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American Idol: James Durbin Elimination Interview

May 13, 2011 12:59 PM by Lisa Princ

Last night on FOX‘s American Idol, we witnessed the most shocking elimination to date as James Durbin was sent home. In his post elimination interview, the young rocker reveals his thoughts. Keep reading for all the details!

American Idol’s James Durbin was a fan favorite from the start of the season and the most consistent performer this season. With that in mind, it is no wonder fans were stunned when he was eliminated last night. Today in a post elimination interview, James talked about his Idol experience – have a look at what he wanted to share!

Question: What a shocker last night, can you share your thoughts with us on the elimination?

James Durbin: It’s been a real whirlwind of emotions, I’ve been really thinking about why I came on this and why I auditioned in the first place. It’s my family, and that I wanted totry and give a voice to a genre of music that seems like its fading away.

Question: Twitter has exploded with celebrity fans, has anyone reached out to you personally yet?

James Durbin: No. But I became good friends with Chris Jericho who was on Dancing With The Stars, and that was really nice because I have been a wrestling fan since I was 12. It was nice to hang out with him, he’s a singer in a metal band so we have a lot to talk about.

Question: Can you tell us how the theater helped you?

James Durbin: One of the things that comes with Asperger’s is social awkwardness, I really had a lot of it starting out, but me being in that organization and being around people constantly helped me. From one performance to the next there was a complete 360 in my attitude.

Question: How has Heidi changed you and how did you two meet?

James Durbin: When I was four and Heidi was 13 our moms were friends at church, she watched me and I had a play date with her sister or something. Fast forward to years later I was singing karaoke, and she was at the restaurant for a going away party and we just crossed paths, I was singing, she dug the song. I didn’t remember her but I wanted to. Then I got her number and I called her but hung up from nerves, and it just took off from there. She is my guardian angel. I was about as low as you can get and then I met her and everything changed. I wanted to be a better person, and behind every successful man there is an amazing, amazing woman.

Question: If they made a movie about your life, who would you want to play you?

James Durbin: Well, I don’t know, I think I would want to play myself. I don’t want that to sound conceited or anything…I don’t know – maybe Matt Damon, and then Steven Seagal can play me when I am an old man.

Question: What is the best advice the judges gave you?

James Durbin: Probably would have to be just don’t hold back, just roll with it and keep going. Keep giving it everything. Randy said “you know this is your competition to lose” and you know I feel like I am going out on top. This week I had two of my best performances, they were both perfect and trust me, I am my biggest critic and I just shut myself up this week.

Question: Can you tell us about the full spectrum of emotions we have seen from you?

James Durbin: I’ve gone through so many changes throughout the show, earlier I talked about how kids on Broadway and Heidi helped me change, but Idol has helped me change also. I’ve never been business savvy and on Idol I’ve been able to let loose and get into my production thing. I’ve been able to get creative. Every single one of my stage performances was all me. It sounds cliche, but I feel like with the amount of stuff I have done, I really did what I wanted to do.

Question: If you could work with anyone, who would it be?

James Durbin: Mike Portnoy from Dream Theater. I actually met him and asked him if he would and he said absolutely. Also Zach Wilde again, but I have a secret weapon at home. My best friend at home….I asked him if he would be my guitarist post Idol. We have a plan to bring back a great front man with an awesome guitarist as in years past.

Question: You’re in the same situation that Chris Daughtry was, and when he was eliminated he said it was a relief in a way because winning would ruin his rock and roll vibe, do you feel the same way?

James Durbin: That makes perfect sense, but winning would have been great too you know. Your first instinct when you’re up there and Ryan says your going home, is “gosh I wanted to win so badly and I feel like I failed”, but I didn’t fail at all. It’s like a roller coaster, Idol is still just clicking up the track before it drops down into the craziness. I am still clicking up the track, it’s amazing. It’s still emotional but in the coming days and weeks, with the finale, with the tour and releasing my stuff it’s exciting.

Question: Has anyone expressed an interest in giving you a record deal?

James Durbin: Who knows, expect the unexpected. That’s what I wish I would have done Thursday, I don’t know, we’re still going with the flow on the show. I potentially yesterday heard my first single.

Question: What can we expect from the James Durbin album?

James Durbin: My record might sound like Holy Diver or some Black Sabbath. I am really excited to collaborate with people.

Question: Since you were never in the bottom three, how blindsided were you?

James Durbin: I am not going to lie I definitely was, but there was something off with the kinetic energy in the studio yesterday….not that people knew but there was a real somber feeling. I freaked out a bit before the show started, I just knew it. I really did.

Question: Can you tease us with what you have planned for the finale?

James Durbin: Once again, expect the unexpected. No one would ever expect it.

Question: What was Heidi’s reaction and did you get to see Hunter last night?

James Durbin: I have not gotten to see Hunter last night, he is back at home with my mom & sisters. When I was standing up there, I just kept looking at Heidi, trying to reassure her that is okay. I kept thinking why I auditioned in the first place, because we couldn’t afford diapers and I don’t think I will ever have to worry about diapers now.

