Stereo Hogzz: We worked harder than any other 'The X Factor' act
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/11/2011
Stereo Hogzz were eliminated from The X Factor, determining the new Fox reality competition's Top 10 acts, during the show's second live results show Thursday night.
Stereo Hogzz were ousted from the competition after The X Factor host Steve Jones revealed they were one of the bottom two acts based on home viewer votes cast immediately following Wednesday night's Top 11 performance show and judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger, and L.A. Reid then decided to eliminate the group via a 3-1 vote instead of fellow group act Lakoda Rayne -- which like Stereo Hogzz, had been mentored by Paula.
During a Friday conference call with reporters, the five members of Stereo Hogzz talked to Reality TV World about their The X Factor experience -- including what their reaction was when they had discovered they were in the bottom two for the second week in a row alongside Lakoda Rayne and whether they felt the "sing for survival" songs really played a big role in the judges' decisions to send home a particular act from the competition.
Reality TV World: What was your reaction when you found out you were in the bottom two with Lakoda Rayne? Did you think you were likely to survive or did you think you were pretty much done at that point, especially since you were in the bottom two last week as well?
George Jenkins III: No, we weren't thinking that we were done or anything. Actually, all we were thinking about was our harmonies and our notes when we sang the song. We had practiced it. We had been in that position before, so we were a little bit more calm than Lakoda Rayne.
But you know, we weren't anticipating that we were going home at that point. We knew that it was a possibility and we never -- we don't look back on anything with any regret because we went out and we feel like we gave a Grammy-type performances every week that we came out. So, we left it all out on the floor like [Kregg] said.
Reality TV World: Do you think your "sing for survival" songs play any role in determining the eliminations or do you think the judges base their decisions more on your previous performances and how well they've gotten to know you and such?
George Jenkins III: I think it's a combination of the two. The first week, when we were in the bottom two, [Simon Cowell] said that he was not voting for us because he felt like we had a strong, stable performance and then yesterday, the consensus was that we had the strongest "save me" performance than Lakoda Rayne did.
So, there's no telling. I think the judges are thinking of it as a competition and they're going to eliminated the biggest threat. So, I mean, we're out of there! (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Do you think the outcome would have been different if you ended up with a different mentor? How much of your success on the show would you attribute to Paula?
Jonathan Glenn: We attribute a lot of our success to Paula. She worked really hands-on with us. She was there every step of the way, from choreography to the stage. She came up with concepts for our shows, so she deserves it all, man. We definitely think the outcome probably would have been different with a different judge of course.
I mean, we could have went home the first day, you know what I mean? We appreciate our judge, and all the judges actually kind of have our back when they talk about our stuff all the time. They tell us how good we are and give us advice, so I mean, I think there's no such thing as coincidences. I think that everything happens for a reason. So, we're glad with what we put out and we take it in stride.
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Reality TV World: The judges said repeatedly during the broadcasts how you guys as a group worked long hours and put a lot of hard work into your rehearsals. Do you think it's fair to say you guys actually put in more time and hard work rehearsing than the other groups in the competition?
George Jenkins III: Absolutely. We, by far, put in more work than any of the other contestants on the show. We have five different guys that have to get in one synchronized show and we all have to learn the moves. We all have to learn the choreography as well as the vocals, the background.
It's a lot, while most people would just get in there and learn the words and then they figure out how they're going to sing it by themselves. We have to not only do that, but we have to figure out a way to blend and incorporate our sound into it while we try to create a whole picture that can come across in a minute and 45 seconds -- which is not even a lot of time for five people to show their individual personalities.
So, I think we had the toughest job and we put in the most amount of work by far. But I also think we had the most electrifying show on The X Factor in the United States so far. I think it showed that our hard work paid off.
Also during the call, the members of Stereo Hogzz told reporters why they believed America wasn't voting for the group acts, what the next step is for them now that they have been eliminated, who was behind their song choices which Reid apparently disapproved of often, and what was going through their minds when Paula initially refused to reveal which act should be eliminated.
Did you think you had a good chance to make it far in the competition after Simon Cowell told you that you guys were "the best group on the planet?"
Justin Williams: Oh yeah. I mean, that's almost worth the five-million dollars in itself.
What kind of act would you guys like to be? How did your normal routine differ from what viewers saw on the show?
George Jenkins III: Music-wise, it's a little different. Our song choices had a lot to do with Paula and the show and everything depending on the week and everything. The style of performances is more of what you would get from our music when we hit the studio -- it will be just as energized and just as creative as our performances and everything, but that's pretty much what we're going to do next, is hit that up.
