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Interview with Devin Velez of "American
Idol" on FOX 3/29/13
FBC PUBLICITY: American Idol Eliminated Contestant Call
March 29, 2013/12:00 p.m. PDT
Katherine Taylor Ė BWR Public Relations
Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by
and welcome to the American Idol Interview Call with Devin
Velez. You may queue up for your questions by pressing *1 on
your touchtone phone. We ask you to please limit yourself to
one question and one follow up. You may then re-queue and
additional questions may be taken if time permits. As a
reminder, this conference is being recorded.
Iíll now turn the conference over to Katherine Taylor for
opening remarks. Please go ahead.
K. Taylor: Hi, everybody. Thank you for joining us today for
the American Idol Eliminated Conference Call with Devin. 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 a particular subject we do reserve
the right to jump in and move the call along. So with that,
Paul, letís take the first question.
Moderator: Very good. Our first question will come from Vista
Radio and the line of Mark Stone. Please go ahead.
M. Stone: Hey, Devin, how are you doing?
D. Velez: Hey, Iím doing well, how about yourself, buddy?
M. Stone: Oh, not bad. Thanks for taking the time to speak
with us. Iím really sad to see you go. Your swan song was
D. Velez: Oh, thank you, sir. Itís all good. Itís a part of
the process. Sooner or later, everyone has to go except one,
and my time was 8th place and I gladly take it.
M. Stone: Yes, well thatís a good attitude to have. I was
just wondering, do you think the group song did you in, was
it that you were unfairly judged?
D. Velez: Not really unfairly. I think that I am a little at
fault, though, I didnít forget my lyrics. I think that when
youíre in a group, because one person is representing
everyone else, I think it should have been my job as a
brother to the other two and we could have maybe discussed
learning the lyrics a lot better, just because if we knew
that we were going to be so unsure of our lyrics getting on
stage, we probably should not have done the song. But what
happened happened, and I tried to save the song to the best
of my ability, but it wasnít my job to do so. And I know
that, though my solo performance went well, because our
group performance was following the solo performance, I know
that thatís what America remembered freshly in their minds,
as opposed to my solo performance.
M. Stone: Oh, okay. Thanks.
D. Velez: Thank you.
Moderator: And our next question will come from the line of
Michael Weinfeld of Associated Press. Please go ahead. Your
line is open.
M. Weinfeld: Okay. Hello, Devin.
D. Velez: Hi.
M. Weinfeld: Hey, there you are. Now that youíre off Idol I
understand that you want to win Prom King at your military
school. How do you go about winning Prom King, and what are
your chances and when do they decide?
D. Velez: I donít know, man, itís difficult. Prom is June
1st, and so Iím kind of hoping that with all this publicity
and stuff that I donít get too busy just because I am still
a kid and I still do have my last teenage years ahead of me
and I want to live them up. And my dream has always been to
just win Prom King, and I won Homecoming King this year
while I was still there, before I came to Idol, and I think
itís just, I donít know, itís always been my dream. And so
if this dream was achievable I donít think that oneís too
far out of reach now that Iím going back home.
M. Weinfeld: There are only two guys left now. Are you ready
to concede that a girlís going to win this year?
D. Velez: You know, you can never be sure. I know that the
odds are scary right now, but if the guys step it up they do
have a chance. I think that all the people that are left,
itís really scary the way this competition is going to go,
just because the talent thatís left is amazing. These
people, theyíre some of the best singers Iíve ever heard.
