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American Idol Interview: Siobhan Magnus

May 05, 2010 05:47 AM by Christine McDow


The last person voted off American Idol was Siobhan Magnus and we got to interview her.  What did the singer from New England have to say about her time on American Idol, the other contestants and who she thinks will win?  Keep reading to find out!  Did you think it was time for Siobhan Magnus to leave?  Let us know what you think by comment below.

Question: The thing that’s most distinctive about you is that ability to hit that high note.  Tell us, when did you first find out that you could hit that note, and how has that kind of evolved your use of it.  Have you always been able to incorporate that, or is that something you’ve been able to do just recently?  Just tell us more about that note in general.

Siobhan Magnus: I’m pretty sure I figured out how to do that in the shower in high school one night.  I’m an avid shower singer to much of the dismay of my family and my neighbors, but I was singing a Kelly Clarkson song, and I went to hit one note.  I reached it, and I was able to resonate it in a different part of my head that I could belt it that high.  Ever since I figured it out I started to use it more and more with different stuff, in school choirs and in my band.  It became very useful with the style of singing that I like to do.

A particular time that it came in handy was I was singing with my friend’s band and we did “Great Gig in the Sky” by Pink Floyd.  I had a blast just wailing on those huge notes in a battle of the bands, and we won.  One of my favorite singers of all time is Janice Joplin, and I learn very much through imitation.  When I want to hear a singer that I love, I would try and emulate that, and that kind of added up into the way I sing today.

Question: With who’s left in the competition, who do you think is most likely to win American Idol?


Siobhan Magnus: It’s so hard to say because each person is so unique and extremely talented.  I know the last thing you want to hear is I don’t know.  It could be anybody, but it heavily depends on the coming themes.  Sometimes some people are more comfortable with one thing, but all the contestants have such an incredible ability to make the songs their own.  I have faith in all of them, and I think they all deserve to be there.  Whoever it is that comes out on top, it’ll be for the right reasons and because of those skills.  I love them all dearly, and I couldn’t even tell you because this whole thing has been so unpredictable and such a crazy journey.  I can honestly picture any one of them the winner at this time.

Question: You’ve said that one of your favorite female artists was Courtney Love and that you also admired Rob Zombie.  Is this a musical direction you’d like to take?  Do you think it would cause a bit of nervousness in some of your fans and record executives?

Siobhan Magnus: It easily could.  I can understand that being a cause of concern, but my tastes are in no way limited to that style of music.  I love every kind of music that moves me, and I hope to be able to create a sound that is my own because it takes from everything that I love, from jazz and soul and R&B and blues to rock and punk and oldies, big band.  I love everything.  I’ll hopefully eventually be able to create something that is my own sound but that also takes from everything that I ever loved, not just Courtney Love and Rob Zombie.

Question: I want to know a little bit about your glass blowing apprenticeship, and I want to know if glass blowing has actually helped develop you voice because I know you have to have really good pipes for that too.

Siobhan Magnus: Yes, I started working in the glass shop about three years ago.  It was such an incredible job because you learn so much every day.  It’s all chemistry.  It’s all science, but it’s happening in your hands, and I love that about it.  I could sit for hours and watch my boss make the most amazing things.

He’d tell me what he was doing and how he was doing it.  Then if the shop was slow and we didn’t have a lot of customers, he’d have me get on the torch, and he’s say, “Okay, you try,” and he’d tell me how to do something.  There were times when he’d be working on a huge piece, and he’d need me to come over and hold the other end and blow in it because he couldn’t reach.

I think that glass blowing does require a certain amount of breath control, but it’s not something that you’re pushing really hard because glass is so sensitive, but I also am very vocal in my job.  When customers come in and my boss is working on something and he can’t stop and explain, I’ll have to explain for him, so I do a lot of talking and have to be comfortable talking to strangers about what’s going on.  It might sound silly, but even that is a big help in just communicating with people and just speaking up.

It gets really loud in the shop from the vents that are on because it gets so hot, and then my boss will play really loud music to get in the zone.  It’s such a cool job, and I miss it a lot, but it in many ways has helped shape me as a person, my work ethic and my ability to communicate with other people and just learning about the art which is fascinating.

Question: What were people saying to you on stage?  I noticed that you and Lee Dewyze are especially good friends.  What … that people have said to you, and what did he say to you?

Siobhan Magnus: It was hard because we’re all so close, and they’re all such cool, honest people.  We got to talk afterwards.  They said we’ll miss your personality and your sense of humor.  I tried to just bring comedy into every day.  It helps us all get through.