Why do you guys think America hasn't been voting for the groups?
Kregg Gibson: It's a little bit more difficult if it's a group versus an individual act. With the individual acts, you get to connect with that one personality, that one face. With groups, like InTENsity, that was a 10-person group. We were five. That's five different personalities and five different people that you have to get to know.
So, it's a little bit more difficult, but we're still blessed to be in this situation and we got put on a world-class platform. I'm proud of the guys. I think that we did really, really good. We left it all out on the floor.
What is the next step for you as a group and will you incorporate things you learned fromThe X Factor into your future performances?
Justin Williams: Oh definitely, the shows only get bigger from here -- only get bigger. We might be flying. We'll get some jet packs or something. (Laughs)
Why do you think there was the inconsistency of how the judges loved you and thought you were the best band, but then America doesn't really vote for you two weeks in a row? Do you think anything else factored into your elimination?
George Jenkins III: Not really. I think it is more of -- I think it averaged something like 15-20 million. That's how it's spread out throughout America. It's not like one particular place that was watching it. It makes it that much harder.
It's a really broad age range and cultural range, so I just think that when you have a television show and only a certain amount of allotted time, you go from 250,000 acts and you get down to the number that you have in that certain amount of time.
People are going to shine who have such incredible stories and back stories. You can't really compete with that, and we as a group, we never wanted to go in there with a sob story or any kind of background, because we all have backgrounds.
We all have things that we leave in the past -- struggles and stuff like that. We didn't want to come out there -- We wanted to come and show America that we just have talent, pure talent and then be judged just based off of that. We wanted to put on a show and entertain.
Paula considered abstaining from voting, but if she followed through with that, her choice would have automatically resulted in your elimination from the show because the majority voted against you. What was going through your head when she was saying she didn't want to vote at all?
George Jenkins III: Paula works hard and she's really fun to be with. She loved us so much and I know the decision was hard for her, but I think she had a really strong connection with us. She loves Lakoda Rayne, but I think we were like her pride and joy.
So, she chose to go with us and that, at the end of the day, made me feel a lot more comfortable with the decision than I think anyone else, because she still believed in us until the very, very end. We love her for that.
L.A. Reid said last night that he wasn't a big fan of your song choices. Could you talk about that a little bit?
George Jenkins III: A lot of us, the song choices had to do with the producers of the show and Paula and all of that played into some of our song choices or whatever. We actually have a very distinct style, because the Stereo Hogzz -- the name came to be because it means that as a group, we want to hog the stereo. We want to hog the pop station. We want to be on the hip-hop station, R&B and country.
It doesn't really matter between the vibes of the different guys that we have in our group. You can get any sound and you will get it legitimately. So, that's kind of what we're looking to do. We're looking to be those guys that can be played on any station. We'll have music with a hip-hop feel, a kind of new-aged music like Rhythm Nation -- a kind of Michael feel or even Christina Aguilera joints.
We just want people to know that and we also plan on bringing out the rock and roll. So, yeah, we just want people to know that we're real diverse and that's what our album is going to sound like. It's going to be really energetic. It's going to be hyped and it's going to be real creative -- a very distinct sound. Nobody will sound like Stereo Hogzz.
What was the experience like being critiqued by the judges?
George Jenkins III: We love the criticism because we knew, as talented as we are, we have a lot of room for improvement and we were up there with [Nicole Scherzinger] who's been through this, Simon -- who's an entertainment mogul, Paula Abdul -- who had choreographed for the Jackson Five and Janet Jackson and all the greats, and then L.A. Reid -- who signed Justin Bieber and Usher.
So all of these people are very respected in their own right and they're very talented, and we take their comments to heart because we don't think that they would say anything to tear us down. It was a blessing to work with them and it was a blessing to gain that knowledge and continue to move forward and just do us from this point forward and have a blast in our musical career.
Did you have the chance to get to know any of the other contestants since you were segmented by your "Groups" category and how you were mentored by Paula alone?
Kregg Gibson: No, man. It's all friendly competition. We were all backstage joking around, laughing and teasing each other -- talked to Marcus Canty, you know, and flirted with some of the other competition. (Laughs)
We had a really good time. Since it was a competitive environment, we tried to just have fun. That's what Stereo Hogzz really embody -- just a good time and a party atmosphere, as you'll see in our upcoming album. But we definitely brought that to the competition and we had a great time. It was a blast.