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By Krista

Jessica Meuse

Interview with Jessica Meuse of "American Idol" on FOX 5/9/14

Final Transcript
FBC PUBLICITY: American Idol XIII Interview Call
May 9, 2014/10:00 a.m. PDT

Molly OíGara, BWR Public Relations
Jessica Meuse, American Idol XIII Contestant


Moderator: Ladies and gentleman, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the American Idol interview call with Jessica Meuse. (Operator instructions.) As a reminder, this conference is being reordered.

Iíll not turn the conference over to Molly OíGara for opening remarks. Please go ahead.

Molly: Hi, everybody. Thank you so much for joining us today for the American Idol call with Jess. As a reminder, she is here to talk about her experience on the show and her plans moving forward. As always, if we feel anyone is harping on one particular subject we do reserve the right to jump in and move the call along.

With that being said, letís go ahead and get started.

Moderator: Thank you. Our first question will come from Karen Moul with SciFiVision. Go ahead, please.

Karen: Hi, thank so much for being with us today. Lesson of the show, you talked about wanting to go home a hero and now that youíve had some time to reflect on that how do you feel about going home and whatís next for you?

Jessica: I mean, I feel really good about it. Iím leaving on a good note. I left myself on the stage. Iím really happy I did an original song, and thatís me as an artist. I stayed true to myself the entire run on American Idol and itís definitely not over for me.

Karen: Well thanks a lot, and good luck to you.

Jessica: Thank you.

Moderator: Okay, thank you. Weíll go next to Mary Colurso with the Birmingham News. Go ahead, please.

Mary: Hi, Jess. Thanks for speaking with us today.

Jessica: Hey, how are you today?

Mary: Good. Itís good to talk with you. Jess, the judges seemed to really love when you did originals. Why not do more of those on the show? I know it wouldnít fit into every theme like Ď80s theme, but something like breakups and makeups?

Jessica: Oh, I was going to, but then I couldnít. Itís kind of out of my power at that point because, trust me, I would have done originals every week if I couldíve.

Mary: So without going into too much detail, a question of the bands learning the song or the Ė

Jessica: I donít think, itís not even about that because theyíre pretty easy to learn itís just I guess itís higher powers than myself, you know, and they want cover songs like a lot of people want to hear songs that they know and I mean it is a popular music show. So itís hard for a singer/songwriter who does a lot of their own materials the majority of the time to kind of like adjust to that.

Mary: And will you be coming back home between now and the finale or are you going to stay out there?

Jessica: I have one day and apparently Iím getting home tomorrow at noon and then leaving very early the next morning to go to New York.

Mary: Okay, and tell us please what youíre going to do with your one day in Slapout, Alabama? If you could go one place, like, oh my God, I need to go there the second I get back home, where would that be?

Jessica: I would go anywhere with sweet tea, immediately.

Mary: Good deal. Thank you. I hope to speak with you when you get back home for a little while. Oh, and I guess that leads to another question, Dexter and C.J. say theyíre going to move to Nashville, what about you?

Jessica: Yes, sounds like a plan.

Mary: Okay, girl. Thank you.

Jessica: Thank you.

Moderator: Thank you, and next we have Michael Weinfield with the Associated Press Broadcast.

Michael: Hi, Jess.

Jessica: Hey.

Michael: Hey, the judges kept complaining that you didnít show enough emotion, but you sure showed plenty of emotion when you got the final news. Were you surprised by how emotional you got then?

Jessica: No, Iím a big baby, like Iím always that way. But I believe that I have showed emotion throughout the weeks. Iíve definitely grown as an artist and thereís always things to work on and I believe that that was probably my weakest spot, but I definitely did get better. Itís going from bars where youíre not necessarily getting any attention, like youíre just a bar singer in a corner and thereís just the bartender listening to you, to being on a national stage where everyoneís looking at how your eye twitches. You know, itís a big difference and you have to get used to it. But I really do believe that I came in to my own and I really figured out myself on the stage, ultimately, so Iím very proud of that.

Michael: A lot of people thought that the judges were harder on you than anyone else. Did you feel picked on?