I am especially close with Lee.  He’s just such a great person, and we formed such an amazing friendship as I did with every contestant, but I guess Lee, in particular, we clicked, and I was so glad to have him there.  They’re all extremely encouraging.  We have this special bond, and we know that this isn’t the end by any means for any of us and that we will be friends forever.  It’s inevitable just because of what we shared together.  They were very supportive and encouraging, and I can’t wait to see them again.  I miss them already.


Question: How are you going to celebrate your homecoming with your family and your boyfriend and everybody?

Siobhan Magnus: I can’t wait to see everybody.  I’m sure we’ll have a big family dinner if not many.  Family dinner for us means at least 30 people sitting down to dinner and babies and people of all ages.  I can’t wait to see my cat, give her a big kiss and my dog and everybody.  It’ll be great.

Question: What were your thoughts on Adam Lambert as a mentor because there are some people out there that are kind of comparing you two in terms of vocals and style.

Siobhan Magnus: Well, it was wicked flattering being compared to him.  Right off the bat I just respect him so much for his individuality and his confidence, and his stage presence is just tremendous.  It’s undeniable that he’s born to do what he’s doing.  He was extremely helpful as a mentor because he was the first mentor that the show ever had that was a past contestant, so he knew firsthand what it was like to be in our shoes, and that was helpful because he was very sensitive to that.  He knew just what to say, and the things he said were so dead on.

I really just tried to absorb every single thing he said, every moment that I had with him.  He pointed out some great things not even just about technically singing the right notes or anything, but about the entire performance and your presence on stage and your motions and things to make it more believable.  I was just so honored to get to have that time with him, and he was such a kind person that he made it that much easier and less scary.  I’m so honored to have met him, to have shared an experience with him, and to be given advice from him, and I hope to see him again soon.  He’s a great guy.

Question: You really defended your right to be an individual this season and not let the judges put you into a box or pigeonhole you.  Is that something that you really wanted to instill in your fans and the people who supported you that it’s okay to be unique and it’s okay to be different?

Siobhan Magnus: That’s definitely something that is important to me from the beginning to show people that that’s something I care about and I take very seriously.  I have always been an independent person and a different kind of person, but I’m very stubborn and strong-willed, and it’s important for me to get that across that I’m not going to change to please other people.  I do what I do because it rests well on my heart and who I am.

The positive feedback that I received from fans and viewers was tremendous.  I couldn’t ask for anything better than receiving letters from younger girls who said to me, “I get made fun of at school because I’m different, but watching you has helped me accept the fact that it’s okay and it’s a good thing to be who I am and not back down just because other people intimidate me.”

I’ve received letters where I’ve been brought to tears just because I achieved something that has been a goal of mine for so long to be able to influence the lives especially of young girls in a positive way and just to show them that who you are on the inside is a beautiful thing.  You shouldn’t let anyone take that away from you because we are all perfectly made as who we are.  To be able to have that connection with fans through this whole experience, through the television and know that I reached people, even if it was just one person.  I always said if I could influence one person’s life, then that’s what I’m here for, so I’m just so honored.


Question: What are some of your favorite rooms to play in and to actually go in your neck of the woods and maybe perhaps perform?

Siobhan Magnus: My favorite place unfortunately isn’t there anymore.  It closed just before I left.  It was called The Black Spot right off of Main Street in Hyannis.  This little hole-in-the-wall place where whenever my band played there all our friends would come.  It was so small, and it was so packed that people would be out on the sidewalk watching in through the windows, but I love that stuff because you’re right there in it.  You’re in it with your friends and the people who came to see you and right on the floor with them.  That’s one of the coolest ways to perform.

Harry’s Blues Bar which is also right off of Main Street in Hyannis, I’d played there before and had a blast with my band.  I’d done a ton of shows at Barnstable High School and the amazing facilities that we were blessed to have there in our high school and the performing arts center and the astro park that’s in the middle of the school.  I miss that so much.  I miss all the high school plays and the battle of the bands and doing Shakespeare by the Sea down at Hyannis Harbor in the summer, stuff like that.

Question: Did you ever think you’d be playing the Cape Cod Melody Tent in your wildest dreams?

Siobhan Magnus: It would so cool to get to.  I love the Melody Tent because it’s such an intimate place.  One of the best experiences I ever had in my life was at the Melody Tent.  The first time I got to see Hanson was at the Melody Tent when I was 14.  I’d love to play there some day and have that intimate setting with fans.  At the same time, it’s such a familiar venue to me, so it would be really cool to be on the other side of that.

Question: What Massachusetts band, Boston area band that you grew up with or maybe your father were favorites of yours?

