Interview with Devin Velez of "American Idol" on FOX - Primetime Article From The TV MegaSite

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By Krista

Devin Velez

Interview with Devin Velez of "American Idol" on FOX 3/29/13

Final Transcript
FBC PUBLICITY: American Idol Eliminated Contestant Call
March 29, 2013/12:00 p.m. PDT

Katherine Taylor Ė BWR Public Relations
Devin Velez


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 amazing.

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 ahead.

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 Starbucks?

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 ahead.

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 challenging.

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 sisters.

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 you. Thanks.

D. Velez: All right, thank you.

Moderator: Next weíll move to the line of Reg Seeton of 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 lyrics.

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 this far.

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 with that.

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 ahead.

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 coincidence?

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 fighting strong.

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 on.

B. Kwiatkowski Oh, wonderful. And did you get any advice or have any conversations similar to that with Nicki, Keith, and Randy?

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

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

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 afternoon.

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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