Interview with Burnell Taylor of "American Idol" on FOX - Primetime Article From The TV MegaSite

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By Krista

Burnell Taylor

Interview with Burnell Taylor of "American Idol" on FOX 4/5/13

Final Transcript
FBC PUBLICITY: American Idol Eliminated Contestant Call
April 5, 2013/9:30 a.m. PDT

Jennifer Reed
Burnell Taylor


Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to the American Idol Interview Call with Burnell Taylor. (Instructions given.) Iíd also like to remind you that todayís 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 Burnell Taylor. As a reminder, heís here to talk about his experience on the show and his plans moving forward. As always, if we feel anyone is harping on a particular subject, we do reserve the right to jump in and move the call along. With that being said, Cathy, letís go ahead and take the first question.

Moderator: That will come from Jamie Ruby with

J. Ruby: Hello, Burnell. Thanks for talking to us today.

B. Taylor: Hello, no problem.

J. Ruby: What do you have planned? What will your album look like?

B. Taylor: My album, I want to make captivating music, period. I want my albumóbecause thereís only a few that you can play from the beginning to the end without any skips, I just want to be a storyteller and I want to be as personal as I can get. You know, just be honest, thatís what the industry, I feel, is missing today. I want to create that link for other people to feel comfortable with doing.

J. Ruby: Okay, great. Whatís been your favorite part so far this season?

B. Taylor: My favorite part of the season was the fact that it allowed me to grow. It really allowed me to lose the weight. There are things that I never would have done if I wasnít on the show. The show motivated me to do a lot of things, and Iím thankful and blessed that I was even in this position.

J. Ruby: Okay. Great. Thank you so much.

B. Taylor: No problem.

Moderator: Next, we have Michael Weinfeld with The Associated Press.

M. Weinfeld: Hello, Burnell.

B. Taylor: Hello.

M. Weinfeld: Hello, you ended your save song by kissing Amber on the cheek; did she know that was coming and how would you describe your relationship with her?

B. Taylor: I donít think she knew that was coming. I donít think anybody knew that was coming, but me and Amber, I really like Amber. She really likes me. We like each other. You know, weíre just learning more about each other right now. Weíre not taking anything too fast, because weíre both still young. Weíre just taking our time. As far as us liking each other, we really like each other.

M. Weinfeld: Candice ended up weeping in your arms after you sang, and Nicki Minaj was crying. Mariah Carey was crying. How did you keep your composure through all of that and was there a time off camera that you ended up crying too?

B. Taylor: Actually, because I was telling them, ďDonít cry, donít cry, because this is not the end.Ē Because some people started crying before I even started singing and I was like, ďDonít cry.Ē The reason why I cried, I never knew how much they really cared. Weíre all cool. Weíre close. Weíre like a family, but I never knew how much they cared about me. Just to see that they were extra genuine, it just touched me, so I had to show love and break down, too.

M. Weinfeld: Alright. Thanks a lot, Burnell.

B. Taylor: No problem.

Moderator: Our next question is from Mark Stone with Vista Radio.

M. Stone: Hello, Burnell. How are you today?

B. Taylor: Iím doing good, doing good.

M. Stone: Iím sorry to seeóyou were really entertaining to watch, and good to listen to, of course. If weíre counting Jimmy as one of the judges, which two judges provided you with the most helpful guidance for your career and what was the best piece of advice they gave you?

B. Taylor: Anybody that had anything to do with me being on this show hadófrom Jimmy, Nicki, Keith, Mariah, Randy; all of them are good mentors. Thatís what theyíre for is to mentor us, and I appreciate all them equally. There are no favorites, because all of them have a part in my life. You know a reason why my life will never be the same.

M. Stone: If you could pick one piece of advice that someone gave you, what would it be that really stuck with you?

B. Taylor: Well, basically in Hollywood week, it was rough for me. They were telling me that I was pitchy and things like that. I took what they told me and did my homework and I got a new vocal coach; spent all the money that I had for a vocal coach, so when it was time for them to see me again, I knew it was going to be like, ďThis is the different, youíve got it together.Ē So, you know, that exactly. When I performed the first time in Vegas, thatís the reaction I got from them, so it was amazing.

