American Idol's Michael Johns shares his parting thoughts
By M&C Smallscreen Apr 12, 2008, 2:04 GMT
03/06/2008 - Michael Johns - 2008 American Idol Top 12 Party - Arrivals - Astra West, Pacific Design Center - West Hollywood, CA, USA © Tina Gill / PR Photos
The shock news of American Idol contestant Michael Johns' departure still has still not worn off, and he was surprised himself as he spoke to a group of online websites earlier today.
Johns' chat with the press was to the point. "I'd be lying to say I wasn't shocked," Johns says, the morning after. "I mean, I hadn't been in the bottom three and I thought definitely the last two or three weeks had been strongest. But we're in this competition and stuff can happen and it did."
The handsome 29-year-old Aussie native gives little credence to jRandy and Simon's insistence that choosing Aerosmith's "Dream On" on Tuesday's Inspirational Songs Night was his undoing.
"I'm living my dream and that song's all about heartache and struggle and overcoming things and I've done that in the last 10 years," he explains. "You know, living in America and getting to live my dream. Dream on until your dreams come true. And they're coming true right now, so that's why I chose that song, for sure."
"Sometimes Simon is off the mark, to be honest," Johns tells reporters. "Most time he's on and I respect his opinion a lot, but he wanted me to sing that soul-blues stuff every week ... I'm a rock-soul singer. I like to do both genres and so I wasn't necessarily going to just pander to what the judges said every week, you know what I mean? You have to go out there and say, 'This is the kind of record that I'm going to make and this is the sound that I do.' And some weeks they loved it and some weeks they didn't."
Even the off-putting remarks delivered by Ryan Seacrest that nobody went home during last year's Idol Gives Back was broached.
"Look, I get the television aspect of this competition, but it was tough," he says, "because I thought, 'OK, I'm going home' and then they said that and I'm like 'Oh, wait a second. I'm not going home, maybe they're just having a good laugh.' I hadn't been in the Bottom Three, so I was thinking that was a possibility, but when reality set in and Ryan gave me a look as if to say, 'I'm so sorry I have to do that.' But you get it. You're in the business and you get it, so I won't hold it against Ryan or anything."
Johns knows he made an impact with audiences.
"Nothing's sunk in quite yet, but the backlash that I'm seeing, just snippets in the press and talking to you guys, that means a lot," he says. "It means that I struck a nerve somewhere. This year, more than any other year, I really believe, especially with this Top Eight, you can't let your favorite go, 'Oh, he had a great week' or 'She had a great week' and 'I'm going to give them half of my votes and then I'm gonna do the other one that didn't do it so well.' A split vote like that can happen and unfortunately the people that you thought were going to be safe go home."
Johns noted he will pus on to fulfill his dreams.
"Will I live in Australia again? Maybe when I'm older? I don't know. But for me, my life and career are here. I love it here. I've been here 10 years. My whole adult life's been here, so it's kind of like ... I mean, obviously I'm not American, but I don't really feel Australian anymore so much. It's weird."
And the future for the good-looking contestant?
"Winning the thing or not winning Idol, it just really depends on the artist, it depends on what album you make afterwards, it depends whether or not on the show you were absolutely true to yourself and did not change and I think that the people who have succeeded after Idol, from the Kimberley Lockes to the Carrie Underwoods, that's the one common thing, is that they're themselves and they stay true to their hearts."