Jessica: I mean at times, definitely, but I know itís part of the game and I have bigger things ahead of me. Iím very sure that Iím going to make it happen.

Moderator: Okay, thank you. Our next question will come from Cindy Lu with the Braden River High School Spyglass. Go ahead, please.

Cindy: Hi, Jessica. This is Cindy. I go to Braden River High School, the same school as Sam Woolf.

Jessica: Oh, hey.

Cindy: Hi. I write for our school newspaper, the Spyglass. So we know that you auditioned for The Voice and you already have a released album, how did you think that this past experience in the music industry helped you with Idol?

Jessica: Well it definitely got me conditioned to be in front of cameras, and thatís a major part of American Idol because youíre constantly working a camera like itís millions of people. Like one camera symbolizes millions of people. You got to look around and see which one is turned on and when. So you kind of have to get used to that. You got to learn how to talk in front of a camera. Itís a lot more difficult than people think. Itís like youíre pulling everything together out of thin air right then and there and youíve got to say it the right way. Youíve got to do everything a certain way and not look like a fool. So I would say that thatís probably the biggest thing.

Cindy: Was there a particular judge that you looked up to the most and what was the best advice that they gave you?

Jessica: I really like Harry and Keith, but after last night I think that Harry is probably my favorite because I like to compare him to somebody up in the stands while youíre playing a football game. You donít necessarily see whatís about to happen or the things youíre doing wrong out there on the field because youíre down there and thatís your perspective. But heís up there and he can see everything and he knows what heís talking about and heís like, oh youíre doing this, you need to do this, and he has the correct terminology and he understands it and he can pinpoint things and ultimately help you grow.

Cindy: What was the best advice that he gave you?

Jessica: Probably just like feeling it and I think thatís the best advice anyone could give, just make sure youíre feeling what youíre doing and convince people.

Cindy: Okay. Thank you, Jessica.

Jessica: Thank you.

Moderator: And next we have MJ Santilli with MJsBigBlog. Go ahead, please.

MJ: Hi, Jess.

Jessica: Hey, I read your stuff.

MJ: Iím so unhappy that youíre gone. Youíre my favorite.

Jessica: Thank you.

MJ: Iím so happy to be talking to you this morning. I wanted to know a little bit more about the song switcheroo that seemed very abrupt. First of all, we didnít know that you guys would be singings the third song. Even when TVLine posted the spoils there was still only two songs and on the day of the show we found out that there were three songs, like it was a big secret. So I was wondering why that, my first question is, is there a reason why that information was withheld?

Jessica: I really donít know why it was withheld, I didnít know it was, but we were aware of the three songs ahead of time and it was originally going to be originals because weíre all song writers in the top four.

MJ: So all four of you had practiced originals song during the week?

Jessica: Yes. Everything, the ďSo WhatĒ song was a last minute switcheroo and I had to learn it in like a day.

MJ: Right. So all four of you had to switch your song on Monday?

Jessica: Pretty much. The day of rehearsal we made the cut for that third song.

MJ: Wow.

Jessica: Yes.

MJ: And no wonder because that particular round seemed the weakest out of all of them. That must have been so much pressure to learn all of those songs.

Jessica: Yes, I try not to think about the pressure and I try to just do the unhealthy thing and bottle it all up. I really like to focus on what I do because I genuinely love to be up there and I really have a great time. I loved being up there. I did a Pink song and I had fire and that was really bad-a, so I mean I had fun all the same, but itís definitely a little bit stressful to have to cram all that in your mind last minute.

MJ: So they didnít tell you why they werenít switching it, just that it was happening, right?

Jessica: No. They just were like, oh, thereís a change; you have to do this.

MJ: Also, one more question. At the end of the show when you did your song, very emotional and fantastic way to leave the show, I think, the band started to play the song and then you looked at them like you didnít know what was happening? You seemed a little confused, was there like a mix up there?

Jessica: I had no in-ears or anything, I couldnít really hear anything. I didnít know, usually thereís a click that leads into when theyíre starting off and I couldnít hear it right because I believe I was in front of the ground monitors, so I was trying to listen to what part of the song they were at and I just started singing. I was like, screw it, Iíll do it anyway. And it worked out.

