'American Idol' eliminee Rayvon Owen: Being in the bottom two so much was a blessing in disguise
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/07/2015
American Idol eliminated the competition's underdog, Rayvon Owen, and determined its Top 3 finalists during the ninth live show of the series' fourteenth season Wednesday night on Fox.
Rayvon, a 23-year-old singer and vocal coach from Richmond, VA, was the bottom votegetter as a result of last week's nationwide vote that followed the season's Top 4 performance show. Rayvon had been at risk for elimination almost a handful of times this season, constantly landing in the bottom two.
Rayvon competed in three rounds of competition last night against Jax, Clark Beckham and Nick Fradiani. Rayvon sang Scott Borchetta's pick "Want To Want Me" by Jason Derulo, "As" by Stevie Wonder for his hometown dedication, and then "You Are So Beautiful" by Joe Cocker because the judges had selected it for him.
During a Thursday conference call with reporters, Rayvon talked to Reality TV World about his American Idol experience. Below is what he had to say. Check back with us soon for more.
Reality TV World: You didn't really get emotional after your elimination and you had a big smile on your face. Is it safe to say you saw this coming, and how difficult was it to be in the bottom so many times? Did you ever have a moment when you got really down on yourself?
Rayvon Owen: You know, at first, it was shocking and, yeah, it was definitely nerve-wracking every time. But the thing is, I try to stay positive and just remember, "I get another chance to sing again and do what I love to do in front of millions of people and to take advantage of this platform."
So, I kind of tried to look on the bright side of things, you know? Being in the bottom each week, I said, "Okay, this could be my last day," and I made it again. And then I said, "Okay, this will be my last day," and then I made it again. (Laughs)
So after going through that so many times, I was kind of, for lack of a better word, comfortable in that position. I was just excited to share yet another week in this competition and do what I love to do. I made it very far and I feel very accomplished.
Reality TV World: I was wondering why viewers kept voting you into the bottom two but then saving you with the #IdolFanSave week after week. When I talked to Quentin, he said maybe it's because they liked lighting a fire under you. How do you feel about that? Do you think you really worked harder because of your position than maybe you would have if you were always safe?
Rayvon Owen: Absolutely, I mean, I didn't know it at the time, but looking back, yeah, absolutely. It definitely was a blessing in disguise because I feel like it gave me this extra push. It made me want to persevere, and I feel like I gave my best performances under those circumstances, honestly.
It kind of pulled a fight out of me that I didn't know I had. (Laughs) So, I've definitely grown from the experience and it's made me a better artist.
Reality TV World: It seems like a running theme this season is the contestants wanting to stay true to themselves despite having all these voices from judges and mentors in their ears. Did you personally find that difficult? And in Clark's case, he was shown disagreeing with Scott Borchetta over his music choices, so do you think he's doing what's best for his career or maybe should listen more to the pros?
Rayvon Owen: You know, I think it's all about balance, honestly. I think it's important to be teachable and shapeable, because that's how you grow. And if you fail, it's not necessarily a bad thing. The only way you truly will fail is if you give up, and so as long as you keep trying new things, I think that's going to make you the best artist that you can be.
But at the same time, you have to stay true to who you are. And I don't know if you guys remember, but even I kind of experienced something similar because way back when, the judges were like, "Who are you? Who's Rayvon? You're a great singer, but who are you? Try this. We don't like you in your falsetto," or whatever.
There are so many comments that were thrown at me when I was just trying to do my best at what I thought was who I was. And Kelly Clarkson during my mentoring session said, "I love who you are. I love it. If this is what you're presenting, then this is great. This seems to be who you are."
And I think I've done a really good job -- not to pat myself on the back -- but I feel like I've learned so much from balancing, you know, from staying true to who I am and accentuating my strengths, but at the same time, taking the advice of the judges and of what people say.
You kind of have to -- there's a saying that actually Melinda Doolitte from Season 6 taught me. She's actually a friend of mine. [She said], "You have to chew the hay and spit out the sticks." You have to take the point of what people are saying and then just throw out the other stuff or the negativity or whatever they say for TV purposes -- you know what I mean.
So I think, in Clark's case, I was proud of him for standing up for himself, but I do think he is somebody who wants to learn and get better at what he does. And he is very teachable. I think he'll do really well, and I think that's what it takes to be a great artist and a great contestant on the show.
Reality TV World: Typically Idol contestants who get eliminated tell me they're not rooting for anyone in particular to win because everyone was so close like family. But do you at least have a gut feeling about who might take the cake?
Rayvon Owen: I have to say the same thing, because I don't -- I honestly do not -- know. And maybe I'm a little biased because they're all my friends, but I mean, each of them is deserving of the title. Each of them, regardless of what happens, is going to do very well because of who they are as a person, you know?
People don't get to see them behind the scenes like I do. I'm spending intimate time with these people backstage. We're eating together, living together and rehearsing together. So I know for a fact that each of them are very deserving of winning this. And beyond their talents, they are so talented as artists, but even more so as people. They are incredible humans.
So, I don't know. It's going to be tough. It's going to be tough for America to choose who the next American Idol is, because I honestly have no idea. (Laughs) It could literally go to any one of them!
Check back with Reality TV World soon for more from Rayvon Owen's American Idol interview.