Soft-spoken Alex Lambert, 19, may not have been the most theatrical of performers. But he did have that voice. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to get him into the Top 12. He talked to EW after elimination night.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How’s your morning so far?
ALEX LAMBERT: It hasn’t hit me yet that I’m off the show. It’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I thought I was going to be a lot more upset.
Were you surprised you were cut?
I was a little bit. At the same time, I saw it coming because I’m not much of a performer. I can see how other people were connecting with the audience. I understood what [the judges] meant when they said that I was uncomfortable on stage.
Did you feel uncomfortable?
No, I’m just not an experienced performer. This is the first thing I’ve ever done [like this]. I don’t know where to look or anything like that. Anything I do is all me. I was never taught anything.
If you could go back in time, would you have changed your onstage persona?
I did the best I could’ve done ever because I honestly didn’t think I could handle this. I’ve had such stage fright since I was a little kid and I think I did great for how much experience I have.
So, is it safe to say that your case of stage fright has improved since being on the show?
Yeah. I didn’t even ever want to be on the stage. I’ve always had a great fear of getting up there. Just getting up there and nailing the vocals is a good accomplishment for me.
So did you join the show to face your fears?
My mom has been trying to make me do this show for a few years. This year, she pretty much made me. She said she was going to take away my phone if I didn’t audition.
You chose “Trouble,” a song that a few past contestants have performed. What made you choose it?
I had another song in mind: “Let Me Love You” by Mario. It’s an R&B song, but I was going to change it up and make it my own. But it was a song a lot of people didn’t know so I went with my second choice because one of the producers was telling me, “If you do this song, you’ll get more votes.” But obviously I didn’t get enough. I wish I would’ve done the other song. I wish I didn’t listen to the producer. But I still feel like, vocally, the song I sang, I didn’t think it was bad enough for me to go home, but it is what it is.
Do the producers often chime in about songs?
They give you suggestions. They don’t tell you, “You have to sing this.”
You said you’re not a performer, so did you feel you were lucky to be making the cut week to week?
No, because a lot of the contestants aren’t the greatest singers, but they’re great performers so that’s the reason they’re still on the show. So I felt honored that I was one of those people there strictly because I had good vocals. I thought that was awesome. I never felt like I didn’t deserve to be there. I always felt like I did.
What are you up to now?
I’m probably going to go back to Texas to finish high school. I have to do that. I need to get my high school diploma before I think of anything else. I’m also going to be making music and seeing what’s out there for me. But first thing is finishing school. Ultimately, I want to influence people’s lives like I’ve been influenced with music. Listening to The Beatles and even today’s music, you hear something you like and you want to keep listening to it. I want people to be like that with my music. I want to be on the radio.
More American Idol top 16 exit Q&As:
Todrick Hall on setting his sights on Glee
Lilly Scott on ‘karaoke singers being molded into a big pop star’
Katelyn Epperly on ‘molding myself to be something I wasn’t’
Photo: Frank Miceletta/Fox