MJ: It was fantastic, a fantastic song.

Jessica: Thank you.

MJ: Thanks. Iíll see you on tour.

Moderator: Thank you. Our next question is from Beth Kwiatkowski with Reality TV World.

Beth: Hi, Jessica. Congratulations on making it this far.

Jessica: Thank you.

Beth: So thereís been a lot of talk about you not being able to do more original songs. I just want to get your opinion on how you really felt about that. Did that frustrate you?

Jessica: I didnít really let that frustrate me because I do know a lot of cover songs from singing three to four hour gigs back at home; but I would have really liked to do originals at least one a week and really get it out there and push it just because thatís me as an artist.

Beth: Okay, and when you landed in the bottom two and also when you got eliminated, there didnít seem to be much surprise on your face. I guess is that accurate to say and would you attribute your elimination to song choice because I know the judges had kind of an issue with your first two songs, although the third from Wednesday night was excellent, obviously?

Jessica: No, I just kind of got to the point where I was like, whatever, and I will always do whatís right for me and Iíll always do what I believe to be the best thing I could do put in that situation. I did that every week and I mean thatís what matters and if I get cut Iím going to get cut for being myself, and thatís exactly what happened, but thatís the best way I could go out.

MJ: Okay, great. Thanks, Jessica.

Jessica: Thank you.

Moderator: Thank you, and next we have Michele Angermiller with the Hollywood Reporter.

Michele: Hello, Jess.

Jessica: Hey.

Michele: So whatís the difference between going on the Idol stage and youíre a one woman show if you donít mind, you were performing at the bars in Slapout?

Jessica: Well, itís completely different. Itís like two different planets because Iím so used to doing stuff all by myself back at home, but over here it was like I had so much help with a lot, but itís still a lot of work. Itís actually more work for me, but itís balanced amongst a bunch of people as a team. So I think playing in the bars and my stressful life before it was self-rewarding in that I was doing what I love, butóIím sorry; I hear an echo and itís driving me crazy. But I think it built the necessary character to get through what Iíve been going through for the past three months and I wouldnít change it and Iím really happy with how it turned out. I think it really kept my head on straight this whole time.

Michele: Well, ďBlue Eyed LieĒ sounded phenomenal with the band. I donít know if thatís your first time doing that, with the full band in back of you, but Iím just wondering if a lot of times on the Idol tour they allow somebody to do an original like Colton did an original and Angie did an original last year, do you think theyíre going to let you do ďBlue Eyed LieĒ on the tour?

Jessica: They better let me do ďBlue Eyed LieĒ on the tour. I really hope so.

Michele: I know that youíve probably got a lot of material written for an album, Iím sure people have started hitting you up already. Did Keith talk to you about Nashville yet?

Jessica: Keith mentioned some people talking about me and I believe he was referring to my song writing and stuff, but we didnít get into a real in-depth conversation. I got swept away into press.

Michele: Was it nerve racking going up, I know a lot of times they said that you looked like you had problems, but I think by your Gaga song I think that you totally had it.

Jessica: Oh, I did, and I felt good every week like I really do by best and to me thatís all that matters. That I feel good about it and that I make my fans happy because Iím very fan oriented and I love my fans so much. Thatís rewarding to me. You take what the judges say, you take what other people say, sure, but ultimately itís how you feel and how your fans are happy.

Michele: Well your muses really gave you a lot of support, Iím sure. And are you grand marshalling a parade this weekend?

Jessica: Iím trying to. It really depends when my flight gets in.

Michele Well, itís nice that they were having something for you, anyway.

Jessica: Yes. I love my hometown, theyíve done so much and they just continue to do it and they just amaze me as people.

Michele: Thank you, Jess. Best of luck to you. Canít wait to see the finale. Canít wait to see what you do.

Jessica: Thank you.

Moderator: Thank you. We have a question from Kylene Hamulak with Thatís Your Reality.

Kylene: Hi, Jess. Thanks for taking the call today.

Jessica: Hey, no problem.

