Marcus Canty: L.A. Reid was the perfect 'X Factor' mentor, no regrets
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/16/2011
Marcus Canty was eliminated from The X Factor, determining the new Fox reality competition's Top 3 finalist acts during the show's seventh live results show Thursday night.
Marcus was automatically ousted from the competition after The X Factor host Steve Jones revealed he was the act that had received the lowest amount of home viewer votes cast immediately following Wednesday night's Top 4 semifinalist performance show. Unlike in weeks prior, The X Factor judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger, and L.A. Reid did not have any say in who was going to be sent home, as the results were strictly based on America's vote.
During a Friday conference call, Marcus, a 20-year-old from Bowie, MD, talked to reporters about his The X Factor experience -- including how he kept moving forward despite his numerous bottom-two finishes, why he was able to maintain his confidence through the tough times during the competition and whether he believed L.A. Reid was a good mentor.
How did you prepare for the show after last week's live results show when Rachel Crow got eliminated and there was a very strong reaction from home viewers because of it?
Marcus Canty: Well, obviously seeing Rachel in the bottom with me, it frightened me, because I treated Rachel very special as a brother would a little sister. That's how I treated Rachel, so I definitely didn't want to be there with her.
Going forward into the next week, you know, I had to erase that because obviously it's still a competition. The unfortunate part is there's only going to be one winner. If everyone was going to win, then I guess that takes away from the competition part of it.
I prepared -- what pushed me was that I took myself out of the mindset of feeling down about myself and I had to keep fighting. I was fighting each week and I had to keep continue fighting. I had people supporting me out there. I didn't have the lowest votes [last week] so that meant I had some people out there that supported me, so that's what it was all about.
Your mom gave you a short window to pursue your music career and time was up just around the time you were auditioning forThe X Factor. Since you were on the show and were quite successful, has your mom given you an extension?
Marcus Canty: (Laughs) Yeah, my mom's definitely going to give me that extension that I need. I think The X Factor was the platform that gave her what she was looking for. She gave me two years because before the competition, I may have gotten a little lazy about my career. Everything that happened before, my mom did for me, so I never had to work for much.
But this competition matured me and turned me into the workman that I need to be, especially because I landed in the bottom so many times. I had to keep fighting and doing that and seeing how many people loved me and supported me, it made me more motivated and it made me work even harder each and every week -- even after the competition. I won't give up on my dream.
Have the recent results, especially because of your frequent bottom-two finishes, affected your confidence even though you made it to the Final 4?
Marcus Canty: Oh, no sir. No sir. When I came into this competition, obviously I grew each and every week. I needed to grow each and every week. Even looking back on my whole experience, I felt the growth. I saw the growth.
So, as far as not making it to the finale, honestly, the grand prize was a $5 million contract and that's where my eye was. I was dedicated to getting there, you know? And not making it definitely didn't touch my confidence at all.
I'm going to go onstage, I'm going to continue to perform, I'm going to continue to inspire people, and I'm going to continue to be myself. I think what people like about me is that I can be myself. I don't have to pretend and act like something that I'm not. So, it definitely didn't touch my confidence. (Laughs)
When you discussed everything with L.A. Reid after your bottom-two finishes, could you guys pinpoint any issues that might have led to those results and ultimately your elimination?
Marcus Canty: No. I walked into the competition and I wasn't going to feel any regret. Anything that L.A. did or came up with for each live show, you know, I wanted to show versatility. I wanted to show that I can be universal. I can sing different kinds of music, and at the same time, I can turn around and sing a Janis Joplin song.
I can take a Boy George song and make it my own. It's about being versatile and being different. So anything that me or L.A. did, it had nothing to do with that. America's out there voting and the fortunate part is, is that I feel like America chose who they wanted in the end and I'm definitely happy with any decision that was made. Me and L.A. are cool!
Do you have any idea why you didn't connect with the public as much as you would have liked to when you normally sang very modern songs and such?
Marcus Canty: Well, I think honestly in my opinion, I think people -- this is a TV show and this is a contestant TV show competition. I think, honestly, that people have their favorites in the competition. Ever since the first audition, they have their favorites and they know exactly who they want to choose.
I think their favorites may never change, but they may have a certain opinion about someone else. So, I think that people picked who they wanted to be in the final and who they wanted to see -- who they wanted to see more.
It wasn't necessarily that they didn't want to see me more, but it's just it's all about who their favorite was. I think everybody that's left in this competition is extremely, extremely talented and everyone deserves to be there. Out of everyone that's left, they deserve it.
Do you think had you worked with any other mentor on the show, your fate might have been different?
Marcus Canty: (Laughs) Nah, nah, nah, nah. L.A. is a great guy. We came together and got great songs. I had great fun with L.A. I wouldn't change a thing. If I had a five million -- honestly, I think L.A. was the perfect mentor -- perfect mentor for me. He's shaped so many other careers that I look after, you know, the Pinks, the Justin Biebers, the Ushers -- all of those artists. So, it was just fate. It felt like fate to me.