'American Idol' eliminee MacKenzie Bourg: I was 98% sure my time was up, but I was still bummed out
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/01/2016
American Idol eliminated MacKenzie Bourg and determined its farewell season's Top 3 finalists during Thursday night's broadcast on Fox.
After receiving the lowest amount of home viewer votes following last week's performance show, America sent MacKenzie, a 23-year-old musician from Lafayette, LA, home following a beautiful tribute to his hometown. MacKenzie was ousted from the competition although he had never landed in the bottom two or three before.
The announcement revealed Trent Harmon, a 25-year-old waiter from Amory, MS; La'Porsha Renae, a 22-year-old call representative from McComb, MS; and Dalton Rappatoni, a 19-year-old vocal coach from Dallas TX, had been voted by America into Season 15's Top 3.
On Friday, MacKenzie talked to Reality TV World about his American Idol experience. Below is what he had to say.
Reality TV World: Was it a surprise to you at all that you were eliminated considering you've never landed in the bottom two or three before? Dalton seemed particularly shocked when he was declared safe, so I don't know if he was telling you guys he thought he was going home last night?
MacKenzie Bourg: No, I pretty much -- I was about 98% sure that I was going to go home this week. After the classic rock week, the judges, the only person that really got any kind of mixed reviews was me, and the judges' comments sway the votes a little bit.
So, I figured and kind of knew right after the show. I was pretty bummed then. So then I kind of had a week to get over it and accept it and move past everything to kind of start real life and my real career.
Reality TV World: Tell me about the other two songs you were prepared to sing last night. How did you feel about them, like did you connect with the lyrics and feel confident you'd deliver great performances? And also, were you really disappointed you didn't get to sing them?
MacKenzie Bourg: Scott's pick was "Rhiannon" by Fleetwood Mac, and that's the one I was really bummed -- really bummed -- to not be able to do. I had a pretty cool kind of arrangement for it, and it really sat well on my voice.
The judges' pick was "Take Your Time" by Sam Hunt, and (laughs) I wasn't exactly into that song too much, but I had done a version of it and it really came out alright. So, I mean, I wasn't overly bummed about that one, but I would've loved to get the feedback on "Rhiannon."
Reality TV World: Did you ever find the judges' criticism confusing? Because I remember Jennifer Lopez told you she wanted you to stretch yourself and challenge yourself vocally, but then after you achieved those results in "Titanium," Harry Connick Jr. sort of bashed how you're smarter than to focus so much on the high notes. What are your thoughts on all that?
MacKenzie Bourg: Yeah, that confused the crap out of me too. That week was so interesting to me. I didn't really have any real, like, truly negative comments before that week. I mean, Harry knows. He knows it's a TV show too, so it was interesting he made such a big deal out of that, knowing that we do those digital packages and they're edited, you know? We don't edit them; Someone else does.
So, I thought it was -- obviously JLo stuck up for me as well as [Keith Urban]. It was weird that Harry kind of downgraded, you know, what I was doing. Because to me, I was really stretching myself and really pushing myself. But, it is what it is and I'm still happy to be where I'm at today.
Reality TV World: It was apparent sparks were flying between you and Lauren Alaina -- well, at least from her end -- when you performed a duet earlier in the season. Keith even pointed out she was crushing on you. Did you reciprocate those feelings at all? Did either of you reach out to the other after the show?
MacKenzie Bourg: She's been awesome! I do know she has a boyfriend, so I've definitely kept it just friendly. But yeah, she's been so supportive of me, she sends me encouraging texts congratulating me, and I don't know. She's been a great mentor -- not just musically but in the encouragement department too.
Also during MacKenzie's conference call with reporters, the American Idol eliminee discussed what's next for him.
What advice were you given in the competition that you really took to heart and will carry with you in the future?
MacKenzie Bourg: I found that my best moments on the show -- whether it be "Hallelujah," "Billy Jean," "Roses," or like, even my audition, it was always moments where I was fully myself. There were moments when I kind of did what I do, and that's to just get up there and play guitar.
Just me and the guitar up there. And I'm kind of taking that moving forward, knowing that it really resonates with people, being able to really grab an audience with just a guitar. So, that's kind of what I'm looking forward to doing moving forward.
What's next for you?
MacKenzie Bourg: There's definitely a chance I'll be touring. I don't think the show's going to do a tour, but yeah, that's definitely the plan. And to release "Roses," the song I wrote and played on the show. That's definitely in the plan, to be the single. It's a moving ball right now trying to get that out and get it ready as soon as possible.
How does it feel to have love from across America?
MacKenzie Bourg: I think the main reason I wasn't bummed, I guess, as much as people hoped was just because I get on Twitter and Instagram and all these other things and there's so many people.
You know, I don't even know these people and they're sending me nothing but love and support, and those people want me to succeed just as much as the people at home. So it's kind of like, I figured, "However this competition does shape out, I would be alright wherever I ended up."
Check back with Reality TV World soon for more from MacKenzie's post-American Idol interview.