Kylene: ďBlue Eyed Lie,Ē it got a lot of obviously national exposure. You got to perform it several times. Every time it was stronger than the time before that we saw it. What is it like to experience an original song getting such a great reception from everyone in the studio, but also from fans online and beyond?

Jessica: Itís like so surreal, I canít even think of words to describe it. That song is so real to me and it happened to me, I lived it. Thatís word for word, itís so honest and itís so bare. Itís my soul and itís like taking my diary and just reading it to national television. To hear that it has national exposure, to be on that stage and singing it, is such a huge blessing for me. And for people to actually like it is just absolutely amazing and I couldnít put it all into words if I tried.

Kylene: It was interesting because even after the first time that you performed it I saw a lot of feedback from people wondering if it was a cover because they liked it so much. So it must be a great feeling to see that.

Jessica: It is.

Kylene: In the last few weeks, has the competition felt any different in the last few weeks rather than earlier in the competition with the stress level getting higher? How is it different for you now rather than maybe a month ago?

Jessica: Itís definitely more stressful. The less people there are the higher your chance of being sent home, obviously, but also thereís only so many people to fill a two hour show so youíre doing more work, actually. The top four, we did so much work, we were doing so much stuff in one day that it was like by the end of the day we were just done. We were like, okay, time to go to bed. So it is gets more and more stressful along the way.

Kylene: Okay, thanks so much.

Jessica: Thank you.

Moderator: Thank you. Weíll go next to Deanne Macrae with

Deanne: Hi, Jess. Thanks for joining us. Youíve spoken a lot about original songs. Do you think that if you were able to play more originals songs that it would have kind of altered the way that the competition went about for you?

Jessica: If I did play original songs it probably would have changed some of the outcomes, at least for a little while. It really depends on what America wants to hear. Sometimes people want to hear something new that theyíve never heard before, but sometimes people want to hear something that theyíre very familiar with. It changes like the weather at times. But I think it couldíve changed it, but I would not want anything any other way. I believe that everything happens for a reason and thereís a reason that last night happened and Iím cool with it. Iím ready to move up and beyond and just keep on going.

Deanne: Great. On that note youíve spoken a lot about whatís next, that this isnít the end for you. You tweeted last night that this isnít the end; itís just the beginning kind of thing. What is next for you? Whatís your plan?

Jessica: Well after the Idol tour I want to collaborate with people. I want to write. I want to start putting together a CD. I want to do the graphic work for it or at least have some part in making it in the art work, and I want to see if I can get in a little bit of acting. I want to produce. I want to engineer. I want to have a studio and be a touring artist. I want to do absolutely everything.

Deanne: Any collaborations with your fellow competitors in the works?

Jessica: You know what, I would really love to collaborate with Majesty, like I love Majesty.

Deanne: Awesome. Well, thank you so much.

Jessica: Thank you.

Moderator: Thank you. Our next question is from Jeff Dodge with

Jeff: Hi, Jessica. How are you?

Jessica: Hey, Iím good. How are you?

Jeff: Iím doing good. Now, Iím sure you donít want to relive this, but there was quite a bit of drama back in Hollywood week with your group and one of the mothers Ė

Jessica: Yes.

Jeff: So looking back, what do you make of that whole situation and do you hope that sheís been watching and seeing you make it all the way to fourth place?

Jessica: Well just to be blunt, I really donít care about that lady. I feel bad that she was so mean like that. Iím a strong believer in just be kind to people, treat people the way you want to be treated and the edit they did made me look kind of snide and I felt like of bad about it because Iím really not that way. I didnít know how to handle that, so I just walked away. What do you do you do when somebody wonít even let you talk and I was like whoa, whereíd this come from.

But Iíve relived it about a billion times now and I mean itís all good. It all happened for a reason, like I keep saying about everything. But I just hope that sheís happy and I hope her daughter is doing well because her daughter is a very sweet girl. I just wish the best for them.

Jeff: Yes, and I missed the first couple of questions that started the call so Iím not sure if you were asked about this, but I found it really cool that you decided to do a Lady Gaga song this week, ďYou and I.Ē It was a great song and it worked very well for you. So why did you go with that song?

