'American Idol' eliminee Joey Cook: The competition has proven to me that I am good enough
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/22/2015
American Idol eliminated Joey Cook and determined its Top 6 artists during the sixth live show of its fourteenth season on Fox.
Joey, a 23-year-old server from Woodbridge, VA, was in last week's bottom two with Rayvon Owen, a 23-year-old singer and vocal coach from Richmond, VA, based on the nationwide vote following the prior week's performance show.
Joey and Rayvon each sang two "American Classic" songs. Joey performed "My Funny Valentine" and "Somebody to Love." Once both singers took the stage, America tweeted in real time to save one of them via the show's new "Idol Fan Save." Host Ryan Seacrest revealed the vote was so close that Rayvon received only 52% of the votes to stay in the competition.
During a recent conference call with reporters, Joey talked about her American Idol experience. Below is the concluding portion. Click here to read more.
You got to meet a lot of people -- not just the other contestants but also some great mentors. Is there anyone in particular whose advice you really took to heart?
Joey Cook: I think everybody kind of realized that I'm super in love with Boy George. We made it very obvious on the show. Obviously, meeting him was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. He has been supporting me ever since. He tweeted at me last night, and he's just a really, really amazing person and had some amazing advice for me.
I think, generally, my vocal coach -- her name's Kenya Hathaway -- she pulled some sounds out of me that I did not know that I was capable of, and she really pushed me as a vocalist to be more confident in myself and to recognize that I am a singer.
I'm not just a musician. I'm a vocalist; I'm a good singer. She really, really gave me some outstanding advice and, yes, she's a goddess among women. Everything she said to me, I will remember for forever. [It was] the most life-changing [experience].
Congratulations on your engagement. That's pretty life-changing as well.
Joey Cook: Thank you. It's been a crazy couple months.
How did your fiance Evan propose?
Joey Cook: Evan proposed, well, he called my family and made sure my mom was going to be there for the show and my best friend, my childhood best friend was also there. We went to the hotel we were staying at.
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There's a place called Cindy's Garden, which is like a little garden with a bench and everything. It's really beautiful. I only had 10 minutes of time because we were running around doing photo shoots and stuff, but he stole me away for 10 minutes and did the one-knee thing.
He actually started with all this really heartfelt stuff, like we've been through so much together, and it's been five long years. I was like, "Are you about to break up with me right now? Because you should wait until the show is done." (Laughs)
He was like, "No, actually it's the opposite, so don't freak out." But, it was really sweet and it was really heartfelt. He is the love of my life. I adore him and always will.
What does the elimination mean for your wedding plans? Will you two start planning the wedding now that you have more free time?
Joey Cook: Yes. Most definitely. I definitely wanted to do the wedding before December. December is going to be our six years together, so we wanted a summer wedding. I think we're going to try and knock it out this summer and do the bash.
You talked a little bit about your immediate plans of going home and then going back for the finale, but what are some of your future plans?
Joey Cook: Well, I would like to record my album big-girl style. That's my plan, as I have an album I recorded, it's called Hey I Love You, Songs and Stuff on the Ukulele by Joey Cook. I recorded the entire thing on my iPhone using voice memo in my basement in one take. So, it's not really quality.
I'm very proud of it. It's my heart and soul in an album, but I would like to take that album, and I would like to get a band. I want a band. I want a full band. I want a horn section.
I want all of it, and I want to do it in a big studio. I want to do it big-girl style with the headphones and the pop filter and everything. I want to do it right. I have it all together. I've always just needed the resources to do it professionally and I think I've gotten to that point, which is so exciting.
Is there anyone whom you would've loved to work with as a mentor on the show?
Joey Cook: Oh, gosh. There are so many people. I kept telling them Prince, but that's like completely unreasonable I think. I want to work with Prince.
David Bowie, I want to work with David Bowie. There are so many people, Erykah Badu. I would love to be able to talk to her and get some advice from her. Really, there's so many people out there that I would love to work with and hopefully do [work with] one day in the future.
What have you learned about yourself throughout your journey on the show?
Joey Cook: I have learned that I'm capable. Yes, I think before this competition, I knew what I was doing and I was confident, but I wasn't confident in individual things. I was confident as a musician. I wasn't necessarily confident as a vocalist, and this show has shown me that, along with playing instruments and writing music and everything like that, I'm a singer.
That's what I do. That's what I've always done. It took me a long time to realize it, but it's really just given me confidence. It's proven to me that I am good enough, that I'm capable, and that I'm deserving of whatever it is to come.
I'm always excited about your style. I never know what you're going to come up with. Can you share with me your personal style, like did you always have this style, did this evolve? Can you give us a little bit of input about that?
Joey Cook: I mean, having access to the stylists was just amazing. They ended up being some of my closest friends. Me and [Quentin Alexander] just hung out in the stylists' room. That's pretty much what we do at CBS Studios.
But having access to that -- and they were just so excited about having me and Quentin on the show this year because they could put me in these crazy dresses and dress me up like a space cadet and I was 100% open to it and ready. It was so exciting. But just the way I dress normally is really, I just look for things that I love.
I think the way my mom explains it -- she's been explaining this since I was in high school -- is that with everybody else, when they get dressed in the morning, they look in their closet and they find one of their favorite articles of clothing, and then they build around it.
Me, when I look in my closet in the morning, I find every single one of my favorite articles of clothing and wear all of them at one time. That is the goal.
Now that you have all this experience and all these mentors, and things you learned, do you have a different perception of yourself as a performer?
Joey Cook: One hundred percent, yes. I've obviously remained myself throughout this, can't really be anybody else. I'm kind of stuck being myself. But, no, I definitely have a different vision of myself as a performer and what I'm capable of.
I mean, prior to this, I was completely happy playing my ukulele to a small room of 10 people, singing my songs to them, which still is a beautiful thing. That is a very personal connection that you have in a space that big with a little amount of people, really connecting to people.
But it made me realize that that's not it. That's not all I can do. I can Quentin-out and have pyro and all of these crazy things for a performance, and it enhances the performance. I always kind of thought of it as a little bit corny. I think prior to this, I didn't really understand.
Now that I've been soaked in the world that is American Idol, I see myself so much differently as a performer, visually, with what I can do with the show and what a backdrop means for a performance and just all of the little things like that. I think it made everything larger than life for me. It's pretty exciting.