Question: What was the first thing you did when the cameras stopped rolling last night?

James Durbin: I really just went around and thanked all of the crew, the band and the crew, everyone. Those are the people who put on the show, those are the people behind the scenes that make it happen. It was just rough, it was a rough night and I probably got only a 1/2 hour of sleep last night.

Question: Who are you closest to there and is there anyone you are rooting for in the finale?

James Durbin: I was definitely closest with all the guys. Stefano is going to be my best man, Paul’s going to be one of my groomsman. I don’t know, I have a feeling who might take it but at this point you can’t really choose.

Question: A feeling about whom?

James Durbin: I ain’t saying but who do you think?

Question: Do you think your song choices maybe did not connect enough with the audience since you had two solid and perfect performances?

James Durbin: I don’t know, it’s kind of funny, since 5 am I have been waiting for someone to ask me that question. Oddly enough Chris Jericho, the last song he danced to before his elimination was “Don’t Stop Believing”. Chris Jericho was eliminated with that song and so was James Durbin.

James then thanked all his faithful fans for voting for him all season and promised that this will not be the last we hear of him. We hope not James, and please know how much you will be missed on the show!

Also, remember that the two day finale will actually take place on Tuesday, May 24th and Wednesday, May 25th – so be sure to set your DVR’s accordingly. Be sure to tune in next week to see the top three take the stage to battle it out for a shot at the finale on American Idol on FOX!

Want more? Follow our tweets on Twitter and “like” us on Facebook! For other great American Idol news, please feel free to check out SirLinksALot: American Idol and then come and discuss the show on our American Idol message boards.

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Photo Credit: FOX

Topics: American Idol, FOX Reality TV Shows |

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19 Responses to “American Idol: James Durbin Elimination Interview”

  1. Susan Says:
    May 13th, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    What is happening to American Idol. There is clearly something wrong here. First Pia, she had an amazing voice with looks to match. Even Jacob had “it”. Nothing compares to the elimination of James. What is going on! Perhaps the A.I. auditors need to be fired. Another thing , James second songs number did not get posted properly…sounds like a possible law action. The show is loosing all credibility! The others remaining are good – v.good. Not in the same vain as James. James if you are reading these blogs you can see by the number of responses from people all around that thought you are incrediable. You are a true artist , your voice and stage presence . You put your all into everything you did, you are gifted. I fell in love with you as an artist with a heart the size of your voice! You have no facades such as Haley. She is so arrogant and rude to the judges. How is she still remaining and no James? Did their contact phone numbers get crossed in the mix up of James. I no longer have any interest to watch the show. It does not seem honest . It is LOOSING all CREDIBILITY. Hey, wake up Simon and Coke Representives look what is happening to your show and investments. James you will be scooped up with a contract soon. J.L., Steven and Randy dont sell yourselves out to stay with this kind of dishonesty. No American didnt vote James out 1!!!

  2. Rosie Says:
    May 13th, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    I was shock that they booted out James. Not only shock because he was sent home, but also because I was opening up my computer and when my yahoo page opened. There was aready a websites where it was announceing that James was the one out and check this out. American Idol wasn’t air yet. I still had like 15 minutes to check e-mail before sitting back on my couch and watch the show. That took the fun out from watching the show. Is this going to happen from now on? Anyway…..James you are a amazing performer and singer. There will be contracts out there waiting for you.

  3. Jasica Says:
    May 13th, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    James should have been voted off. He was too cocky and confident because the Judges kept praising him, even though he could only hit one good note and screeched most of the time, and he sounded terrible. So what because he would jumped up in the air and landed on the floor. He still screeched. I’m glad this over confident, singer is gone.

  4. Jewel Green Says:
    May 13th, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    James was so fantastic that when he and Scotty was the last two standing up there I said oh no Scotty is going home. I love Scotty because he is good and is from NC but right from the beginning I said James is going to be the next American Idol. He was never in the bottom 3 so WHAT HAPPENED? But James will go on to make it big just like Daughty has. I just hope Scotty and Lauren are our 2 standing. Love you James and will be one of the first to buy your record.

  5. Trish Says:
    May 13th, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    I will not be watching American Idol ever again. It just seems like people are voting for there Favorit person instead of the best singer. Is it not a singing contest? If you look back at all of the winners from American Idol you would see that over most of the winners are not doing so well. It is because they were voted for the wrong thing looks not singing. I think that the judges should have some voting in the finale 5. Like they do on Dancing with the stars. I am sure that if the judges had a say James would still be there, he is the best singer there, right from the beginning. I think that it was a real big mistake letting James go. People are going to get fed up with this show I have. It is not only Americans watching the show the world is watching.Keep you chin up James thinks will work out for you just have faith!