Jessica: Well, first off I do love Lady Gaga. I have a very wide range of music that I love and listen to all the time and hers is definitely included in that. And I believe that if you donít listen to the beat and the techno part of her music and you listen to her voice, she really has such a soulful voice and sheís so creative and good at what she does. So I listen to that song and I heard that potential to turn it into my own style, which is like that southern rock vibe that I did and I just had fun with it, I really did. And I loved it and I loved the vocal part of it. So I just ran with it.

Jeff: Yes, well you did a great job with it. Thank you for speaking with me.

Jessica: Thank you.

Moderator: Thank you. And next we have Andrea Dresdale with ABC News Radio.

Andrea: Hey, Jess. How are you doing? Could you clarify, I was a little confused about the discussion earlier. What you were saying was that all four of you were going to perform an original song and then at the last minute they told all four of you, no you canít do an original song, you have to pick another one?

Jessica: Yes.

Andrea: I see, okay. And then at that point, then you were just presented with songs and you just sort of took what you could get.

Jessica: Yes. Pretty much and the lyrics, of ďSo WhatĒ I liked them, and I love Pink, sheís really awesome, so I went with it.

Andrea: Were the other contestants similarly kind of confused and up ended by that whole thing, like were you kind of all scrambling?

Jessica: We were sort of just like, oh crap, we have to learn another song now.

Andrea: The other thing I wanted to ask you about is one of the things that I think weíve all enjoyed watching is how you really look so beautiful on stage and you have this really striking look. When you did the Lana Del Ray song, you really were sort of; you had a look that you had never had before. I wonder how did you feel about that? Did you enjoy showing off a different side of yourself like that?

Jessica: Yes, it was definitely fun. I think it keeps your mind open and that whole thing about me sitting on that side of the box and all with my leg and my tattoo showing, that was all absolutely last minute. I never did that in any rehearsals or anything and I just really wanted that song to be the best that it could be.

Andrea: It was great. It was perfect for you. You mentioned before about acting, what would be your dream role?

Jessica: Oh man, if I could be in an episode of Supernatural, oh, my goodness. I know Snookie was in it not long ago as she was a demon and it was funny, but I love Snookie so itís okay. I would love to even be just the creepy person in the background looking around for ten seconds; that would be okay, Iíd be down with that. It would just be amazing. I love that show, itís unhealthy. Itís an obsession.

Andrea: Well, I thought it was really terrible that you girls didnít get to meet your crushes, speaking of Supernatural. The boys got to see their crushes, you guys didnít get to see them, but that kind of sucked, but okay.

Jessica: I donít know what I would have done, honestly. I probably would have been like, oh, my gosh, and I would have fan-girled really hard.

Andrea: Okay. Thanks a lot.

Jessica: Thank you.

Moderator: Thank you. And next we have Bill Pinella with Union Tribune. Go ahead, please.

Bill: Hi, Jess. Thank you for doing this.

Jessica: Hey, no problem.

Bill: Hey, now that youíve run the entire gamut of the show, was there anything that really surprised you about Idol that you didnít see coming?

Jessica: Just really the amount of people that go into making a single performance, like thereís so much behind the scenes. And thereís a lot of people who go unnamed a lot, like thereís a wardrobe person, thereís a hair person, a makeup person, and they really do so much and it really makesóitís a huge part of the performance and how you do and you feel when youíre up there, which affects how you do.

Bill: Okay, and prior to being on this show, were a fan and did you watch it religiously year after year?

Jessica: No, not really. I donít really watch much TV. I donít, I watch cartoons and I watch Supernatural.

Bill: Okay. And one last question, itís no surprise that the ratings have dipped in the last two years, what do you think they could do to make the ratings skyrocket again? Is there any one thing you would like to see them do?

Jessica: I have no idea. Honestly, sometimes things just run their course. Itís been on for what, thirteen, fourteen years now. Thatís a long time.

Bill: Yes, okay. Well, Iíll look forward to seeing you on the tour this summer.

Jessica: Thank you.

Bill: Thank you.