M. Weinfeld: Okay, Devin, thanks a lot.
D. Velez: Thank you.
Moderator: Thank you. Our next question will come from the
line of Lori Rackl of the Chicago Sun Times. Please go
L. Rackl: Hi, Devin, how are you?
D. Velez: Hi. I read your newspaper all the time.
L. Rackl: Oh, God bless you. I wish more people did. Anyway,
Iím wondering, when are you coming back to Chicago, and when
you do are you going to go right back into classes at
Rickover, and are you going to continue to work at
D. Velez: Iím stopping in New York for a couple of days and
then Iím going back home. But when I do get back Iím hoping
to go back to school. Iím not sure how that transitionís
going to work, just because we did have to sign me out
temporarily because I had to miss time for Idol. As for
Starbucks, I want to for money reasons, it was my job, that
was another passion of mine, but I donít know how thatís
going to work out because it might be a little hard. Now
that people know who I am, Iím not just going to be writing
caramel macchiato on cups, but I might be signing them and
passing them off, and thatís going to get crazy. So Iím
debating whether Iím going back to be a barista or not.
L. Rackl: And what about your plans for college this fall, do
you still want to go to the music college this fall, or is
that out of the realm of possibility right now?
D. Velez: You know, depending on how the American Idol tour
goes, if I have time when I get back. I mean, I can always
enroll into college, but I would still love to get my degree
in music education there at VanderCook, I think itís been my
dream for the last year and a half, and I keep in contact
with those people and Iíve fallen in love with the team
there, and the students and the faculty, theyíre just really
good, and I think Iíd learn a lot from that school, so yes,
Iím definitely thinking about it.
L. Rackl: Great, thank you.
D. Velez: Thank you.
Moderator: Our next question will come from Wet Paint
Entertainment and the line of Marnie Brodersen. Please go
M. Brodersen: Hi, Devin.
D. Velez: Hi.
M. Brodersen: Hi. I wanted to ask, you know, weíre pretty far
into the competition now, which week did you find the most
challenging and why?
D. Velez: The most challenging, Iíd have to say, was when I
sang ďTemporary Home.Ē That theme was past Idol songs and, I
donít know, it was interesting just because there were so
many song choices and yet I didnít feel that I could have
done any of them justice, as the meanings werenít that
great, and when I heard ďTemporary HomeĒ I had an emotional
connection with the song meaning. But I donít think that I
had any moments to shine in the song and so that week it was
really not that great for me because it was the first week
that I was in the bottom two. So I think that was the most
M. Brodersen: Okay, and then a quick follow up, what critique
do you think youíll remember the most and take away the most
from any of the judges or even Jimmy?
D. Velez: Itís from all of them, which is stay true to
yourself. I think that Iíve been pretty consistent in doing
that on the show. Iím the same before the show, I was the
same on the show, and Iím going to be the same after the
show. Idol hasnít changed me. I have grown as a person, but
I havenít changed who I am. I think that America fell in
love with me for a reason, and I donít want to change, not
just to let them down, but also not to let myself down. I
think that you should be proud of who you are and the
decisions that youíve made as a person, and so I can say
that I have no regrets on the show and if I could go back
and change anything I wouldnít.
M. Brodersen: Okay, thank you. Good luck.
D. Velez: Thank you.
Moderator: Next weíll move to the line of Jamie Steinberg of
Starry Constellation. Please go ahead.
J. Steinberg: Hi, itís such a pleasure to speak with you.
D. Velez: Hi, likewise.
J. Steinberg: I was just wondering, who are you going to keep
in touch with from the show?
D. Velez: Oh man, Iíd have to say Burnell, Curtis, Angie,
Kree, Janelle, Amber, and Candice. Oh wait, thatís all of
them. Yes, thereís no way I can narrow it down. These people
are my family. Weíve been together for three months. Iíve
fallen in love with these people. Almost all of the top five
guys, Iíve had them as roommates, and the girls, weíve
gotten closer and closer throughout the weeks. I think
thatís the saddest part about leaving the competition isnít
leaving the stage, but itís leaving your brothers and
J. Steinberg: Well, you have such great fans, the Devineers,
what would you like to say to them?
D. Velez: Iíd like to say thanks for the love and support no
matter what. I know that everyone was really, really upset
when I left home last night, but I just want them to know
that as long as I have my Devineers, my God, and the support
from my parents, I think that anything is achievable. And I
know that Iím going to go far in life, not just because of
Idol but because of the great support that I do have.