M. Stone: Well, I look forward to seeing a duet with you and Nicki one day.

B. Taylor: Yes.

M. Stone: Take care, thanks.

B. Taylor: Thanks.

Moderator: Our next question is from Nahal Mottaghian with USA TODAY.

N. Mottaghian: Burnell, how are you?

B. Taylor: Iím doing good, doing good.

N. Mottaghian: What are you most excited for about the upcoming tour?

B. Taylor: I think Iím most excited about seeing things that I never saw before like different cities, because for the most part, Iíve stayed in New Orleans all my life. L.A. is the furthest I ever went, so I want to see everybodyís home towns. Not only that, I feel like the tour gives us an extra foundation on top of the foundation that we already have; you know, to build that fan base and get personal with our fans and stuff like that, so Iím looking forward to everything on the tour.

N. Mottaghian: Great. Throughout your Idol experience, is there anything that you couldíve lived without?

B. Taylor: Not at all. Not at all. Nope.

N. Mottaghian: Great. Good luck to you.

Moderator: Next, we have Gina Scarpa with

G. Scarpa: Hello, Burnell.

B. Taylor: Hello, hello.

G. Scarpa: Iím such a fan of your music, and I noticed that, you know, you do sound a little bit like John Legend. I was wondering if heís been your inspiration at all or if you have any plans to make music thatís sort of that style or if you want to do something different?

B. Taylor: Definitely. John Legend is definitely one of my inspirations. As far as me making the same type of music, I feel like thereís already a John.

G. Scarpa: Right.

B. Taylor: I try to be as original as I can get, so I just want to do something that nobody ever heard before. I love John. John is a big inspiration in my life, and I know I get a comparison with the voice. Thatís a good thing, because he can sing, so thatísó

G. Scarpa: Exactly. Well, you know Iím such a fan of yours, and I was hoping to see you get further in the competition. Why do you think that itís such a year for the ladies? What are the guys doing wrong?

B. Taylor: Honestly, itís nothing that weíre doing wrong. You know, itís just calling a spade a spade. Itís a girl year this year. You know, I would love to see a girl win, because itís been too long since one has won, so I would love to see a girl win. If a girl wins, the fact that Iím going to know her makes it 100 times better.

G. Scarpa: Well, I canít wait to see you on tour. Thanks.

Moderator: We have a question from Jennifer Maurer with

J. Maurer: Hello, Burnell. Thanks so much for taking the time today.

B. Taylor: Hello.

J. Maurer: You know, the judges all obviously seem to be fans of yours, particularly Mariah Carey who you made cry on more than one occasion. Last night, kind of made everybody cry. I wondered, did she offer you any words of support after your elimination.

B. Taylor: Yes, she was just telling me, ďThis is not the end. Take this and run with it.Ē Thatís what Iím going to do, because I just feel like itís about what you do after the show. So, thatís my focus.

J. Maurer: Youíve also garnered a huge fan base out there whoíve really come to appreciate your voice, your style, and your personality. Just real quickly, what would you like to say to them as they kind of lament your departure from the show?

B. Taylor: Fans, I donít call them fans. I call them family, because weíre a family. I love you all so much no matter what. We shall meet again, Team Burnell. We shall meet again, and itís not going to be too long.

J. Maurer: Thank you.

B. Taylor: So, just know that I love you all.

Moderator: We have a question from Karen Benardello with

K. Benardello: Hello, I just wanted to ask you; you were in the bottom three last night with Janelle, so if you heard that your name was part of the bottom two, what was your overall reaction? Did you have any idea at all that you were going to be sent home last night?

B. Taylor: Well, honestly, I had a feeling in my stomach, in my bones the whole week. I guess it was just a sign from God, you know, trying to prepare me for the situation, because it was a possibility that it could happen. I was just prepared and I know that I had to singóit wasnít about me getting saved, it was just about me leaving my mark regardless and performing my song. It wasnít perfect, but I do feel like I dug deep in, you know, deep enough for somebody to reach out to.

K. Benardello: If you were able to go back and maybe change any of your performances, would you go back and maybe make different decisions on which songs you did sing during your time on the show?

B. Taylor: Nope, I wouldnít change anything, nothing that Iíve done, because I did it for a reason. You know, everything happens for a reason. I wouldnít be who I am today if I wouldnít have done the songs that I did. I appreciate all the songs that I did.

