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'American Idol's Paul Jolley: I had a moment with God when I realized I was getting kicked off the show

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/27/2013 

American Idol axed Paul Jolley during Thursday night's live results show broadcast on Fox, determining the twelfth season's Top 8 finalists.
Paul, a 22-year-old from Palmersville, TN, became the second finalist sent home from American Idol's twelfth season after he received the fewest home viewer votes following last Wednesday night's performance show, which featured the Top 9 finalists performing songs by The Beatles.

Paul'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 Paul's case, the vote was not.

During a Friday conference call with reporters, Paul talked to Reality TV World about his American Idol experience. To read what he had to say, click here. Below are some additional highlights from the rest of Paul's interview. Click here for more.

I wanted to know when the tour starts and what you're going to do to prepare for the tour.  Will you guys have vocal coaches?  Will you personally seek out some classes, whether they be dance, acting, vocal coaching?

Paul Jolley:  To be honest, I don't know.  There are so many papers and stuff that tell us the dates and things of when we're going on tour and where we're going and everything.  I'd love to know myself so I can prepare and get my fans all built up in the different cities we're going to go.  But everybody just needs to know that I'm going to bring it on the tour and they better get ready for a good show.

You were telling us last night that you had some family and friends in town, but you hadn't had a chance to speak with them yet.  I'm just curious how you spent the rest of your night and how they comforted you.  What did they say to you?  What did they do to support you?  How did you hang out?

Paul Jolley:  Well, I had to go and pack and leave my hotel and then go to another hotel.  Then I had to get things ready and be up at 4AM -- well, I had to be up at 3AM this morning to get ready for interviews all day long.  My mom and dad took a taxi and visited me for about 30 minutes and spent some time with me and just shared their love.  That's what I need the most, is the love from them.

I was just wondering, when the judges were doing their critiques, did you favor one versus the other as far as how their feedback might help you?

Paul Jolley:  I would say Keith Urban gave me the best feedback that I could probably learn from and take and use in my career in what I want to do after Idol.  Yes, for sure, Keith Urban.

What was your favorite moment from the competition?

Paul Jolley:  My favorite moment was the fans.  I love them so much and I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for them.  I just want to give a big thanks and shout out to them.

I know that you had said you would prefer doing country and pop, but some of the judges didn't seem to think that your voice fit well in the country genre.  Did that hold you back as far as picking songs or anything?

Paul Jolley:  Not at all, because I know who I want to be and I'm not going to change that.  The story that I've been giving people is when Elvis first started coming out, everybody was taken by storm, like, "Whoa, what's this going on?"  Once they caught on, now he's the King of Rock n' Roll.  Everybody loves him. 

He's a king pretty much and I feel like once everyone catches on and sees where I want to go with this career and they hear the original material that I'm literally wanting to do, I feel like there will be a better understanding and people are going to love it.

I've read that you woke up yesterday and had a moment with God where you just knew you were going home.  Was that realization completely spiritual or was it coming from somewhere else?  Can you elaborate on that?

Paul Jolley:  I have a really close connection with God.  Every morning I say my morning prayer to start the day off.  It's a good start to the day because I'm so thankful for where I'm at and where I've come and where I am right now in life. 

I'd just come to the realization -- I don't know, it was just a moment I had, that this is the day that I'm going to be leaving the show and I'm okay with it because God, in His own way, I feel like spoke to me and said, "I have bigger and better plans for you.  This is just a stepping stone in life." 

I was just so ready for it.  Everybody throughout the day could see it in my eyes, the people I talked to about it, and they said that they felt that in me, that I was okay no matter what.

Did they think you were kind of crazy for thinking you're going home?

Paul Jolley:  No, because I feel like the world now, they want people to be down and honest about the feelings and how they are.  I think that's going to mean more than anything to the viewers and the followers and everyone who listens and watches the show or looks into these interviews that we're doing. 

They want me to be real.  They don't want me to be fake, so I'm going to tell you the truth about what I felt and what was going through my mind.

I know they wanted you to steer away from country and onto pop or dance instead.  Would you ever do something like that, like a dance record?

Paul Jolley:  I don't think you'd really want to see me dance, but we'll see.

What was it about Idol that appealed to you -- that made you decide to audition?

Paul Jolley:  I had auditioned for American Idol a few times before and I never made it past the cattle call.  I got to the point where I was like, "Well, maybe this TV show is just not for me," and I was okay with it.  Then this year, I opened up for an artist named Billy Dean -- an amazing guy by the way -- and so I was home the next week.

And one of the ladies that got me to do the show called me up and she said, "American Idol is coming here next week, but it's not released.  We want you to come and represent our town and come audition."  I said, "I'm off work that day, it works out, I'll be there." 

At that time, I didn't even know Keith Urban was going to be a judge and he's always been my idol ever since I was a little kid.  It's funny how things just always play out in the favor of if you want something to happen and you believe enough that things will happen.

I know you don't know a lot about the Idol tour yet, but is there something you're looking forward to?

Paul Jolley:  Of course.  I get to do more than one song to the audience and have fun with it.  There are no votes, there are no four judges just staring me down.  I cannot wait until I just have my moment with the fans.

How did you feel coming into the competition with a country background?  Did you feel you were at a disadvantage or more comfortable since Keith was there?

Paul Jolley:  Not at all, it's not really a comfort thing.  It's just being myself.  Everywhere I go I just have to be myself, no matter if it's 500 people in a room or just four judges in the room.  I didn't feel like it was a disadvantage at all.  It's clear now because you can see all the different genres that we have in the competition still.

Jimmy Iovine said the judges were coddling the singers too much.  How did you feel since they were a little harder on you?

Paul Jolley:  It bothered me, but I was okay with it because I want some critiquing.  I want to grow ultimately.

Is it true you were a demo singer in Nashville for awhile?

Paul Jolley:  No, I wasn't doing demo work in Nashville.  I was just working on my songwriting and getting my book ready.

So you have a lot of originals ready to go?

Paul Jolley:  Yes, I do.  I'm ready.

I think you're also ready for modeling.

Paul Jolley:  Thank you.  That's what the photographers told me too!

Any final words, Paul?

Paul Jolley:  All right.  I just want to say thank you so much for all the people that are interviewing me, first off.  It means a lot that you're interested enough in me to even care. 

Thank you so much to all the fans and the Troopers out there that have supported me, and please continue to follow me because this is not the end and I have a lot of other things up my sleeve that I want to show and give and share to you all.  Thank you so much.

To read what Paul had to say to Reality TV World during his Friday conference call with reporters, click here. Above are some additional highlights from the rest of Paul's interview. Click here for more.

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