Last week, Lacey Brown became the first contestant cut from the Top 12 on American Idol. Although she’d had a few wobbly weeks at the beginning of the semi-finals, the judges were beginning to praise her performances and the unique timbre of her voice. Her elimination is even more difficult because this is the second time she’s been cut from the show. In S8, she didn’t make it past Hollywood Week.
The Two Cents: There’s been so much talk this season about conflicting criticism from the judges. Do you feel like people got a real sense of who you were as an artist?
Lacey Brown: It’s difficult with the criticism that you hear because it has been a little bit confusing and, therefore, I would change things week-to-week, which can leave the audience kind of questioning who I am. I think [the judges] kept asking for energy in my songs, and I kept trying to give it, and they kept trying to say, you know, it was a sleepy performance. They wanted to see a little bit more energy because I’m a happy and a lovely type of personality, and they just wanted to see that transferred into my music. The issue that I was having is [that] I really love to sing ballads. I love telling a story with a song. I love the emotion of the song. I’m very artsy, so that side of me comes out when I sing.
All the judges came up afterward [the elimination]. I think they genuinely care about the contestants. Sometimes it’s hard to hear their critiques, but they’re there to help you, and it’s a fine line between taking what they say personally and taking what they say and applying it to yourself to fix yourself and work things out that you need to work out.
They’re just full of compliments because they want to see us succeed, and they don’t want us to feel like all hope is lost because it’s not. I’m in the top 12 right now, and even though I got voted off, this is not the end all for me. This is a great opportunity to jumpstart my career, so I think that’s the point they were trying to make when they got on the stage afterwards.
TTC: Are you planning to return to Amarillo? What are your future plans?
LB: I was very sad when I said a lot of nice things about Amarillo in my package the other night before I sang “Ruby Tuesday,” and they kind of cut it up in the cutting room and made it look like I was not liking Amarillo, but I love Amarillo. My next stop is New York. I’m going to be doing some shows there. And I should be back in Amarillo next week, midweek sometime.
I definitely can see myself making an album soon. And, you know, I just want to give people the chance to hear something that’s fresh and new and different. I have a very different voice that’s not suited for a lot of different genres, but I really see myself doing more of like a pop folk mix of an album. There are not a lot of voices like mine right now on the radio, so I kind of take pride in the fact that I’m a lot different. So hopefully people like it, and so I’m looking forward to writing some new music that fits my voice and that people really like.
TTC: What made you want to come back this season and try again?
LB: I’m one of those people who gets very competitive, and I decided it’s way too much fun of an experience to not try again, to try to get further if I would have made it into the top. Last year it was top 36 instead of 24. If I would have made it into that next round, I wouldn’t have been able to come back this year, so I’m really glad that I got a second chance. There were a couple technical issues with my voice because it’s a little bit different and there are not a lot of people that sound like me. I needed to go home and figure out what kind of songs worked for my voice
I wanted to get further this year. I’m in the No. 12 spot in America right now as far as American Idol goes, and that is not a bad place to be in. I’m very proud to be where I’m at.
TTC: You took the news really well. Is that what you were feeling?
LB: Yes. It’s really strange because I woke up yesterday morning and had the strangest feeling that I was going home. I hadn’t been tipped off by anything, hadn’t read anything, but really talked to a few of the other constants and just said, “look, I’m going home,” and they were like “no, Lacey. You’re crazy. Why would you go home? Out of everybody here, why would you go home?” And they were really supportive and really sweet, but something about it was just off, and so it wasn’t that I had made peace with it. I think I had just gotten used to it.
It’s a hard thing to hear. But when you’re there in that moment, after you sing, you’re not in control of anything. And so it’s been a shocker every week who goes home sometimes and who stays sometimes instead of another person. That’s just the nature of the show. So it wasn’t a shocker, but it also came as like a realization; the reality of the fact was just a little overwhelming.
TTC: How much were you reading what people said about you?
LB: I’m an avid Twitter and Facebooker, and I tried to stay away from reading into it too much. So some things I read if I knew they were going to be positive. I tried to keep the positivity around instead of anything negative, so that’s hard to do when you’re just reading through everything. I would make sure that I knew what I was going to read before I read it. There are two different approaches that you can take to this being voted off. You can be happy with the situation and make the most of it, which is the route I’m trying to take.
American Idol currently airs Tuesday and Wednesday nights on FOX.
Patricia Buckley – Staff Writer