'American Idol's Janelle Arthur: One thing surprised me most about my time on the show
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/24/2013
American Idol eliminated Janelle Arthur during Thursday night's live results show broadcast on Fox, determining the twelfth season's Top 4 finalists.
Janelle, a 23-year-old from Oliver Springs, TN, became the sixth finalist sent home from American Idol's twelfth season after she received the fewest home viewer votes following last Wednesday night's performance show, which featured the Top 5 female finalists each performing two songs -- one of which was a favorite from the year she was born and the other being a tribute to any female diva.
Janelle'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 Janelle's case, the vote was not.
During a Friday conference call with reporters, Janelle talked about her American Idol experience. Below is a portion of her call. To read what she had to tell Reality TV World, click here. For more from her interview, click here.
I was wondering, what was the best piece of advice that you received from the judges while you were on the show -- something you really took to heart?
Janelle Arthur: I think maybe just whenever Mariah said for me to not let anybody get me down. I think that that was -- it's always kind of how you have to be in this business and that's how I've been able to continue to even do American Idol.
How I was able to come back for three years is because I didn't let it get me down. It's just so true. You have to continue to not let people get you down and just do your thing.
What would you like to say to all the wonderful fans that kept voting for you this season?
Janelle Arthur: I just want to say that my fans, you all did not let me down one bit. You all got me here to the Top 5 when I didn't even think it was going to be possible for me to make it past group day.
So it's really been an incredible journey and I just really hope to continue to make great music, and I'm very excited about all the new ideas that I'm having coming up in my head and also with the new connections that I've made with the different writers in Nashville. So I can't wait to get some good music out there for all my fans.
You probably had some anticipations of what the show was going to be like before you got on it. Was there anything different with the production that kind of surprised you?
Janelle Arthur: I think the biggest thing that surprised me was how much you just go, go, and go once you make the Top 10. That was what surprised me the most. It was non-stop. You really have so many things to do every day. You don't even realize. Even after doing it three years, I just didn't know what to expect, but it was all absolutely -- still, even when I was exhausted, I was having the time of my life.
When Scotty McCreery was on, did you get a chance to talk to him? And if so, did he give you any advice?
Janelle Arthur: I actually did get to talk to him. I actually saw him just as I was leaving the building. He just actually told me, he said, "Wow, I remember you from Season 10." He said, "I'm hearing some good stuff about you in Nashville," and that made me feel really, really good. So that was good to hear.
When did you first start to realize, "My God, there's so many good female singers this year." Was there some point or someone who was saying it and you just sat back and realized how good the competition was this year?
Janelle Arthur: I think I realized it in Hollywood Week. I knew that it was -- because I did Season 10 and 11 and I was able to just see so early on that the female talent was just out the roof, just so unbelievable.
I think whenever I heard [Angela "Angie" Miller] -- because Angela was in my group in Hollywood -- and after I heard her perform her original song on the piano, that's probably when it really hit me. I just thought, "Wow, this is just the year for girls." I was so happy to be a part of it. I tell you that.
Dolly Parton sent you a message this time and you actually portrayed Dolly when you were a kid in Dollywood. During all that time, did you ever come across her? Did she ever contact you? Did you ever meet her before or anything?
Janelle Arthur: Yes, because she actually was really good friends with the man who produced the show and of course it was at Dollywood. When it first opened, she came around and I got to meet her and got my picture taken with her but that was pretty much it... It's just so full circle and crazy. I tell you, really.
I was just going to ask, they said last night that when you sang for the save that it was two for and two against. Do you have any idea who the two might've been that voted for you to stay?
Janelle Arthur: Keith told me it was him and Mariah, but you know, Randy came up to me afterwards and was like, "Janelle, I've been loving you from the beginning, from Season 10." So it's so confusing. You just don't know. It's weird. So I'm guessing it was Keith and Mariah who were pulling for me, but I know that Randy is too.
So it's just weird. I don't know. I don't even know what to think. And Mariah's just been like so sweet to me and just really complimentary. So I was really happy about that and I love her so much. She was so sweet.
Do you have any projects lined up or anything after the tour that you're planning on doing?
Janelle Arthur: I don't have anything lined up right now, but I have plans in my head of what I'm going to definitely go after. That's going to be writing a lot in Nashville and hopefully getting into the studio. Even as much as doing some acting and stuff, I'm up for anything like that. I just love to entertain.
If you could relive a moment in the competition, what would it be and why?
Janelle Arthur: I think it might be -- there are so many good moments. Maybe the night that I did "I Will" on Beatles night, because I got to close the show and it was one of those times that I think the people thought that I wouldn't be able to pull off maybe like a Beatles song and I ended up doing my own thing with it. It just really felt good. It was a good night.
What was it like living in a house full of girls for one week?
Janelle Arthur: Oh my word, what's crazy is we'd been staying actually in villas so we've had roommates. It's been nice. It's been really good because my roommate was [Amber Holcomb] and we just got along really well. I just love her.
So you'll be friends forever with Amber, you think?
Do you think country music has become more mainstream in this country now?
Janelle Arthur: Absolutely. The way country music's moving, the more pop-country definitely is becoming better known, most definitely.
A spoiler came across my desk today about the fact that you guys have been maybe doing some songwriting for originals on your own and I just wasn't sure if you could confirm or deny that or if you're going to be singing an original on tour?
Janelle Arthur: Actually, I don't think that I'm going to be singing an original. I haven't known anything about singing an original on tour at all. I think that maybe the rumor might've gotten started maybe because we'd been talking to a lot of songwriters, like we've been meeting with writers and that's mainly just to kind of get circulated for the future. I think that's really cool.
What are you most looking forward to on tour?
Janelle Arthur: I am most looking forward to meeting all the fans. That's going to be my favorite part and also just playing in the large stadiums. That's going to be awesome.
What are you going to miss the most about your time on Idol?
Janelle Arthur: I think just whenever you feel like you're really just doing exactly what you're supposed to do, there's no better feeling than that -- just feeling like you're in the right place and the right time. So I'll definitely miss feeling that rush. We got to work every day with some of the best, most talented people, and so I'll definitely miss those things.
Any final remarks, Janelle?
Janelle Arthur: I just want to say thank you so much to everyone who supported me while I was on the show. It's just been the most incredible journey. I just hope that my fans and the people who have looked up to me, I hope that I can walk away and they can know from my journey that if you don't give up that you can do it and it really can happen.
If you don't get bitter, don't let it really take you down, and you just keep going, and you really keep that fire about you, then I think that -- I hope that people can know that you can do it and it can happen. I just want to thank all my fans for believing in me and I just can't thank you all enough.
Above is a portion of Janelle's Friday conference call with reporters. To read what she had to tell Reality TV World, click here. For more from her interview, click here.