  6. Theresa Cavaliere Says:
    May 13th, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    I am still in shock!!! You deserved to be no 1. But like alot of other contestants have gone on to do better things. You are truly a superstar cant wait to see you on tour when you get to Nashville. I couldnt get thru the line every night that Ive been voting til around 30 minutes before voting was over , your line was always busy! I would call the other contestants and it would go through. I am very emitonally sick over this All the best to you and yours !!! Luv, Theresa Cavaliere

  7. PAULA Says:
    May 13th, 2011 at 5:13 pm


  8. Linda Healy Says:
    May 13th, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    James endeared himself to the audience very early in the show. Based upon comments by the Judges it was assumed by many thatJames or possibly Scotty would win it. I assumed that James would. Some of the manipulative comments made by Randy, et al incentivized me to vote for Haley. I saw her talent early on and felt she deserved better feed back than she was getting. While I assumed that James would win, I kept voting for Haley to save her from those who took the comments of the Judges to heart. My mistake. I wish I would have stayed with James. He was by far the most versatile of the group. Because the process allows us to get close and personal with the contestants (a good thing) it is very difficult to accept their ultimate rejection. So many vote for the underdog. I believe it was that line of thinking on the part of the audience which caused Pia and James to be eliminated prematuredly. I think it will always be that way. The good news is that the top ten (11) have had incredible exposure and we will see them as much as we want to. As long as we continue to attend their concerts, buy their records, they will last regardless of which place they come in. James should count his lucky stars, he will go far. So will Casey and Pia. Actually, I hope that for all and was one of the first to go online and buy tickets to the American Idol Tour.

  9. kelly baylo Says:
    May 13th, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    kelly james rock on

  10. NB Says:
    May 13th, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    I am done with American Idol this season. Bye James! you’re the best singer. I dont know why Haley is still remaning. She is so horible. We are waitting for your first album James. I will miss you so much!!!

  11. AnneMarie Says:
    May 13th, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    I thought it was an exciting year because of the level of talent. While the premature departure of Pia was unexpected I did feel her Gwen Stefani attire was not right and neither were her songs on the night of her departure. While the last appearance of James were not his best songs, he gave a wonderful performance and I was blind-sided that he was voted off. He and Scotty were the main reason I recorded & watched every show this season. I would rewatch James’ performances, esp. when he did Judas Priest, Muse’s “Uprising” & Neilson’s “Without You”. I hope we get to hear a lot more of him. He truely can sing just about anything. He deserves to be successful and we all deserve to see much more of him.

  12. carol jane Says:
    May 14th, 2011 at 1:19 am

    Susan you took the words right out of my mouth! I too have lost all hope in A.I. I stopped watching it 3 years ago. And when i heard Steven and Jennifer were the new Judges, I thought maybe just maybe there is hope yet. They looked so let down last night. America let them down. And now me too. I feel so bad for James, he is the best that that show will ever have. Good-bye A.I!

  13. World Idol Says:
    May 14th, 2011 at 1:33 am

    American idol is no longer interesting with James’s elimination. American voters just got crazy.

  14. marg kebbedy Says:
    May 14th, 2011 at 7:41 am

    I am sure you don’t see most of these emails but man you are so sooooo amazing. My friend and I totally agreed that we would love to see you in
    concert. To watch you for two hours (or 4) would be amazing. There is no way you should be out….F____, you are the best they have.
    James you are the reason I watch this friggin show, I never watched it before….by the way, I am 66 my friend is 58. Jamie we love you…..you are absolutely amazing.

    Marg KENNEDY

  15. Janice Baker Says:
    May 14th, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Susan, You couldn’t have expressed my thoughts better.
    After watching James’ elimination I have no interest in watching the show.

  16. karen Says:
    May 15th, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    James, you were the reason i watched american idol when they sent you home i was devastated so were millon other people. I always thought it would be between you and scotty NEVER the girls. good luck you will make it because you have a heart and a will to over come everything I TO WILL NO LONGER WATCH AMERICAN IDOL AGAIN

  17. noelle rio Says:
    May 16th, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    I thought the last 2 standing would be JAMES & Haley, based on talent, performance & originality!! Also think Jacob, Pia and Lauren/Scotty have great vocal talent–just not as much stage charisma as James or Haley.
    Haley is just great & is Not a brat–just getting fed-up with the hypercritical judgements that ONLY she receives……

  18. Biggian Says:
    May 17th, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    History repeated it self like with Daughtry. the best singer went home at that time and this time too. James was stable and always gave a good show. James wasn’t just the best idol,his presentations were outstanding. Also, he was an example of perseverance because he is a person with two different Syndromes Asperger and Tourette.

  19. Ellie Says:
    May 27th, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    I know this all happened a long time ago, and I’m actually fine with where James landed at this point, but I think judges should never say they think someone is going to win, or pounce on one contestant continually. I think James deserved the praise and constructive criticism he received, I think the judges were a little too hard on Haley. On the other hand I think they were right, she often just didn’t pick the right song, because when she finally did pick good songs, she was great. So they had a point. Still being called the front runner is like a curse. And, Idol this year was always Scotty’s to lose, so I was mad at Randy for giving James and his fans false security, especially after one of his weakest nights– eventhough I believe Randy really appreciated James talent. It was always Scotty’s to lose and never James “to grab” as J-lo said. SO i’m not sure if that was a set up or not, but I felt manipulated. Anyhow, James will be just fine.


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