American Idol‘s seventh season began more than a month ago, but now that the contestants’ futures are in the hands of viewers at home, things are really getting good. America booted four semifinalists from the Top 24 last night: Garrett Haley, the 17-year-old Leif Garrett look-alike who sang ”Breaking Up Is Hard to Do”; Amy Davis, the sexy 25-year-old who slipped up with ”Where the Boys Are”; Joanne Borgella, the curvaceous 25-year-old who covered Dionne Warwick’s ”I Say a Little Prayer for You”; and Colton Berry, the 18-year-old who took on Elvis’ ”Suspicious Minds.” And now, before they likely descend back into obscurity, EW.com gave them a chance to sound off about what went wrong, what they’d change, and a whole bunch of other topics.
GARRETT HALEY, 17, ELIDA, OHIO
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How are you feeling after being the first of the Top 24 to go?
GARRETT HALEY: I’m actually feeling really good. I told myself that morning that either way, even if I get sent home, I’m going to be happy and smiling and stuff. I’m still happy and I’m still smiling.
Going into the day, what were your thoughts about the likelihood of your going or staying?
I actually was shocked about leaving so soon. I don’t know. I felt pretty good about it.
I was shocked with how quickly it all happened. Ryan didn’t mess around. He was just like, boom! And you were gone.
It was pretty surprising. When he said, ”You’re going home,” or ”This is the end of the road for you,” I thought he was kidding. But then the music came on and his face stayed serious. I was like, Oh my God, he’s for real! Then I was standing there trying to remember the lyrics of the song I had to sing.
Simon was really harsh with his comments about you being pale and looking like you’d been shut up in a room for a month. How did that make you feel?
I thought it was pretty funny, the whole pale thing, because I know I’m a fair kid. I wouldn’t change that for anything, because I love the way I am. This competition is about being true to yourself. If I went tanning, it’d just be like, ”All right, Simon, you are right.” I’m happy with the way I am.
Did anyone tell you that you were on The View the next day? They had your picture up and were talking about you.
Yes, someone said something about that! I was like, Oh my gosh, that is so cool. I’m going to have to look that up or something.
Did you think you could have wowed America if you had one more performance?
This next song that I was about to sing was about to be amazing, so I was excited about that.
What was the next song you were going to sing?
I’m not allowed to say.
Okay…well, then, what other kinds of songs — just give me an example — would you have liked to sing?
A more upbeat song. It was definitely going to be upbeat and show my range.
I don’t know what that means. Is it a Justin Timberlake song? A Beatles song? ”Upbeat” describes about half of songs out there.
Yeah, it’s like…pretty much that, though. Anything that would make you get up and dance.
You have interesting hair, to say the least. Would you have done anything crazy and Sanjaya-like with it?
I don’t think I would go, like, crazy-crazy with it. I mean, I might straighten it because I like the way it looks straightened. But I don’t think I would go with the fauxhawk or anything like that. Although that was really sweet on Sanjaya, but I don’t think it would look too good on me.
NEXT PAGE: Amy Davis: ”Without an in-ear, I can’t stay on pitch. I tried to do as well as I could without having that in-ear monitor, but it was obviously a very pitchy performance”