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'American Idol' eliminee Joey Cook: I just knew I was going home, Rayvon Owen is eating up the competition


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/17/2015 

American Idol eliminated Joey Cook and determined its Top 6 artists during the sixth live show of its fourteenth season Wednesday night on Fox.

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Joey, a 23-year-old server from Woodbridge, VA, was in the bottom two with Rayvon Owen, a 23-year-old singer and vocal coach from Richmond, VA, based on the nationwide vote following last 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 Thursday conference call with reporters, Joey talked about her American Idol experience. Below is the first half. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.

Reality TV World: Were you fairly confident America would vote to save you since Rayvon was sitting in the bottom two for the third time?  I mean, it at least surprised viewers that Rayvon got saved again. 

Joey Cook:  No, I knew.  I don't know how, I just knew.  I had a gut feeling that morning that I was going to be in the bottom and the day before, actually, as well.  It wasn't that I felt I did bad last week, it was just a feeling.  It was just I had a gut feeling and as soon as we got up for the saves and all that kind of stuff. 

I love everybody in this competition, and I want everybody to do well, and I know what I'm doing after this.  I want everyone else to go further in the competition, and I am happy with the result.  I think it was perfect.  I think Rayvon deserves it. 

I think Rayvon is eating this competition up right now.  He is proving every single week that he's not ready to go and everybody's kind of opening their ears to it.  So, no, I felt it while it was happening; I felt that it was happening, so I don't think that I was really surprised... Everything happens for a reason. It's all good. 
What were you planning on singing next week, your two songs, "Arena Anthem" choices?

Joey Cook:  I was going to do "Story of My Life" by One Direction, all acoustic with just a guitar switched up Joey-style, and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen.

Scott Bradlee from Postmodern Jukebox tweeted you last night, I guess, and you did do one of his arrangements in the show and also there are other Idols like Haley Reinhart and Casey Abrams who worked with that group.  Do you have any plans to maybe join them on their tour this summer or anytime in the near future?

Joey Cook:  Yes.  I mean, I can't say yes or no to any of that.  I would love the opportunity to do that.  I absolutely love Postmodern Jukebox.  I didn't even know, actually, that Haley and Casey Abrams were on tour with him.  When I did that version of "Fancy," I had no idea.  He's been a huge idol of mine for a really long time.  So, yes, that opportunity would be amazing by far.

Do you think there's an opportunity that maybe, possibly, you might open a show or two on the tour?

Joey Cook:  Everybody keeps asking me that.  I have no idea if that's even a possibility.  If it is, why not.  Let's do it.  I'm open to anything. 

Do you have immediate plans?  Do you know what you're going to do right now, what's next?

Joey Cook:  Immediately, I am, tonight I'm flying back to Virginia.  I get to see my family for a little bit, which is going to be great.  And then I go to New York for some more press things and then back here for the finale.  I've got a bunch of little things lined up, but I am getting back home to New Orleans as soon as possible.

Early on in the competition, Scott Borchetta had said that "They're not just looking for the next anybody, they're looking for the next somebody, a real authentic artist," and he talked about you and [Qaasim Middleton] -- who are both no longer in the competition.  How do you think this show has helped develop your voice vocally and mold you into an artist?

Joey Cook:  This show has done more than I could ever, ever ask for in my entire life for me.  They exposed me to millions of people.  I went from playing on a sidewalk before this.  It really is just completely surreal, and I've never had vocal lessons before. 

I've never had somebody tell me what arm movements I'm doing while I sing.  I've never had any of these things before and getting access to all this information and being able to work with my vocal coach, and being able to learn things. 

I've learned more about music in the past two months than I have throughout my entire life thanks to this competition and thanks to the best of the best that we're surrounded by.  They really just opened up a can of worms with this for me.  The sky is the limit at this point.  I could not be more grateful for everything. 

And you mentioned last night your introduction to music through some of the stuff that your mom listened to growing up, but we still haven't heard the story as to how you got into the accordion.  Can you share that with us? 

Joey Cook:  Oh, it's a two-part story.  There was a girl who showed up at my house in Richmond, Virginia one night.  We were having a housewarming party.  We had just moved into a new apartment and she showed up.  She was a really little girl, maybe like five foot, 90 pounds.  Just itty bitty adorable little thing. 

And she had this giant backpack on, and she pulls an accordion out.  She doesn't really talk to anybody throughout the whole party.  Pulls this accordion out and sits in the corner and starts playing these really sad waltzes on it and starts, like, singing commentary about everybody at the party -- like complimenting people's dresses. 

She's like "Your dress looks lovely on you, Ma'am."  Just really sweet things and I was like that's a really beautiful instrument.  Then a few months pass and I had a dream one night and I could play the accordion and I was like, "I haven't been able to stop thinking about this instrument since I saw it, and I'm having dreams about it.  I need to go find one."

I found one at a music [store] in Richmond on the north side.  I asked them if they had an accordion and went in the basement, picked it up and just started playing it.  My friend came down, and he was like, that's really cool, I didn't know you could play the accordion. 

I said, "This is actually the first time I've ever physically touched one in my life."  It just, it went from there.  I started playing piano when I was young, so all of it transferred over pretty well, but it was all very natural for me to start off with.  It was kind of like a calling kind of thing.  It was good. 

Did you say you're coming home tonight? How long are you staying in your hometown and have you made any plans?

Joey Cook:  I am.  I'm getting in at 1:00 in the morning or some crazy thing like that. I have to go to New York on Sunday morning, I believe.  But my plan is to sit and eat popcorn with my mom.  That's the plan.

Over your journey, when you look back at this, what can you pick out as your favorite performance?

Joey Cook:  Let's see.  My favorite performance that I gave? Would have to be "Fancy," just because of the experience of hearing that song in my head and hearing, obviously, it started with the Postmodern Jukebox version, but it kind of grew into something more than that towards the end there. 

I couldn't just do that version of the song, I needed to still tweak it and mess with it.  And being able to communicate with the band of I want a big drum hit here, and I want it to get really, really quiet right here and then just get really loud. 

You know, explain to them what I was hearing in my head and then having them be able to play that sound back to me, was just a mind-blowing experience.  So, favorite performance of mine. 

Favorite performance, generally, would have to be [Quentin Alexander]'s "I Put a Spell on You" or [Tyanna Jones]' performance from last night because she killed last night with her Tina Turner song. That was so cool, oh my gosh.  I was dancing my little butt off to that.

Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of Joey Cook's American Idol interview.


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