Moderator: Thank you. And we are getting low on time so just a reminder, please limit yourself to one question and one follow up. Weíll go next to Jack Olmsted with the Seattle PI Reader. Go ahead, please.

Jack: Hi, Jessica. Congratulations on your journey. I was wondering what you learned about yourself in your American Idol journey?

Jessica: I really learned that the limits that you have are only the limits that you put on yourself, and if you really want something then youíve got to work for it and you really can do it. I went from being in a smoky bar with pneumonia and having to cancel shows and really having a hard time doing everything on my own to being on national television with an original song; not just one time but two or three times now, and itís absolutely amazing.

Jack: You talk about your mentoring sessions with Adam Lambert, Chris Daughtry, and David Cook. Who gave you the best advice?

Jessica: Well, they all really were critical and they all give you a perspective, and they all really teach you. Itís just very humbling to meet those people whoíve been in your shoes and they understand; especially Chris got cut at the same point where I just got cut, so itís really cool to be able to relate to someone on that level.

Jack: Okay. Thanks so much. Good luck.

Jessica: Thank you.

Moderator: Thank you. And we have a question from Krista Chain with TV MegaSite.

Krista: Hi, Jess. Thanks for taking the call.

Jessica: Hey, thank you.

Krista: Youíre not very far from me.

Jessica: I can hear it in your voice. Youíre from Alabama?

Krista: I am, I live near Tuscaloosa.

Jessica: Oh, okay.

Krista: One of my questions is, do you think that you and Dexter and C.J. and all of the Alabama clan will ever get together and have a show somewhere or do something?

Jessica: You know what, I donít see why not. Iím down for that. I would love to play a show with them.

Krista: I would love to see a show with all the Alabama folks. That would be neat.

Jessica: Alabama Power Company.

Krista: My follow up question, I was just going to ask, is there anyone that you would have liked to have had come in as a mentor that you didnít get to work with?

Jessica: I think it would have been cool to have someone like Dierks Bentley come in and like talk to everybody because heís like the same kind of artist that I strive to be too. Heís a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and heís doing really well. It would have been cool.

Krista: Okay, great. I hope to get to see you on tour.

Jessica: Thank you.

Moderator: Thank you. And next we have Elizabeth Kim with

Elizabeth: Hi, Jess. Thanks for speaking with us today.

Jessica: No problem.

Elizabeth: Cupidís Pulse is a relationship website, so I would kind of like to switch gears and ask you about you and your boyfriend. When youíre away from each other for this long it can be really tough, especially in a high pressure environment like Idol. So how has Steve supported you on this journey and would you say that Idol affected your relationship in anyway?

Jessica: It did affect the relationship to the point where it didnít work anymore and weíve actually been apart for about a month now.

Elizabeth: Oh, Iím sorry to hear that.

Jessica: He, I know, is very stressful and I guess itís just not the right time. Heís a good guy and itís just sometimes situations really bring out the worst in people.

Elizabeth: Okay, and youíve said that ďBlue Eyed LieĒ is about a former boyfriend. How does writing a song help you deal with heartbreak and tough situations?

Jessica: It teaches me how to let go and just not worry about things that you canít control anymore because if Iím not the [indiscernible] then what do I have to worry about?

Elizabeth: Thank you. You were one of my favorites and I hope to get your album soon.

Jessica: Thank you so much.

Elizabeth: No problem. Bye.

Molly: And with that, weíre going to wrap up the conference call for today. Thank you, everyone, for joining us. As a reminder, American Idol airs Wednesdays and Thursdays on Fox and all artwork can be found on

At this point Iím going to turn it back over to Jess for a quick final remark, and then the Moderator will provide additional information and playback instructions. Jess, go ahead.

Jessica: Well, thank you guys so much. I really enjoyed talking to all of yíall and I really hope to meet you guys at some point ,whether itís on the tour or at another show in the future. Thank you.

Moderator: Okay, thank you. Ladies and gentleman, this conference will be available for replay after 12:30 p.m. today through midnight May 16th.

That does conclude our conference for today. Thank you for our participation and for using AT&T Executive TeleConference. You may now disconnect.

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