K. Benardello: Okay, thank you.

B. Taylor: No problem.

Moderator: Next, we have Kendra Smith with Entertainment World.

K. Smith: Hello, Burnell. How are you? Itís nice to speak with you.

B. Taylor: Good, good, good.

K. Smith: I just want to ask, American Idol has been a really good stepping stone for your career, so what do you think your next step might be?

B. Taylor: When I get home, actually, Iím going to the gym, because I gained 10 pounds, so Iím going to the gym as soon as I get home. I m not going to even get off the plane fast enough, Iím going to start running, because I want to lose some more weight. Besides that music wise, I really, really, reallyóIím going to start back writing, because I did a lot of writing in my younger days, but I stopped. Iím going to start back writing and just taking the time out to do the things that I need to do so when itís time for me to be free, you know, on my own, I can just start putting everything out.

K. Smith: Great. Is there any particular musician that you hope one day to maybe work with?

B. Taylor: Well, I can sit here and name a whole list, and hopefully, theyíre listening. I would love working with Frank Ocean, Rhianna, even Chris Brown, Miguel. You know, everybodyólike Brandy, India.Arie, everybody. I just want to be heard, and I want to be appreciated.

K. Smith: Great.

B. Taylor: As much as I can get my voice out, that would be amazing.

K. Smith: Great, thank you so much.

B. Taylor: No problem.

Moderator: Next, we have Krista Chain with TV MegaSite.

K. Chain: Hello, Burnell. Thanks for talking to us today. My question was some of the judges seemed to think that the song that you sang Wednesday night was not in your genre and that you looked uncomfortable. Did you feel that you were that uncomfortable singing that song? Why did you choose that song?

B. Taylor: Actually, I had the time of my life performing that song. The fact that I performed a rock song on live televisionóif somebody would have told me that, I never would have believed them. If nobodyís proud of me, Iím proud of myself, because I knew what it took. I knew what it took for me to overcome that performance and shine through it even though it probably was difficult for me. I just got to roll with the punches and not make excuses for what it is.

K. Chain: Well, I thought you did great myself.

B. Taylor: Thank you, thank you.

K. Chain: Were you surprised at all thatóI know I was. Were you surprised at all that they didnít use the save?

B. Taylor: Honestly, it was already established and it was alreadyóI knew I just had a feeling, honestly. I had a feeling thatóthatís why I sung my song the way I sung it. Thatís why I walked over to the contestants, because I knewóI had a feeling that this was the end for that chapter, because this is not the end, but I just knew it was the end for that chapter.

K. Chain: Okay. Well, great and I wish you good luck.

B. Taylor: Thank you so much. Thank you.

K. Chain: Youíre welcome.

Moderator: The next question is from Jamie Ruby with

J. Ruby: Hello, again. When you were first on the stage with the huge audience, what was going through your head?

B. Taylor: Well, in Vegas, we had heard the audience. We were like, that was our first time doing it for a live audience, and it was like, this can be really good or this can be really bad. When I went on the stage and the energy from the audience, it kind of just made me feel like I was alright Ö you at home performed. It took everything away. I enjoyed performing for so many people, because for me, the more people the better.

J. Ruby: Okay, great. What did you find the most challenging so far?

B. Taylor: Well, of course, the themes are very challenging. I guess I have to say that, because some of the times, we donít know the songsóall the songs. We always want to pick the best songs, so you know that could be a challenge. Itís a good challenge, too. Itís a good challenge.

J. Ruby: Okay, great. Thank you.

B. Taylor: No problem.

Moderator: We have a question with MJ Santilli with MJsBigBlog.

M. Santilli: Hello, Burnell.

B. Taylor: Hello.

M. Santilli: I was wondering; last week, Nicki Minaj was tweeting, and she said that she was not going to save any of the boys. I was wondering how you felt about that? What your reaction to that was?

B. Taylor: Honestly, I donít know what youíre talking aboutóbut everybodyís entitled to their own opinion. I love Nicki and Nicki loves me. None of that matters because she showed me that she really loves me. She showed me that she was genuine, so I donít really let that get in between the relationship that I have with her.