J. Steinberg: Yes, we look forward to seeing big things from
D. Velez: All right, thank you.
Moderator: Next weíll move to the line of Reg Seeton of
TheDeadbolt.com. Please go ahead.
R. Seeton: Hi, Devin. Sorry to see you go last night.
D. Velez: Oh, itís okay, buddy.
R. Seeton: When you were told to go backstage after the group
number, how did you guys deal with that?
D. Velez: You know, it was a little difficult, just because
right when you get off stage as an artist youíre your worst
critic. Youíre always thinking about all the negative things
that you had during the performance and if you could change
things, youíre trying to play it back and changing it in
your head. I really was okay. I did feel a little
embarrassed just because this far into the competition we
shouldnít be having little mistakes like forgetting the
I totally agree with Nicki Minaj when she said that it felt
like it was Hollywood Week, but mistakes do happen and the
pressure does get to us. Weíre still human. But it was a
little disappointing just to see that once youíre so far
into the competition that that was the mistake that we made.
Thatís a mistake that shouldnít even be ... right now, we
should just know our lines and know our parts. But what
happened happened and I know that stuff like that shouldnít
happen again. I think that that was a wakeup call for all of
us, whether we went home or whether we stayed.
R. Seeton: Did you have a feeling that youíd be saved, or did
you know the writing was on the wall?
D. Velez: I kind of knew the writing was on the wall, man.
Nothing of course was definite until the moment of, but even
the night prior I was getting this feeling and I was like,
all right, now I think Iím going home. And I wasnít sad
about it, Iím still not sad about it now, and itís weird
because people are expecting me to be all mopey and crying,
but my thing is making top ten was winning for me,
everything after that was falling action. Itís a great
accomplishment. Some of the contestants on the show that are
still left, theyíve auditioned two or three times and this
is my first time auditioning and Iíve made it this far. Itís
a great accomplishment and Iím so blessed to have made it
R. Seeton: Cool, man, I wish you all the best.
D. Velez: Hey, thanks, buddy. Have a good one.
Moderator: Thank you. Next weíll move to the line of Beth
Kwiatkowski of Reality TV World.
B. Kwiatkowski Hi, Devin, how are you doing?
D. Velez: Hi. Iím well, how about you?
B. Kwiatkowski Iím great. I know youíve touched on the trio
performance a little bit already, but after you guys
performed Burnell said he didnít want to throw anyone under
the bus and you said something like you tried to save a
couple of people during the song, it seems like you were
both pointing fingers a little at Lazaro, but obviously
wanted to be polite and not call him out, so would you mind
talking about that a little bit. And also, do you think
Nicki actually overreacted a little bit? Do you really think
it was as bad as she had suggested?
D. Velez: Looking back at the video, I know where Nicki was
coming from. I agree with the first half of her critique
when she said that it felt like it was Hollywood Week, that
it was a joke, that stuff like that should not happen, that
she was going to pretend that she didnít hear it. I agree
But hearing that, yes, it is a little cutting while youíre
on stage and it sucks to be up there seeing your team,
because we were a team up there, seeing your team get
knocked on that hard. But what happened happened and weíre
growing, and I think that it was a great wakeup call. I
donít think thatís going to happen again on the show.
B. Kwiatkowski Sure. And after you sang for the judges save
Mariah Carey was egging on the audience yelling out, ďSave
him, save him,Ē and Keith Urban was laughing a little bit,
and Randy Jackson hesitated for a while before even making
the announcement that they werenít going to save you, so I
guess what was going through your mind in that exact moment?
Because as a viewer it seemed like there was a good chance
they were going to save you, because they just didnít seem
as somber as theyíve been in prior eliminations, do you know
what I mean?