Siobhan Magnus: Love Dropkick Murphys, I love their Boston pride, their Red Sox pride, and my dad’s wicked into them too.  We’ve gone to see them together.  Boston, of course, they’re amazing, Aerosmith, God, there’s a lot.

Question: At the top 12 party, you mentioned to me that you had a wonderful boyfriend, and I wonder if you can share with us how he helped you through your Idol journey.

Siobhan Magnus: He’s been great this whole time.  There’s a kind of pressure on him throughout this that a lot of people don’t recognize or think of.  Him being able to be strong while we’re apart has been extremely helpful.  I knew that I could call him every night and just vent about whatever happened that day or if I was really happy or if I was really sad.  He was in it with me even though we were 3,000 miles apart, so he definitely played a huge role in getting me through all of this.

Question: Which of your competitors have you admired for the way they responded to the pressure and, specifically, Michael Lynche after the judges saved him.

Siobhan Magnus: I think every single contestant is extremely respectable.  I love them all dearly.  When Mike saved himself a couple weeks and when the judges say he was still available and he knew at that moment he had to sing for his life, and he couldn’t have done a better job.  That was just amazing.  I couldn’t think of a better person for them to have used the save on because it was shocking that it would have been him, but every person has their own personal struggles.

Michael and Crystal Bowersox being apart from their babies, I’ve witnessed firsthand how hard that is for them.  The respect I have for Aaron Kelly, being his age and going through this is just tremendous.  I can’t even imagine doing this when I was 16 going on 17.  He has to go to school every day too, and he has homework on top of it all.  He’s just such an amazing kid with such an incredible talent.

Every single one of them, Lee is incredible.  He’s a brilliant musician.  Casey James, he won’t back down about putting down his guitar because that’s who he is.  They’re all just so ambitious and strong and intelligent, and I adore them all.

Question: What would you say to people who are very disappointed that you’re out?

Siobhan Magnus: I would say not to worry because this is just the end of one thing, and it’s the beginning of a new thing.  I have so many big ideas and things that I hope to come in the future that I probably wouldn’t have gotten a chance to do without this experience.  I’m so grateful for the entire thing, and hopefully, this will just be a gateway to all of the other things that I’ve aspired to do.

Question: You talked about having some big ideas.  Can you tell us a little bit about what some of those things might be?

Siobhan Magnus: Well, one thing is I’d love to do some more theater.  I love acting.  I’ve had a lot of experience in different kinds of theater, musicals and Shakespeare, and I love acting.  I do aspire someday to be in something like Phantom of the Opera or Jesus Christ Superstar, like any kind of opera or Broadway-type musical because I love acting and singing, and the two of them together is just so much fun.

I also am a huge horror movie fan, and I definitely aspire to at least make an appearance in a wicked gory kind of horror film with all the stops and the special effects makeup that I’m just so fascinated by.  A big dream of mine since all my brothers and sisters are very artistic too would be to collaborate with all of them.  My oldest brother, Rory, is an extremely talented filmmaker, and someday I’d love to be in one of his films, and we could all come together and create a Magnus work of art.

Question: Are you disappointed that it was used on Michael before it could have potentially been used on you?

Siobhan Magnus:
No, not at all because I couldn’t imagine it not being used on Mike.  That was so shocking that there was the chance of him going home that week.  I think we all knew when it was announced.  They have to save him.  There’s no way he should be going home.  It would’ve been cool if that didn’t have to happen, but I have faith that everything happens for a reason, and I couldn’t be luckier I think to be where I’m at and to have gotten this far.  I love Mike to death, and it’s awesome that he’s still in it.

Question: You seemed to really hold it together on stage when the cameras were on.  What kind of happened once the cameras were off and you went backstage?  Was it a little harder when it’s all done?

Siobhan Magnus: It was hard to get to talking about it.  It kind of starts to sink in and I’m just going to miss a lot of it.  I’m going to miss all the people, the amazing people who run the show and everybody behind the scenes who don’t get as much credit as they should because they do so much.  It’s a whole family of people who work so hard every single day, and they’re just amazing people.  I’ll miss them all very much.

Question: Siobhan, do you have any closing remarks?

Siobhan Magnus: I just want to say thank you to everyone, whoever believed in me and supported me, and even thank you to the people who were naysayers because that made me fight harder to get to the point that I made it to.  I have the coolest fans and all the Siobhan-bons and Siobhan-bees.  It’s just been such a wild ride, and it’s not over.  It’s just a new chapter.  I hope to take this as an opportunity to start to think even more about what’s next for me which hopefully is going to be an array of things from theater to film to recording and performing all over the place for whoever wants to hear me scream.

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Photo credit: FOX

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