Thia Megia: 'American Idol' girls "a bit worried" about female viewers
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/04/2011
Thia Megia's American Idol journey ended when she and fellow female finalist Naima Adedapo were eliminated during Thursday night's live tenth-season results show which revealed the competition's Top 9 finalists.
Thia and Naima became the third and fourth finalists sent home from American Idol's tenth season after they received the fewest home viewer votes following Wednesday night's performance show -- continuing a streak in which four of the season's seven female finalists have been eliminated while all six male finalists still remain.
During a brief conference call with reporters on Friday, Reality TV World asked Thia about the increasingly obvious gender-based split that is occurring in Idol's finals (four of last season's first five eliminated finalists were also girls) and whether she and her fellow female finalists had ever discussed the situation.
Reality TV World: Last season, four of the season's six girls were cut in the first five eliminations. This season's been even worse with all four of the first four being girls. Was that something you or the other girls had been concerned about or had ever discussed amongst yourselves when the finals began? Was there ever a feeling that you girls were facing a tougher time than the guys right from the beginning?
Thia Megia: Well we sort of figured that since there are more females watching the show, the votes were going to be more for the guys, you know?
It's not only that, because the guys are all so incredible, but we were a bit worried about that with all the girls watching the show and just knowing that their votes are going to be going to the guys.
Also in the call, Thia told reporters about when she began performing, whether she was surprised she got eliminated when her time came, how she balanced school with the competition and her newfound career, what her favorite part of the competition was along with her biggest regret, and who the aspiring artist would love to collaborate with in the future.
When did you start performing and what are a couple examples of you performing at a young age? Didn't you open for an artist at a concert?
Thia Megia: I think I was five. It was my very first performance in front of anyone, and it was during a birthday party and I got up on this old coffee table in my little pink gown and I started singing for my family and that's when I realized how much I wanted to perform and do all this.
That's when I realized my passion for singing, and yeah, [Filipino singer] Rey Valera was the first concert that I've ever been to, and it was also one of my very first performances.
How long was your opening act?
Thia Megia: It was just like two Britney Spears songs.
Were you surprised that you got eliminated?
Thia Megia: Actually, I really didn't know what to expect. I don't know. There are a lot of great singers in this competition and so I guess I was feeling a mixture of emotions before getting up onstage because I wanted this so bad, but I think because everyone else is so incredible, you just kind of prepare yourself for whatever happens.
I didn't really know what to feel at all, to be honest. But I'm happy for [Paul McDonald] because I know that we're all going to be going on tour and from all these photo shoots that we've gone on from the show, it's been incredible. Knowing that part of those millions of people that voted for you, it's such wicked flattery, you know?
As one of the younger contestants, you had to handle school on top of the competition. How did that affect everything for you and how much did that pull you away from what everyone else was doing?
Thia Megia: We usually do about four hours of school everyday. I thought that we really didn't get enough rehearsal time, but I guess that it was sort of an advantage for us because being minors, it was like an escape for all of us -- escape from all the stress -- and just being in that one little room and just focusing on school work.
So, there were some disadvantages and some advantages to that, but I guess it was cool to actually have that time to bond with the other minors, especially me and Lauren Alaina. It wasn't too bad, but other than that, we didn't get enough rehearsal time.
What was your favorite part of the competition?
Thia Megia: I enjoyed every bit of the competition. I guess that was what made it really hard to say goodbye [Thursday night], because you think about every single thing that you've experienced on the show and you kind of think about it and you say to yourself, 'I'm going to miss that so much.'
But it's really not the end of the competition, you know? We're all going to see each other in a couple weeks anyway and there's a tour, which is just so exciting.
But I guess I'm going to miss the vocal coaches and all that they've taught us and I know I've grown so much throughout the whole experience as an artist, as a singer and as a person. I guess every single part of the whole experience is going to be what I miss.
How many times have you sung "The National Anthem" in a big sports setting and are there any times when you do get nervous?
Thia Megia: I lost count of how many performances I've done so far, but it's funny because I get nervous every time for every single performance before getting up on that stage. Once I'm up there, I'm usually taken in by the music in the moment and I just feel the energy of the audience.
I basically just go from extremely nervous to show mode. I let it all go and my heart starts going with the music and I'm just releasing it all. I'm not even nervous when I'm on the stage when the music starts playing, but yeah.
Are there any artists out there that you would eventually really want to work with over anyone else?
Thia Megia: Well, one of my most favorite musical inspirations would have to be [female pop singer] Adele and [singer and songwriter] Jason Mraz because their lyrics are just so beautiful and complex, and I really admire them for that. I also love listening to older music like Billy Holiday and a bunch of old artists, but right now, I guess Adele and Jason Mraz would have to be my favorite.
Do you wish you sang more upbeat songs because you sang a lot of ballads, especially since Idol judge Randy Jackson said you kept singing "safe" songs?
Thia Megia: I guess. In the previous weeks that I've done ballads, I do regret not choosing more upbeat songs. The last performance that I did, I don't regret at all, because I dedicated that song to my brother and I poured all the emotion that I had inside of me into that song. I don't regret one bit of it, so I'm happy that the last song that I got to do on the show was dedicated to my big brother and yeah.
But for the previous weeks, I would have done more upbeat songs because I just don't want to come off as only singing ballads, which I probably did. But, no. I just hope that America knows I can do so much more because in the previous auditions that I've done before the live shows. I did more upbeat songs -- more on the contemporary side, but yeah.
Was this really tough for you?
Thia Megia: I guess it was just a natural reaction, you know? I felt a bit devastated last night, but I didn't cry for more than 15 minutes because I told myself, 'Things happen for a reason and this is not the end of it, and from all the exposure that I've gotten on the show, this is definitely not the end of the road.'
I feel like this is my chance to actually show America that I'm not just -- I don't just sing ballads -- I can do so much more because I love to sing any kind of song from any type of genre, but I feel like if I can work on more music especially during the tour, we'll be able to sing songs that we haven't been able to on the show.
Through the weeks, I felt like the songs that I wanted to do didn't fit in, but I'm excited for the tour.
Is there one song that you wish you could have sung that you wouldn't have been able to sing on the show?
Thia Megia: Well, for Idol week, I couldn't decide between Michael Jackson or Adele, but the reason why I chose "Smile" was because it's a beautiful song and it's from my idol Michael Jackson. But I also wanted to sing "Chasing Pavements" from Adele, and I know I already sung it during my audition, but I didn't actually get to sing a 90-second version. So, I would have loved to actually have been able to sing it on the show.
Are you excited about your future?
Thia Megia: I am very excited. I mean, I know in my heart that this is not the end of my career and there's going to be so much more that you're going to see of me and hear of me.