M. Santilli: Okay. Thanks, Burnell.

B. Taylor: No problem.

Moderator: We will go back to Jennifer Maurer with

J. Maurer: Thanks. Hello again, Burnell.

B. Taylor: Hello.

J. Maurer: Iím just wondering, what was the most surprising thing to you about this whole experience being on Idol?

B. Taylor: Surprising. Well, honestly, two years ago, three years ago, I just found out that itís themes and all that, so being on the show and watching the show is two different things. Itís just so different. I always thought that, ďWe get to pick any song we want to sing.Ē We do get to pick out songs, but it has to fit in to the theme. I was under the impression, we pick out our own songs, we can sing whatever we want to sing, and itís not like that. That was kind of surprising.

J. Maurer: Did you find the grind to be easier, harder oróin the respect of the day-to-day rehearsals and things like that, was the routine of the day different in some form than you expected?

B. Taylor: Yes, I believe when the grind is hard, thatís when you know youíre doing what you need to do. When itís easy, itís boring, so I appreciate the hard grind and waking up. It makes us feel like weíre doing something instead of us being home not doing anything. Not living our dream. It makes us feel like weíre living our dream.

J. Maurer: Great. Thanks, and best of luck to you.

B. Taylor: Thanks so much.

Moderator: We have Sara Pagones with The Advocate. Go ahead please.

S. Pagones: Hello, Burnell.

B. Taylor: Hello.

S. Pagones: Iím just wondering what youíd like to say maybe to all of the kids at Sarah T. Reed High School and your teachers and friends there, you know, who watched you last night and were really rooting for you. What would you like them to know about how youíre doing right now?

B. Taylor: To my people at Sarah T. Reed, I love you all so much. The support that you all give is just amazing, and I cannot wait to come personally thank all of you all when I get back to New Orleans and just show my love, because the love that you all showed I just canít even explain. I love you all and you all know Iím not going anywhere. The grind is about to get even harder.

S. Pagones: Okay, do you think that youíll be staying in New Orleans a lot in the future or do you think that maybe itís going to be somewhere else for Burnell Taylor?

B. Taylor: Itís a possibility. Only time will tell.

S. Pagones: Thanks a lot.

B. Taylor: No problem.

Moderator: We have Bill Pinella with U-T San Diego.

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

B. Taylor: Iím doing good. Iím doing good. How about you?

B. Pinella: Iím fine. The mentoring sessions you had with Jimmy, how did you think those went and what did you think of his critiques of your performances?

B. Taylor: The first time I saw Jimmy Iovine, and we had our first interview, honestly, I was terrified. I have tough skin, but I was terrified. Heís like another Nicki. When youíre looking for honesty, thatís who you can go to. If youíre looking for pure honesty, thatís who you go to. I appreciate what heís talking about, because he knows what heís talking about. Thereís a difference if somebody doesnít know what theyíre talking about and theyíre just talking. He knows what heís talking about, and itís just taking the advice that he gives you and learn from it and do your homework. You know, thatís what Iíve been trying to do. Thatís what Iím going to do.

B. Pinella: Okay. I was watching this morning, you were on one of the TV shows down here and you mentioned that you broke your glasses. How did that happen?

B. Taylor: Long story. I donít know. The screw seems to have fallen out, so I can go get another pair; it isnít a big deal.

B. Pinella: Okay. Thank you, Burnell. Good luck to you.

B. Taylor: No problem.

J. Reed: Thank you, everybody, for joining us today for the conference call. As a reminder American Idol airs Wednesdays and Thursdays on FOX and all photos can be found on At this time, Iím going to turn the call back over to Burnell for some final remarks. Burnell?

B. Taylor: Thanks to everybody that took the time out to support me. Thanks for the people that are doing these reports. You all mean a lot, because this is just advertising me. To all the people and all the audiences thatís listening out right now, I just want them to know that in the future, Iím going to work with all of you all. So get prepared, because Iím coming. Iím not giving up on what I started. You know, I love you all so much. See you all.

J. Reed: Great. Thank you so much, Burnell. Iím now going to turn the call back over to Cathy. She will provide replay instructions, and then you can disconnect. Thank you and have a good day.

B. Taylor: Okay.

Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, this conference will be available for replay after 10:50 a.m. today through midnight April 10th. 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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