underdog of the competition, especially since he was a "Wild Card" pick to begin with and he's still in it?
Malaya Watson: Yeah. He's like my big brother. I support him and everybody else in the competition all the way.
Reality TV World: Do you have an idea whom you think could potentially win this season?
Malaya Watson: Honestly, no, because everybody is just so good. It's hard to decide who would win. It's really hard, I must say.
Also during the call, Malaya told reporters what's the best advice she had received, how she felt David Cook was as her mentor, and how she felt since "The Judges' Save" was all used up going into the week's results show.
What's the best piece of advice you've received from anyone that you'll take with you?
Malaya Watson: Probably when Harry told me that I should focus more on my craft rather than my stardom, because at first, I thought the music business was just all about just how you look. But it's honestly all about how you sound, so that's one thing I will take away with me.
What's your favorite memory from the whole experience?
Malaya Watson: Probably just performing on the stage and just working with a bunch of amazing people that not a lot of people can say they've worked with.
How does it feel to be the youngest Idol finalist in history?
Malaya Watson: It's pretty weird. (Laughs) It's actually kind of cool though, because you know, I can actually be in the books, if you know what I mean. It's pretty awesome, I guess. But at the same time, it was hard because I had to focus on school and stuff, so yeah.
How can you go back to high school after being on the show?
Malaya Watson: That's a great question! I still don't know. It's going to be different -- very, very different -- hopefully not drastically, but I'm ready for whatever comes my way.
How did David Cook help you as a mentor? What was it like working with him this week?
Malaya Watson: He helped a lot with like what I needed to work on and stuff, just all the things that I was just lacking when it comes to performance. And it's good because he's one of the winners ofAmerican Idol.
Since the save was used last week on Sam, what was that like for you and the rest of the contestants this week? Were you all worried that you didn't have anything to fall back on now in case you got eliminated?
Malaya Watson: Yeah, it was really nerve-racking. You never know when it's time to go, so you just get nervous.
Check back with Reality TV World soon for more from Malaya's interview.