'American Idol' Paul Jolley: The guys may be at a disadvantage due to all the girl hype
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/22/2013
American Idol axed Paul Jolley during Thursday night's live results show broadcast on Fox, determining the twelfth season's Top 8 finalists.
Paul, a 22-year-old from Palmersville, TN, became the second finalist sent home from American Idol's twelfth season after he received the fewest home viewer votes following Wednesday night's performance show, which featured the Top 9 finalists performing songs by The Beatles.
Paul's elimination became official after American Idol judges Randy Jackson, Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, and Keith Urban announced they were not going to prevent his departure by using their one "The Judges' Save" of the season. The decision would have to be unanimous amongst the judges to utilize the special save, and in Paul's case, the vote was not.
During a Friday conference call with reporters, Paul talked to Reality TV World about his American Idol experience. Below is what he had to say. Check back with us on Monday for more from his interview.
Reality TV World: Throughout the whole beginning of the season, the judges criticized you for basically over-performing songs -- like being too theatrical and having an overly expressive face. But this week, the judges had the exact opposite reaction to your performance in that Randy said you seemed disconnected from the song and Mariah said you needed to give more emotion. I can only think that was very frustrating for you. And it almost seemed like you tried to downplay visible emotion as to not overdo it again. Can you talk about that a little bit?
Paul Jolley: Yeah, to be honest, I mean, I didn't try to do anything different. I literally just went out there, and because the more and more I kept doing it, it kept getting more and more comfortable and I could be myself. Because there's a lot going on on that stage.
I mean, we had cameras we had to look for, the red dots we had to follow to make sure we're looking at the right camera. I mean, there's a lot of things that a lot of the viewers don't know about and it's all new to all of us. It's all a learning experience and yeah.
Reality TV World: So the more that you performed on the stage, it sounds like you got increasingly more confident and comfortable with being yourself. Does that mean that all the conflicting criticism you received from the judges and Jimmy Iovine really didn't bother you? They really didn't get inside your head at all? Because that's definitely been happening to some of the contestants.
Paul Jolley: No, it didn't get in my head at all -- at all. The only thing that's so hard is, like I said, following the cameras and the big stage. I've performed in front of thousands of people before and it's never been a problem.
But when you just learn a song within a few days and you have to perform it, follow cameras and there's so many things you have to worry about, it can play a toll on how your performance comes across.
Reality TV World: Jimmy had said he was expecting Lazaro Arbos to land in the bottom three following his performance Wednesday that received bad praise from the judges -- and obviously that didn't happen. Do you have any thoughts on why that might be and did that surprise you that he escaped the bottom three?
Paul Jolley: I mean, Lazaro has a huge following. He has an amazing story and everyone connects to it, you know? I give him good props for that and I wish him the best of luck.
Reality TV World: Randy announced the judges' decision not to use their save on you was not unanimous. Did you ever find out which judges voted to save you and which ones didn't?
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Paul Jolley: No. And honestly, I don't really want to know because that's their own personal opinion. I don't feel like they should have to let us know. But either way, I respect their decision and I still love them all the same whoever it was.
Reality TV World: Everybody's been proclaiming this season a girl's to lose. Do you think that naturally put the men at a disadvantage voting-wise from the very beginning? There's just been so much talk amongst the judges, Jimmy, etc about how outstanding the girls are this year.
Paul Jolley: I don't knoooowwwwwww. (Laughs) Maybe. Maybe not. But I mean, I think they're all amazing and I wish everybody the best of luck.
Reality TV World: If you could go back, would you have changed anything or done anything differently to ultimately better your chances in the competition whether it be song choice or something else?
Paul Jolley: I honestly would not change a single thing that I did on the show. I chose my song choices for a reason. If you listen, everything that I sang had a lyrical meaning, and I loved every bit of it. And everything that I spoke and the way I spoke on there, that was truthful and honest and I was myself. So, no, I wouldn't change a thing that I did... There's nothing I would change about anything.
Above is what Paul had to say to Reality TV World during a Friday conference call with reporters. Check back with us on Monday for more from his interview.