Sophie Zalokar: I felt "very disrespected" by 'Nashville Star' judge Jewel
By Christopher Rocchio, 07/15/2008
Sophie Zalokar admits rolling her eyes at Jewel was a rude thing to do, however she feels the Nashville Star sixth-season judge was also guilty of being disrespectful.
"I felt very disrespected," Zalokar told reporters during a Tuesday conference call.
"My reaction to her disrespecting us was to roll my eyes. At the time, I didn't realize I was doing it. It just kind of happened. I did apologize to her for it. But I also feel that maybe she should have apologized to us for disrespecting us in that way. You can't disrespect someone and then expect respect back."
The incident in question occurred during last Monday night's Nashville Star sixth-season broadcast.
After Zalokar and her duet partner Laura Fedor found out they were safe from elimination, host Billy Ray Cyrus revealed Pearl Heart -- a trio that consists of 20-year-old twins Amy and Angela Krechel and their 17-year-old sister Courtney -- had found themselves in the bottom two. Pearl Heart then performed Garth Brooks' "Ain't Goin' Down ('Til The Sun Comes Up)."
"This is no offense to Laura and Sophie, but I think you guys have out-worked them, you've out-practiced them," Jewel told Pearl Heart last Monday night. "You guys are tight, you've worked clearly on what you're doing and you really want this. It kills me that you're in the bottom two and not Laura and Sophie. I'm sorry."
At that comment, Nashville Star cameras clearly captured the 16-year-old Zalokar rolling her eyes at Jewel's comments before Pearl Heart was eliminated.
Following Zalokar and Fedor's rendition of Taylor Swift's "Picture to Burn" during last night's broadcast, Rich refused to comment on the performance because he said he was still too upset about Zalokar's disrespectful reaction to Jewel's comments the week before.
"It's hard for me to even comment on this performance because I'm so upset about last week," said Rich during last night's broadcast. "I think I'd like an explanation -- as would millions of people that saw what happened last week. First of all I'd like an explanation, why do you think it's okay to roll your eyes and disrespect Jewel on national television?"
"Perfectly honest, I didn't even know I was doing it," answered Zalokar. "Someone told me later and I was like, 'What?' They were like, 'Yeah.'"
"Maybe you had a seizure," commented Jewel.
"I really am, I'm really sorry about that," replied Sophie. "I didn't know."
Apparently trying to teach the lesson that the music business is unforgiving, Zalokar's apology went unaccepted by Jewel -- who instead laced into Zalokar and Fedor because their harmonies "have gotten worse consistently as the show's gone on."
"I haven't see you guys get better," she concluded.
Fedor told reporters during the Tuesday conference call that she and Zalokar would have gladly improved their performances had Jewel actually provided some constructive criticism.
"When we're performing, she doesn't critique our performances. Normally she just tells us, 'You need to go home' or 'I don't think you deserve to be here,'" Fedor told reporters. "Their job as judges -- they're supposed to tell us what to work on and what we did wrong. We can't fix anything if they're not telling us what we did wrong."
Despite being eliminated during last night's episode, Zalokar said she wouldn't change anything about the way her Nashville Star experience played out.
"I can honestly say -- and this is the speech I wanted to give the judges -- I can honestly say we wouldn't change anything," she told reporters on Tuesday.
"Everything we've done has gotten us to where we are now, and we're totally happy with where we are. We're happy with everything we've been through and everything we accomplished. We wouldn't change a thing."