D. Velez: It wasnít that tough. Like I said, I think it was
already set in stone. I kind of felt like today it was just
going to happen. I thought I was going home, and sooner or
later we all have to go home, so it was my place to go home
yesterday. I think that theyíre going to save the save for
someone really, really special. Not that I donít think that
Iím special, but with all the talent thatís left if someone
is in the bottom two that doesnít belong there, just because
they have one bad song day I think that they should use that
save on that person.
B. Kwiatkowski Okay, thanks so much, Devin.
D. Velez: Thank you. Have a good one.
Moderator: Thank you. Krista Chain of TV Megasite, please go
K. Chain: Hi, Devin and thanks for talking to us today.
D. Velez: Hi, thanks. I like your accent.
K. Chain: Thank you. Iíve gotten that the last two calls. My
question is, is there any week that you would have chosen to
do a different song for any reason, looking back now?
D. Velez: No. Even the week that I first was in the bottom
two when I sang ďTemporary Home,Ē though I didnít have any
moments to shine vocal wise Iíve always had a personal
connection with that song, and so Iím a firm believer in
staying true to who you are and I think that I make
decisions as an artist and I think them through before I
make them, so the fact that Iíve gotten to where Iíve
gotten, it was my doing and no one elseís and I wouldnít go
back and change anything.
K. Chain: Okay, great. Thanks and good luck.
D. Velez: All right, thank you.
Moderator: And our next question will come from the line of
Bill Pinella of UT San Diego. Please go ahead.
B. Pinella: Hi, Devin. Thanks for doing this.
D. Velez: Hey, thanks, buddy.
B. Pinella: Hey, you mentioned that this was the first time
you ever tried out for Idol, now, having gone through the
whole experience, was there anything that really surprised
you about Idol that you didnít think would happen?
D. Velez: Yes, see, I think that looking back at the show,
after watching every episode of every season, when you see
top ten you see the photo shoot, then you see the
commercials and youíre just like, man, these people are just
rolling in money and theyíre sleeping in and getting room
service, and the biggest wakeup call was we get no sleep,
call times are super early and we have to go through hair
and makeup, and dress rehearsals, and run throughs, and
press, and our schedules are really, really tight. And so
one of the things Iím taking away from this is a lot more
respect for people that work on television programs like
this, just because, I mean, they work so hard to make us
look good and it just looks so nice and sweet on the TVs but
thereís a lot of effort that goes into it.
B. Pinella: And what about the summer tour, have you ever
seen an Idol summer tour before?
D. Velez: I havenít been one to one of the tours in all 12
seasons, but you know what, I am so excited to do it, man. I
think itís every performerís dream to do that, to perform
across the country and have fans shouting out your name and
singing with the people you love. I think what Iím looking
forward to most is that Iím going to be singing with the
same people that I was a couple of weeks ago, except weíre
not competing in a competition. So the fact that weíre going
to just be able to sing and not have anybody go home, weíre
going to still be together, I think thatís going to be the
greatest experience ever.
B. Pinella: Yes, plus youíll get to sing more than a minute
and a half. That will help.
D. Velez: Absolutely. Hallelujah to that!
B. Pinella: Thank you, Devin. Good luck to you.
D. Velez: Have a good one, buddy.
Moderator: And weíll move on then to the line of Beth
Kwiatkowski from Reality TV World for a follow up.
