Exclusive: Vino Alan talks about 'The X Factor' (Part 1)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/03/2012
Vino Alan was ousted from The X Factor after the show's co-hosts Khloe Kardashian and Mario Lopez revealed he was at the bottom of the leaderboard based on home viewer votes cast immediately following Wednesday night's Top 8 performance show.
Vino, a 40-year-old from Laquey, MO, was sent home by judges Demi Lovato, Britney Spears, Simon Cowell, and L.A. Reid via a 3-1 vote instead of fellow contestant Diamond White, a 13-year-old from Los Angeles, CA, after both artists were revealed to be the lowest vote-getters following Paige Thomas' automatic elimination. Vino was a member of L.A.'s "Over 25s" category, while White is one of the artists who represents Britney's "Teens" category.
In an exclusive interview on Monday, Vino talked to Reality TV World about his The X Factor experience.
Below is the first half of Vino's interview. Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: Based upon your final words, it sounded like you were surprised to be eliminated -- not so much because of your performance Wednesday night but rather because you had done so great in the competition leading up to last week. So it seemed like you were surprised, is that accurate to say? Could you talk about what was going through your mind a little bit?
Vino Alan: Well, I mean, yeah, I was surprised. I think anybody who gets eliminated is going to feel a similar shock at that point because everybody's so good. But yeah, it was just -- I was in the Top 3 during the show and America felt it.
And then it's kind of hard to take how the one song choice would make all the votes not come in. Simon didn't even let it go to the votes. He just sent me home, so, I was shocked. That's for sure.
Reality TV World: Based upon your performance Wednesday night, where had you expected to fall in the rankings chart? Did you think you'd stay at No. 3 or did you think you'd go up or down a little bit?
Vino Alan: Well, it's funny. I told [Tate Stevens] that morning it was a true test to see -- because it wasn't just L.A. that was saying to do that song. It was other heads in music who were saying it was the most played song ever and it'd push me to number one.
So there was part of me that went, "We'll see if they were right and I end up at No. 1," or, "Were they wrong and I actually go down to four, maybe five and then it's expected that I sing?"
Because remember, six is where you're expected to do a sing-off. But anyways, three wasn't really close to the top as much as to the middle anymore. So yeah, I mean, it was definitely kind of in the back of my mind there. But did I think I would go home? Nah. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Did the fact you had achieved the No. 3 spot for awhile make you feel a little better once you got eliminated?
Vino Alan: Did it help out? Yeah, especially for what I call a temperature gauge -- to see how America and the world feels about you. But in that case, it was just how America votes. But to get this kind of exposure and so much love from all over the world really, it just immediately -- within an hour after being eliminated stuff just started coming in from people being supportive. So it's just a solid, great thing. It was so cool.
Reality TV World: You said in your final words that America didn't even get to hear what you have. Could you talk about what you meant by that? What exactly did you plan to show America that they didn't get to see yet thus far in the competition?
Vino Alan: Instrumentation, first off. I'm a musician, and to be able to accompany myself and just show a little more of my talents and stuff like that. I've always been a writer. And just more range, more vocal range. That's why I wanted to stick around. Whether you win or not, it gives you longer -- more songs to sing the longer you're around.
Reality TV World: Did you already envision what you would have done this week if you had been able to stay on the show? Would you mind sharing your song choice?
Vino Alan: Like my dream song that I kept pushing? Like that? (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Yes, sure. (Laughs)
Vino Alan: Well even the song that got changed, "If You Don't Know Me By Now," was an original one that got changed to the Righteous Brothers. I was playing piano on it, you know what I mean? So I was kind of getting to where I was being able to show a little bit. But I kind of had this dream setup where it would be me doing like Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight."
I'd start out on electric drums, and then I'd go to the keyboard, and then I'd go acoustic and electric guitar, and then end the song with drums at the end when it comes in. So I was kind of thinking if I could get it done correctly, it'd be pretty hip. (Laughs)
[I'd do] something like that just to show "the x factor." Everything was so focused on the "pop factor" or whatever that controversy was. But it is what it is. America knows. The world knows. I'm definitely going to put out an album real soon and I'm going to tour all over, everywhere.
Reality TV World: You seemed to handle the news of your elimination pretty well. Were you almost a little relieved to leave the competition?
Vino Alan: Wow, now she's digging in deep. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Digging in a little bit! (Laughs)
Vino Alan: I mean, as an artist, anybody -- I've even told TMZ about this -- It's depressing in some ways, especially the schedule. We'll do 15 hours and very little will be music, you know what I mean? There's a lot of other stuff that goes into reality TV like the interviews and stuff.
So the inspiration side, I instantly acted on it. I started whistling and thinking about making music. But you want to stay in it once you get that far, so it wasn't like, "Oh thanks. I'm out of here" by no means.
Reality TV World: It was pretty obvious L.A. was going to vote to keep you around and Britney was going to vote to save Diamond. But do you have any insight as to why the impartial judges, Simon and Demi, voted to send you home? Did they say anything to you after the show to at least explain or justify their decision?
Vino Alan: I'm not sure about Demi, because I thought she was coming around -- or came around -- and she talked to me privately before about how she felt and how talented I was. But Simon, yeah, that kind of shocked me. It definitely shocked me that he just went straight into sending me home.
After that, he said that my career is just starting and he believed in me. He said I was the most powerful singer in the competition before and all that, and you can't get a bigger compliment than that.
Reality TV World: Did L.A. say anything to you after your elimination when he joined you onstage? He seemed pretty bummed out about you going home.
Vino Alan: Yeah, he was very emotional about it. He even said I was part of the family, and I can't speak about records or anything like that right now obviously until the show's over. But he's always going to be a part of my life and definitely a part of my musical life for sure.
Reality TV World: Going back to Demi for a minute, she had been pretty hard on you all season until very recent weeks when, like you just mentioned, she really came around. She kept implying your performances weren't very entertaining and that she couldn't picture you as a pop star in the current market and things like that. Did any of her comments ever offend or bother you? Do you feel like maybe she just wasn't giving you a chance at the time?
Vino Alan: I mean, I'm going to be absolutely honest, I'm not going to sugarcoat it because I'm just an honest person (laughs), so what she's done has been like -- I was a bully's bully, like if I saw somebody get picked on or being talked to wrong, I'd be the one that stood up in school and even through life.
And so, the way she is a couple times presented her critiques are the closest thing to being bullied, I felt, you know what I mean -- especially on a national or worldwide stage -- because the word "boring" and she said "not entertained," I mean it's two minutes. That's pretty bad if I don't entertain somebody.
So, she was just kind of dismissive. So yeah, it definitely stings when somebody does that. But I didn't hold any grudges and I'm definitely still a fan of her music. It is what it is, but to answer you, it's strange definitely. I don't know what it is though about her.
Reality TV World: So did it actually mean a lot to you when you won her over or were you kind of indifferent to her opinion once she came around? Because obviously it must've been a little strange being critiqued by a young girl and kind of inexperienced mentor who is such a different type of performer than you are, you know what I mean? I didn't know what your thoughts were on that.
Vino Alan: Right, nah I wasn't like indifferent or blew her off by any means. It was pretty cool, definitely, to get a standing ovation. It's the only time it happened on the show -- the judges standing up. But she's entitled to her opinion on the show. I also think some of it might be they're trying to win. They're a little competitive in between the judges.
So I definitely didn't hold it against her by any means, and there's girls that are her age -- I mean, I'm getting hit up like crazy on social media by females that are her age that do feel my music, you know what I mean? So it's not like she's representing all females in her age group.
Above is the first half of Vino's interview. Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion.