Interview with Curtis Finch, Jr. of "American Idol" on FOX - Primetime Article From The TV MegaSite

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By Krista

Curtis Finich, Jr.

Interview with Curtis Finch, Jr. of "American Idol" on FOX 3/15/13

Final Transcript
FBC PUBLICITY: American Idol Eliminated Contestant Call
March 15, 2013/2:00 p.m. PDT

Jennifer Reed - BWR Public Relations
Curtis Finch Jr.


Moderator: Thank you for standing by, and welcome to the American Idol interview call with Curtis. (Instructions given.) As a reminder this conference is being recorded.

Iíll now turn the conference over to Jennifer Reed for opening remarks. Please go ahead.

J. Reed: Hello, everybody. Thanks so much for joining us today for the American Idol Eliminated conference call with Curtis. As a reminder, heís here to talk about his experience on American Idol and his plans moving forward. As always, if we feel anyone is harping on any one subject, we do reserve the right to jump in and move the call along. So with that being said, Paul, letís take the first question.

Moderator: The first question is from Jamie Ruby with Please go ahead.

J. Ruby: Hello, Curtis. Thanks so much for talking to us today.

C. Finch: Thanks for having me. How are you?

J. Ruby: Good, you?

C. Finch: Iím great, Iím great.

J. Ruby: Great. So what kind of album do you see yourself making?

C. Finch: I see myself being a very inspirational type singer just talking about love, just talking about how you can overcome and how you can make it, and so I donít really know what it entails at this moment, but I just know that I really live to inspire everybody across America.

J. Ruby: Great. Iím curious, if you got to sing with one singer, who would it be, who would you choose?

C. Finch: It would definitely be Marvin Gaye, because I think heís an incredible singer if I had the chance to do that.

J. Ruby: Okay, great. Thank you so much.

C. Finch: Thank you.

Moderator: We have a question is from Nahal Mottaghian with USA Today. Please go ahead.

N. Mottaghian: Hello, Curtis. How are you?

C. Finch: Hello, great. How are you?

N. Mottaghian: Iím good. I was just wondering did you actually regret your song choice or are you happy with the decision you made to sing ďI BelieveĒ?

C. Finch: Yes, I donít regret anything any decision I made on the show, because American Idol has been so influential in my life and so every choice I made, I donít just make these decisions on a whim. I always say to myself if I can commit myself totally to the song and the lyrics, then Iím going to commit to it, so I donít regret a thing.

N. Mottaghian: And what were your plans for next week?

C. Finch: Really the same as every week, to really give it my all and do the best that I could, but America didnít see it that way, and so here I am.

N. Mottaghian: Thank you.

Moderator: You have a question from Russell Weakland with

R. Weakland: Hello, Curtis.

C. Finch: Hello, how are you?

R. Weakland: Great. Nicki Minaj was such a big supporter for you, but she wasnít there for your performance. Do you think that may have affected your votes that she couldnít critique you and reach out to her barbs to vote for you?

C. Finch: Absolutely not, because Nicki Minaj is not the only judge on the panel, and so at the end of the day if I get done singing and no judges have no responses, itís still left up to America to use the phone or use the American Idol app or go online and vote for me, and so I think things were really inevitable and so you really canít change yesterday. You could really just focus on tomorrow and make sure that everything is in line for my future as it pertains to my career.

R. Weakland: Fantastic. Continued success.

C. Finch: Thank you so much.

Moderator: A question from Michael Weinfeld with Associated Press Broadcast. Please go ahead.

M. Weinfeld: Hello, Curtis.

C. Finch: Hello.

M. Weinfeld: Hey, is there any embarrassment of being the first one to be sent home?

C. Finch: Absolutely not, I really feel like if I was going to get eliminated, thereís no embarrassment in getting cut tenth or fifth; it really just is what it is. I mean I get a chance to tour with these guys. I get a chance to travel the world and grow as an artist with these guys and so no embarrassment, all gratefulness.

M. Weinfeld: And when you were singing for the save, did you really think there was much chance that youíd get the save considering they only get one shot and this was the first week?

C. Finch: You never know with American Idol, some things work in your favor and some things donít, and so they didnít choose to use the save on me, but Iím sure whoever they choose to use it on, since everybody left is extremely talented, itíll be well deserved.

M. Weinfeld: Okay, Curtis. Thanks.

C. Finch: Thank you.

Moderator: A question from Reg Seeton with The

R. Seeton: Hello, Curtis. Thanks for taking the time today.

C. Finch: Oh, no problem. Thanks for having me.

R. Seeton: How do you feel youíve grown as an artist since first auditioning for the show?

C. Finch: I feel like Iíve grown so much because really you have to sing for this show, be it for live recordings or dress rehearsals for the show daily, you know in and out and so Iíve had to be vocally prepared for that. I had to rest up at night as much as I can and I had to really prepare. And so I feel like thereís so many things I know now that I didnít know at first, so I feel like Iíve overcome.

R. Seeton: Great. How did you feel about Nickiís reaction when she said sheíd leave the show if you went home?

C. Finch: It made me feel good, because really I sing from my heart and I really felt like Iíve touched Nickiís heart in such a way that she didnít want to see me leave.

R. Seeton: Well, thatís great. Good luck in the future.

C. Finch: Thank you, man.

Moderator: A question from Mark Stone with Vista Radio.

M. Stone: Hey, Chris. Howís it going?

C. Finch: Iím great. How are you, man?

M. Stone: Iím doing really well. Sorry to see you go. That really sucked.

C. Finch: Oh, itís all good.

M. Stone: So I was wondering what was going through your mind when you found out that the results would be ranked? Like did it make it make it more nerve wracking for everyone?

C. Finch: Oh, not at all. I always really expect the worse, so I wonít be surprised, because you know when the cameras are on you, you really canít go back and redo any facial expressions or anything that you may want to say or do; so I was prepared either way to make it through or to have to go home, and so here we are.

M. Stone: Okay, and a follow-up. Iíd read thereís a buzz online from your fans saying that theyíre going to stop watching the show and itís kind of crazy. What do you say to them to make sure they keep tuning in?

C. Finch: I really want everybody that has been supporting me to keep supporting my friends, because Iím talented, I know that, but at the same time there are nine talents that are still left that are incredibly talented. I want them to call and vote for them as well, because these guys deserve to beóevery single one of themóthe next American Idol.

M. Stone: Awesome. Thanks so much for your time.

C. Finch: Thank you, man.

M. Stone: Thanks.

Moderator: We have a question from Michele Angermiller with Hollywood Reporter. Please go ahead.

M. Angermiller: Hello, Curtis. How are you?

C. Finch: Iím blessed. How are you?

M. Angermiller: Iím good. Sorry to see you go, I enjoyed you. I have a question. I donít know if this was asked or asked already. I just came in on the call, but how do you feel about Nicki missing your performance on Wednesday night? Do you think that maybe her presence there would have maybe helped you along?

C. Finch: Absolutely not. I mean if Nicki wasnít there or if she was there, I really feel like things happen for a reason. And so if she was there, if she was supposed to be here, she would have been there.

M. Angermiller: Were you bummed that she missed your performance, though, because she was a big supporter of yours?

C. Finch: When I got offstage, she was the first person, the first face I saw and so she gave me a high five and told me I did a good job and so that was very warming for me because I always look for the great support from all four judges, and so it was good to see her face.

M. Angermiller: Now do you think next week would you have done like a more upbeat song or do you know what you had in store for next week had you still been in the competition?

C. Finch: Absolutely. You know, you never know. Itís always about what I embody as an artist that I really want to give to the crowd, and so if itís an upbeat song, then fine. If itís a slow mid-tempo song, then I mean it really just depends on what the theme would be and what it is that I really feel like I can deliver the best to the audience.

M. Angermiller: Well, thereís so many possibilities for you and what you can do with your career now. Do you want to go in a gospel direction? Do you want to go Christian direction, an R&B direction? Whatís your plan, Curtis?

C. Finch: I want to go in a love direction because I really feel like God is love and so as long as Iím not singing anything provocative or anything that can offend anyone across the world, then I would be doing things that make people feel better about their day. What I love about music is that people just want to feel things a certain way, and you really donít have to be offensive to do so.

Moderator: (Instructions given.) Weíll go to the line of Jamie Ruby with

J. Ruby: So what was it about Idol specifically that appealed to you rather than another competition? Did you audition for anything else?

C. Finch: No, absolutely not. American Idol is the show of all shows. It searches around the world for talent all across the world and so people really get a chance to be discovered. And so without American Idol, there would not be The Sing-Off or The Voice or these other shows that people in my opinion you know, there always has to be an example of something. There always has to be a soundboard for somebody to learn something off of and so American Idol is that. Itís the original. Itís the best, the number one show. I love it.

J. Ruby: Great. What was kind of first running through your head the first time that you sang in front of the huge audience?

C. Finch: I really want to make them smile, because I really feel like I just exude joy; and so I really want everybody that hears me sing to feel happy, because there are so many things going on in the world to frown about. To hear a gift, nothing that Iíve given myself, but something I feel like God has given me, be used in such a way to put a smile on peopleís face is the best feeling in the world.

Moderator: We have a question from Beth Kwiatkowski from Reality TV World. Please go ahead.

B. Kwiatkowski: Hello, Curtis. How are you doing?

C. Finch: Iím great; how are you?

B. Kwiatkowski: Good. Youíve obviously gotten a ton of praise from the judges during the performance show on Wednesday; and it seemed like the judges were both shocked and surprised that you finished in last place. I guess were you also a little bit shocked about your elimination, because it would certainly seem understandable if you were?

C. Finch: Not at all, I always learned to expect the worst, so that if the worst does happen, I donít look surprised, because people are always watching. People are always watching how you handle things. And so itís always my responsibility whether things work in my favor or not to remain calm and to know that I have to set the best example when eyes are on me.

B. Kwiatkowski: Okay. I know you said earlier that you thought there was a chance they could use the judgeís save, but obviously you werenít anticipating it or expecting it or anything like that, but I guess how much of you was thinking that you had a shot to get it? And also did you ever find out which judges voted no on it, because Nicki was the one who definitely who seemed on board with keeping you around?

C. Finch: I really donít try to harp on or think about who said no, because that was something done in the past and I canít go back and change it; and anybody thatís upset about it canít go back and change it. I just really look towards the future and really just strive to be the best that I can be where I am now.

Moderator: A question from Noelle Beauregard. Please go ahead.

N. Beauregard: Hello. You and Candice are close, right?

C. Finch: Yes, absolutely.

N. Beauregard: Yes, you tried out last season and this season you made it to the top ten together. What was it like to have a close friend by your side as you climbed to the top?

C. Finch: It was amazing because I know the struggle of no. I know the pain of no, and so to feel the joy of yes, it feels epic.

Moderator: A question from Andrea Dresdale with ABC News Radio. Please go ahead.

A. Dresdale: Hey, Curtis, I know that you and Mariah have a special connection and she has tweeted you some very nice things since you left the show.

C. Finch: Yes, she has.

A. Dresdale: Yes, so I just want to know when you came off stage after the show, after your elimination, did she talk to you, did she give you some support, give you some advice, tell you how sad she was that you left?

C. Finch: Absolutely, she always gives me great feedback and so she really didnít say anything different than she had been saying since Iíve been on the show. You know, to keep my head up, remain consistent and remain 100% authentic.

A. Dresdale: And a follow-up, who would you like to go on the tour with, Charlie or Aubrey, who are you rooting for there?

C. Finch: Either one. I really wish they could bring every contestant that sang for Idol this season back because this season was filled with extremely amazing talent and so it doesnít matter to me. Theyíre both awesome. I hope they both can come back, actually.

Moderator: A question from Bill Pinella with San Diego UT. Please go ahead.

B. Pinella: Hello, Curtis. How are you doing?

C. Finch: Iím fantastic. How are you?

B. Pinella: Iím fine. In your opinion, how were the judges this year, you think they were critical enough to you and you wish they might have been a little more so that might have helped you?

C. Finch: Say that again.

B. Pinella: Do you think the judges were critical enough of you, and if not, do you wish they would have been more so and that might have helped you out?

C. Finch: The judges always talk with so much passion and so however they feel about a contestant, be it in good light or a bad light, theyíre going to say it; and so thereís this thing that exists called favor, and I really feel like that I have been favored in this competition. Itís nothing that I did on my own. I really feel like itís God and so the fact that I brought consistency every time I sang and I gave it my all, I think the judges recognized that.

B. Pinella: And a follow-up question, to put your Idol journey in some sort of perspective, what were you doing this time last year around Easter?

C. Finch: Getting ready for a concert at my church.

Moderator: The next question is from Lori Bizzoco with

L. Bizzoco: Hello, Curtis. How are you?

C. Finch: Iím great, Love, how are you?

L. Bizzoco: Good, good. We really, really enjoyed you and youíre definitely going to be missed. My question was I think pretty much asked, but within reference to Mariah, she really seemed to have a very strong connection with you. Can you elaborate on that, I mean, what do you think that was all about?

C. Finch: What you see on television is basically what you get. I mean sheís been supportive of me, both privately and publicly. She said I made her cry and that there was moments that I sang that she really needed that in her life, and so she really didnít say anything in private that she hadnít already said publicly.

L. Bizzoco: Excellent. What do you have in store for the future, like what are your thoughts? I know maybe youíre not thinking that far ahead, but weíd love to hear what youíre thinking about in terms of next steps.

C. Finch: Oh, Iím always thinking that far ahead. Iím always looking to see what my next step will be. Well, first of all the summer tour is coming up with the other Idols and so Iím very elated about that because I get to grow as an artist with them. I get to cry; I get to laugh. I get to act goofy; I get to hang out with the other nine contestants and so Iím having a blast and so Iím definitely looking forward to that. I would love to sit down in a studio and work with the Alicia Keys, R. Kelly maybe go on Glee one time and do some acting, maybe Broadway. Really the sky is the limit. There are no limits when it comes to what I feel like Iíve been gifted to do and so we shall see. Tune in, guys.

Moderator: We have a question from Jamie Ruby with

J. Ruby: Besides Candice, who else have you been close to?

C. Finch: Burnell, Devin, Kree, Angie, really you can pick one, because really I thought when I was leaving St. Louis that I was leaving my family. I didnít know that God would give me another one once I got here; and so weíve just become so close and so kind hearted towards each other because not only do they possess such huge gifts as it pertains to vocal ability, but they are very charismatic and very loving and adorable people. I love being around them.

Moderator: We have a question from Beth Kwiatkowski with Reality TV World. Please go ahead.

B. Kwiatkowski: Hey, Curtis. Everybody has been proclaiming this season the girls to lose. Do you think that kind of naturally puts the men at a disadvantage a little bit voting-wise?

C. Finch: Absolutely not, the talent that has been found and put in the top ten, itís very amazing; and so America is going to have a huge task ahead of them, because everybody there are vocal beasts.

B. Kwiatkowski: Okay, it definitely sounds like you think they guys are capable of maybe beating the women, is that right?

C. Finch: Absolutely Ö yes.

B. Kwiatkowski: So which ones in particular?

C. Finch: All of them, really you could pick one because everybody has something that they bring different to the table and when they do that effectively, it goes through the TV and the voters pick up the phone. And they vote or they go on the app and they vote, or they go on and they vote. And so these contestants are very infectious because their gifts come straight from their heart and it reaches the heart of American people all over the world.

Moderator: (Instructions given.) Weíll go back to the line of Beth Kwiatkowski with Reality World TV. Please go ahead.

B. Kwiatkowski: Hello, Curtis. Just a couple last quick ones. It obviously definitely sounds like you donít like to harp on the negatives, and thatís completely understandable, so I guess I want to kind of twist something around that I said earlier. Did you have any idea of who voted yes for you to get saved? Ö I guess?

C. Finch: I think itís pretty obvious that Nicki said yes, and so you know I really donít know. I was focusing on singing my heart out at that moment and so whoever was saying yes and no really didnít matter because I really feel like the fans said yes. And as long they said yes, then my heart is happy.

B. Kwiatkowski: Sure. Last night Jimmy Iovine had said that he assumed you wouldnít make it past eighth place or so if you continued on the same song choice path, so I guess had you survived another week, would you have taken his advice into account and maybe changed things up a little bit or you know love and the inspiration songs and stuff.

C. Finch: I guess we would never know.

Moderator: We have a question from Kendra Smith with Entertainment World.

K. Smith: Hello, Curtis, this is Kendra. How are you?

C. Finch: Iím blessed. How are you?

K. Smith: Good, I just had one question. The judges were really kept saying how your performance wasnít as strong as it was in the previous weeks. Do you agree with that or do you feel like you definitely did give your 100% last night?

C. Finch: I always give 100%. Now how thatís perceived by the judges, thatís left up to their interpretation. I wouldnít be on American Idol if I wasnít going to give it my all anyway.

K. Smith: Okay. Who were your biggest influences growing up as a child?

C. Finch: Oh, definitely my parents, and Iím a huge family guy and so they really trained me up really to be an awesome young man and I still look up to them to this day.

Moderator: A question from Jamie Ruby with

J. Ruby: Out of the whole time on American Idol, what was your one favorite moment if you can pick one?

C. Finch: Oh my goodness, probably the time I got a chance to sing ďI Believe I Can FlyĒ because I just remember the energy from the audience was amazing and to open my eyes and to see the judges standing on their feet, it was felt like I was standing in the room full of believers, knowing that they can do anything once they set their minds to it.

J. Ruby: Okay, great. Thanks and good luck.

C. Finch: Thank you.

Moderator: We have a question from Andrea Dresdale with ABC New Radio. Please go ahead.

A. Dresdale: Hello, Curtis. During the competition what do you think the best piece of advice you got from any of the judges or Jimmy was that you really took to heart and you used it to advance in the competition?

C. Finch: After ďSuperstar,Ē Randy asked me how old I was and I said 25 and he was like thatís good. He was like I think you can sing anything and so I want to make sure that you understand that you should keep it young. And so thatís why I tried to kind of change up my dressing style, you know what you would see, you know a nice jacket, but some jeans just to be relevant to America.

A. Dresdale: And also I remember in your package you said you came to American Idol because you wanted to do well. Did you have the crown in your sights or did you think, well you know if I can do well enough to get into the top ten, or did you really feel like you were going for the win while you were on the show?

C. Finch: Iíve always felt like that I had to sing looking towards the end. Even during my Chicago audition I was thinking about the finale, because thatís how hard you have to work in order to be successful. I canít ever just go through the motions really if I want to do my best and so my mindset was definitely thinking about the confetti coming down and the crown being on my head.

J. Reed: So with that, I think weíre going to end the call and I just want to thank everybody for joining today. As a reminder, American Idol airs Wednesdays and Thursdays on FOX, and all our photos can be found on

At this time Iím going to turn back the call over to Curtis for some final remarks, and then Paul will provide replay instructions. Curtis.

C. Finch: I really want to thank everybody, one for your time and for your support, and thank you for believing in me so much so that you all put me in the top ten. And remember you guys can always follow me on Twitter, @CurtisAI12, and remember to pick up my last performance, ďI BelieveĒ on iTunes. It turned out very great and so I will love all your support. Thank you and God bless you all.

J. Reed: Thanks, everybody. Paul, you can give replay instructions and then everyone can disconnect. Have a good afternoon.

Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, this conference will be available for replay after 2:30 p.m. PT today through midnight PT on March 20th. That does conclude our conference for today. Thank you for your participation and for using AT&T Executive TeleConference. You may now disconnect.

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