B. Kwiatkowski Hey, Devin.
D. Velez: Hi.
B. Kwiatkowski Everyoneís been declaring this season a
girlís to win, and thereís just been so much talk about how
fantastic they are, do you think that automatically put the
guys at a disadvantage voting wise, and do you think that
has a direct correlation to why the remaining three guys all
ended up in the bottom three last night, or just a
D. Velez: Oh, thereís an explanation for that. Of course I
canít speak so much on it just because Iím not America, I
donít know who votes for what, but I do know that though the
judges arenít voting, I know that their critiques do have a
very big influence on Americaís votes. But as for the guys
being in the bottom three last night, I think that our group
performance is what put us there and I think it was well
deserved. I think that we werenít prepared and we went up
there and it was unprofessional, and so because of that we
were in the bottom three. And I wouldnít change that for
anything, just because I donít want to be treated unfairly,
and the fact that we werenít prepared showed that thatís how
serious it can be, where you can go home. But, yes, the
girls they have power, man. Theyíve been consistent with
their performances and the vocals just because, I mean, none
of them have gone home yet. Thatís crazy. But theyíre
B. Kwiatkowski And last week, Jimmy Iovine said he believed
the judges were being too nice and easy on the contestants,
and this week viewers have noted that Nicki seemed
especially aggressive and critical in her commentary. Do you
think Nickiís behavior Wednesday night was a result of
Jimmyís complaint, that maybe she was trying to be a little
harder on you guys, or Ė
D. Velez: It could have been. You never know what youíre
going to get with Nicki Minaj. But I know that I love her as
a judge and I love that sheís always truthful.
B. Kwiatkowski Okay. And my last question for you, Devin, is
when you got eliminated and when you originally landed in
the bottom three Mariah Carey was especially emotional and
she cried during your ďsave meĒ song and everything. What
was your relationship like with her, I guess? Were you very
close to her? Because obviously all the viewers get to see
are their critiques after each performance.
D. Velez: Do you know, our time with the judges, itís not
much. Itís a little bit during rehearsals and maybe
backstage before we go on, but itís not like we get to sit
down and talk. But after I got voted off last night, I
actually had a conversation with her and hearing things
like, she was saying things like that she was so proud to
see the artist that I have been becoming and that if nothing
works out that later on down the road that she would love to
contact me. Hearing things like that from Mariah Carey, itís
crazy because she is so huge, itís crazy how big this woman
is in the industry, and so hearing that was a little
reassuring and Iím a little more at peace just because if
nothing happens I know that I always have that to fall back
B. Kwiatkowski Oh, wonderful. And did you get any advice or
have any conversations similar to that with Nicki, Keith,
D. Velez: Nicki might have had to step away earlier because I
didnít get to say bye to her, she had prior engagements. But
Keith gave me a big old bear hug, and he was just being
Keith and I love him, and he said that he was sad that I had
to go, and he said to keep going and that no matter what we
were still one of his idols, that I was an idol in their
eyes. And Randy said the same thing that Mariah did, where
if nothing happens that they would love to contact me
sometime down the road, just because I had true talent. So
hearing that from such great people, it makes you feel good
as an artist but also as a person, and so, yes, I enjoyed
every moment of it last night.
B. Kwiatkowski Awesome. Thank you, Devin, best of luck with
everything in the future.
D. Velez: Thank you. You too.
K. Taylor: Okay, with that I think weíre going to end the
call. Iíd like 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 foxflash.com.
At this time Iím going to turn the call back over to Devin
for some final remarks, and then Paul will provide replay
D. Velez: Yes, I want to say thank you guys for having me.
The fact that Iím leaving the show doesnít mean that this is
the end of Devin, and Iíve spoken about this before, Iím not
changing who I am for America, Iím not changing who I am for
family or friends, and Iím not changing who I am unless I
want to change, and right now I donít. I think that America
fell in love with me for a reason and Iím going to continue
to give them 100%. So whatever life brings, just as long as
I have my Devineers out there and my God, I think
everythingís going to be all right. So thank you guys for
this awesome opportunity and keep voting for me in life.
Just support me in life. Thatís all that I ask.
K. Taylor: Thanks, everyone. Paul, you can give replay
instructions and then everyone can disconnect. Have a great
Moderator: Thank you. Replay will be available after 1:30
p.m. Pacific Time today through April 3rd at midnight. That
does conclude our conference for today. Thank you for your
participation and for using the AT&T Executive
TeleConference Service. You may now disconnect.
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