'American Idol's Paul Jolley: I felt singled out by the judges
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/26/2013
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. To read what he had to say, click here. Below are some additional highlights from the rest of Paul's interview. Check back with Reality TV World on Wednesday for more.
What kind of album do you see yourself making now? What do you have planned coming up?
Paul Jolley: I still want to stick with the country/pop lane. I don't want to change what I feel in my heart that my calling is and what I need to be doing.
What were your first thoughts when you got up on the stage before the huge audience? What were you thinking?
Paul Jolley: Before I got up there, I was just trying to make sure that my mind was clear and I was staying focused on the big picture and not getting distracted from the main thing that I was there to do.
They definitely seem to want a girl to win the show this year. Out of the remaining guys, who do you think has the best chance to win, in your eyes?
Paul Jolley: Honestly, I don't know because everybody is so good and each in their own individual way. Everybody has their own genre that they're doing and it's basically the battle of the genres rather than who the better person is.
What advice was given to you after your elimination from the judges? Did you get a chance to speak to any of them?
Paul Jolley: Yes, a few of them came up and they just told me to just keep on keeping on pretty much and believe in myself and pretty much I have a career in this.
Were you guys confused by the conflicting advice that you were getting throughout the competition?
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Paul Jolley: I was kind of confused because every week it was something new, which I appreciated that a lot because I always want that room to grow. There's always room to grow, so if I'm not doing something wrong, then there's something wrong with them not telling me. No, I really appreciate them telling me things that I can work on.
A lot of people are saying that this is the end of the "white guy with the guitar" era. Do you think that's true?
Paul Jolley: For this show, yes. But in my eyes, I've already won.
Jimmy Iovine says that the judges are being too easy on the contestants this season. I would guess that you would not agree with that.
Paul Jolley: I don't agree with it. I feel like they've been really, really easy on a lot of the other contestants, but for some reason I feel like I was just the pointed out one to be tough on this season. [But] I'm okay with that because I want that critique and I want to grow as an artist and I want to go somewhere with my career. I'm okay with that.
It seems that you look a lot thinner now than when you tried out originally. Do you get to choose what you eat in the mansion or do they serve you and you have to eat whatever you're served in front of you?
Paul Jolley: Sometimes we get to choose and then sometimes they just bring you salad and burritos and stuff, healthy things, and I'm not really a health kind of guy. I just eat cheeseburgers and pizzas and stuff.
Do you know how much weight you lost?
Paul Jolley: I don't, but I know that my clothes don't fit the same.
If you had stayed on Idol, what song were you planning on singing next week?
For all of those who are hoping to be on Idol next year, do you have any advice for them?
Paul Jolley: Just go for it and don't hold back. When you walk in there, just be yourself, don't try to be something that you're not. Just believe in yourself and have faith that you can do this, and if it's something that's meant to be, then it will happen -- or maybe it's just not the right timing if you don't make it. I just say keep on keeping on.
I was wondering, you're a passionate singer who has this natural ability to express yourself. Is acting something you'd also like to pursue?
Paul Jolley: Sure, I want to do everything. I want to have an album. I want to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. I want to have my own clothing line. I don't know if everyone knew, but that was a custom shirt that we had made when I performed "Eleanor Rigby." I want to do acting, I would love to. I want to dabble in everything and put my Paul Jolley stamp on everything.
What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and in support of you?
Paul Jolley: I just want to say thank you so much. It's a true blessing to have such loyal people that are there for me no matter what. It's crazy how after I've been kicked off how many more followers that I've gotten and supporters that I've received. It's crazy and I'm still overwhelmed with it, just over last night.
How did you feel about Jimmy's comment that you weren't ready for prime time? What did you take away from that?
Paul Jolley: I would just have to say, "To each his own," because I think I am ready for it or I wouldn't be in the Top 10 of the competition. There's no way I would be there. I feel he saved me for a reason, so I feel like he knows that I have the talent and he knows that I'm ready or he wouldn't have done that for me.
You've said many times that this is your calling in life. How do you see not winning as a positive for the future?
Paul Jolley: I can move on and I can start doing my own thing. I don't have to stay glued to just doing a certain theme every week. I can still talk to my Troopers and fans and learn about what they want to hear from me.
What do you think of "The Judges' Save" concept? Do you think they should even make the person trying to get a save go ahead and sing? Because it doesn't seem like they were paying much attention to you while you were singing.
Paul Jolley: I knew I wasn't going to be saved because Jimmy already saved me once and I knew they weren't going to save me again. I'm glad I got to sing because it makes the last stamp of Paul Jolley. It doesn't just say, "Okay, Paul's kicked off the show," and then I'm done. I'd rather sing something that means something to me and then leave on a good note.
What do you think about Jimmy? Do you think he's good in the role he's cast in or do you think he'd be better as a judge on a weekly basis?
Paul Jolley: I think he's good in the role that he's in because we get more one-on-one with him and he knows what he's talking about. I really, highly respect his opinion.
You just talked a little bit about wanting to be a fashion designer. When did that thinking and that dream come about for you?
Paul Jolley: It's always been in my head and it's always something that I wanted to do, but this is American Idol and this is where the spotlight is for this. But I think everyone in the industry at some point in time wants to stretch out, so why not go ahead and look at the full picture now and let people know about it?
When it comes to Nicki Minaj in particular, she was very hard on you at times. What's your general opinion of her? Are you grateful for all the advice? Do you wish she'd been easier at times on you?
Paul Jolley: I'm thankful for the critiquing that she gave me. I wish it would've been more things that I could take and work on or learn from, but no, I still love her just the same and I appreciate everything she has. She put me through the first round as well, so I'm very thankful.
To read what Paul had to say to Reality TV World during his Friday conference call with reporters, click here. Below are some additional highlights from the rest of his interview. Check back with Reality TV World on Wednesday for more.