'American Idol' eliminee Malaya Watson: There was never a moment I doubted the judges' advice
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/16/2014
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 last week'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. To read what she had to say, click here. Below is the concluding portion of Malaya's interview. Click here for more.
You received a lot of praise from all of the judges and mentors this season about your vocal talent. Did that surprise you at all? And how does that make you feel, moving forward with your career?
Malaya Watson: I mean, it didn't really surprise me, and I think like everything they tell me, I'm just going to ride along with it and just work on it and stuff.
Did your braces affect the way you sang, and when are you getting them off?
Malaya Watson: (Laughs) I'm sorry. I don't know if they have because I started singing when I got my braces. Like, that's when I started taking it serious, when I had these braces on my teeth. So, I mean, maybe it did. Oh, God. I was supposed to get them off almost three years ago, and apparently that didn't work out. So, I've just got them still. I was supposed to get them off freshman year.
So when might you get them off now?
Malaya Watson: I might get them off when I get back home, so I don't know yet.
Are you going to try to work your tuba into the tour?
Malaya Watson: Yes, I'm thinking about doing that, too. Hopefully I can.
How would that work, any idea?
Malaya Watson: I can't let you know if I'm going to do it on tour.
One of the things that kind of intrigued me about your run on Idol is that you were really on an improvement-arc the last few weeks. It just seemed like there was a point when the judges' advice and everything just clicked for you. Could you talk about that a little bit? Was there like an "Ah-ha moment" for you?
Malaya Watson: I don't know. I just always listened to the comments and just focused on what I had to do and what I had to work on, honestly. There was never a moment where I doubted what they said.
If you could do anything differently, as far as song choices or arrangements go, if you could go back and change something, would you?
Malaya Watson: Yes, I'd probably play piano more -- probably one thing I would do.
If you could choose anybody, who would you love to sing with at some point?
Malaya Watson: Dead or alive, or does it matter?
Someone you could actually sing with, so alive, I guess.
Malaya Watson: Oh, okay. Probably, oh, Fantasia. Oh my gosh. If I could sing with Fantasia, that would be amazing.
What do you see your album looking like?
Malaya Watson: Probably, like, a lot of collabs with people. Much more of an R&B-type feel to it, like, throwback and up-to-date R&B, and blues, and soul.
Now, over the course of the season so far, did you ever feel like Harry was ever too harsh on either you or the other contestants? Or did you think he was pretty fair?
Malaya Watson: No, I think he was honest, honestly. That's the best part about it. He actually told you what you should work on, or what you need to do, and stuff like that. So, I think, to me, his advice was honestly the best, if you want my opinion.
What was your favorite performance you delivered over the course of the show and why?
Malaya Watson: Honestly, there is no favorite. They're all amazing, because all of them, I took the time out to just, like, put myself into the song and just do my thing. So, there's never really a performance that I like the most.
I'm from your hometown area, so I'm wondering how soon you'll be coming home, and do you have plans set? You said you're having a party, are there other things going on for you?
Malaya Watson: Yes, I'm having people come to my house because I miss everybody. So, yes, that's what I'm planning on doing. And just -- I do not know. I know I am coming home tomorrow.
So you don't know if your school or anybody else is doing anything special for you when you return home?
Malaya Watson: I have no clue.
I have a question about the finale. People were asking whom you'd want to sing with. Would you want to sing with Fantasia at the finale? Is there anybody that you really have on your wish list?
Malaya Watson: I mean, honestly, just her and like some old throwback singers like [Chaka Khan] and [Aretha Franklin] and all of them. So, yes.
I know that you like a lot of the throwback songs, but did you ever entertain the idea of trying something a little younger? Is there anything current that you like?