'American Idol's Tyanna Jones: I'm not the type of artist that puts myself in a box
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/05/2015
American Idol eliminated Tyanna Jones and determined its Top 4 artists during the eighth live show of its fourteenth season on Fox.
Tyanna, a 16-year-old student from Jacksonville, FL, was the bottom votegetter last week following the prior week's nationwide vote that took place after the season's Top 5 artists performed. Tyanna had never been at risk for elimination by landing in the bottom two before.
Tyanna was not afforded the opportunity to sing two songs like the other contestants. Instead, she sang for the last time by taking the stage with "Run The World" by Beyonce. Tyanna was very emotional following her ouster but kept a big smile on her face.
During a Thursday conference call with reporters, the day after her elimination, Tyanna talked about her American Idol experience. Below is the first half. Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion.
What's the one best piece of advice that one of the judges gave you that you'll take with you?
Tyanna Jones: I would have to say during Hollywood Week when [Jennifer Lopez] told me that if I just keep being Tyanna and keep going on the stage and doing what I love to do, that I'll be okay.
What do you think your album is going to look like?
Tyanna Jones: I think I've mentioned this a couple of times that I'm not the type of artist that puts myself in a box. Whatever I can sing or whatever I can do to connect with the audience at that moment, I'll do it. I'll sing R&B, soul, pop, anything that connects with the audience.
What was the other song you were prepared to sing last night?
This was your first time in the bottom two. Were you surprised to be eliminated?
Tyanna Jones: I can't [say I was], because I know [it's the name of the game] and you go home. You know... everybody who's there has such great talent and just such an individuality about themselves.
What was running through your mind when you were preparing to sing your sing-out song? Did you know ahead of time that if you were eliminated, you would have to sing a song anyway?
Tyanna Jones: Well, we already know that we get a chance to sing a goodbye song from here on out, so we know that we get to sing a song anyway. I think being in that chair and waiting for it to turn green is probably the most nerve-wracking part about the whole thing. But then, going up on stage is just the easiest part for me.
So once you hit the stage, you felt okay?
Tyanna Jones: Yes, I was comfortable, and I was just ready to sing my song.
How did your upbringing in the church shape your perspective or play a role in your American Idol competition journey?
Tyanna Jones: It's definitely had an impact on my faith in there, because at times it can get really hard and you'll start to struggle with yourself and start thinking, "Maybe this isn't for me, maybe I won't win, maybe I will win."
And then there are times you feel really down because you didn't like your performance of that week, so just me being brought up in the church has really had an impact on my life in general, not just with the show. My faith and my beliefs have just helped me through a lot of this.
You picked a number of songs this season that were originally sung by strong female vocalists or powerhouses. Who would you say one of your main musical influences is?
Tyanna Jones: One of my main influences is Beyonce.
What inspired your song choice of Beyonce's "Run the World" for your sendoff song?
Tyanna Jones: I have wanted to do that song for so long on the show. I've had it on my list a couple of times, and every time it got pushed to the side because I ended up doing something else.
So, I was just really happy I got to do it, and when I did it, I knew that I had to make sure that it was one of the best things that I've done on the show because of Beyonce and how iconic that performance is. Every time she does it, it's just amazing, so I had to make sure that I put my all into it.
Knowingly or not, you've become a role model to a lot of young people out there. So how do you see yourself as a role model? And what is the message you would have wanted to impart to all your fans out there?
Tyanna Jones: I think that me being so young and me pursuing my dreams, and a lot of young people -- people that are my age and even younger -- want to be where I am right now, and that's why I'm so thankful. But they want to be in this position, and they have dreams to be in this position, whether it's with American Idol or not.
And just seeing someone their age actually get to do it and make it through the tour and be successful, even though most people didn't believe that she could or believe her or whatever, a lot of teenagers go through that, too. So, I think that's [awesome].
Will your mom be going on tour with you?
Tyanna Jones: I believe she is, for either the whole time or most of the time.
What was it like being so young in the competition? Did you get a lot of advice from some of the older contestants, or did any of the Idols kind of take you under their wing, kind of as a little sister kind of thing?
Tyanna Jones: Of course. All of us actually took each other under our wings, and we just all gave each other advice to help each other out with our songs and arrangements and things like that. And those like myself, I don't play instruments, so someone like [Clark Beckham] or [Jax], they play instruments, and we kind of all just get together and sing sometimes and just jam out sometimes.
What did you learn in Nashville? I think that going to Big Machine's offices was probably one of the coolest things that you guys got to do.
Tyanna Jones: Yes, it was a lot of fun. I was happy that [Scott Borchetta took us to see] the place where we could possibly have been for the next year of our lives and working with him, so he wanted to show us where we would be and the people that we would work with, and everything.
Getting into a studio like that and getting a feel for things is a big deal for someone your age.
Tyanna Jones: Yes, it really was. I'm used to working -- the studio here on American Idol was just a smaller studio, but it had all of these buttons and knobs and things, and it was just a huge studio with instruments in it. It was really cool.
Jax found out she's going to sing with Steven Tyler on the finale. Did you find out anything about whom you might be singing with?
Tyanna Jones: No, I haven't. They haven't told me anything yet.
Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion of Tyanna's American Idol interview.