Idol Dish

All the Dish that's fit to print about American Idol!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Melinda Doolittle's Exit Interview

I liked the way they did Lakisha's interview so much, I had to go back and get Melinda's for you. :) Here it is, from AOL

Melinda Doolittle
Eliminated: May 16
Age: 29
Hometown: Brentwood, Tenn.

Most people were shocked and a little dismayed when Ryan said you were going home. Why do you think you were eliminated?
First of all, I was up against two amazing contestants. I think Jordin and Blake did a fabulous job Tuesday night. I know that I was probably getting a little bit of the older vote, which was great. But sometimes they may not spend a full two hours voting. And that's OK because I feel like I've won as far as where I've ended up in the competition.

What kind of album do you plan to record?
The only way I know how to describe it is just soul music. Anything from the heart. I love anything where I can tell a story. I hope to have a great soul album.

What did you make of the criticism that you too often looked surprised and shocked after getting good feedback from the judges?

It's part of my personality. Plus, coming out of singing background for so many years, I was so used to having to sound like other people. 'American Idol' was my first time really stepping out and finding out what my voice sounded like. The fact that people liked it and were giving me good comments was surprising to me. It was a great honor, but it always kind of shocked me at first. It was my little adjustment process.

Which contestant did you pal around with the most?
I'm kind of the mama of the bunch, since I'm the oldest. I call them all my babies. Jordin being the youngest is my baby girl definitely. We all hang out. Blake is kind of the class clown.

Last night when Ryan said, "After the break, Melinda's going home," did your heart skip a beat? Did you think he slipped and revealed the results?
I thought he was saying it in regard to the next package they were going to show of me going home to Nashville. I knew I was the next one they were going to show. I think he was getting us ready for that. I don't think it was a slip.

You said before that you have no fashion sense. But now do you feel like you have a better sense of what to wear?
You know what? I am packing my suitcase as we speak and wondering the same thing. The show has great stylists, and they have been extremely helpful to me. I was privileged to have a best friend who is a stylist also. Hopefully, they've instilled something that helps me shop a little better. I'll probably just be wearing things I've already worn that I know work.

Your look really evolved over the past few months. Some people even refer to it as sexy.
Really? (Laughs) I'm going to blame it on the new wig. I name them. Last night I had Whitney on. Maybe she helped out with that.

When Ryan asked you to step forward before the results, what was your reaction?
Just by the nature of the show and how it normally goes, I kind of had an idea that it would be me. I was kind of prepared for it and was taking deep breaths. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I thought I was going to lose it. But it was actually a happy occasion that I made it this far.

Why did you decide to feature the backup singers when you sang 'I Am Woman' this week?
I remembered doing the song before and going back to sing with them the first time. Those girls have been my rock out here. I like to call them "support singers." They aren't really backup singers because they can all hold their own.

Have you heard from any of the artists you used to sing for?I've heard from quite a few who have just been extremely supportive and excited for me -- like CeCe Winans, Annointed, Martha Munizzi, Rizen and Sandi Patti. A lot of them have only heard me sing background, so this is something new for them also. They have been on the journey with me, and they've been supportive.

You and Mandisa Hundley from season five are friends. Has she given you any advice?Mandisa has been great for me. She has been the person who understands what I'm going through so if I need to bounce anything off her, I can. Not necessarily advice other than just be yourself, love it, live in the moment and give 100 percent.

What performance turned out better than you expected?'Have A Nice Day.' Rock was way out of my comfort zone, and I'm still dumbfounded that people really liked it.

The judges said you needed to do a better job of letting loose on stage. Do you feel like you ever achieved that?
Yes, it was after I got eliminated last night. There's so much going through your head getting ready to be judged and ready to be voted on, I don't know that I've actually achieved letting loose during the actual show. Last night was kind of a full-circle moment for me in the fact that I was able to let go and have a great time on stage. It really meant a lot to me.

What will you take away from this experience?

I know that I was really scared to do this at the beginning. The fact that I was able to step up and do it even in the midst of fear kind of just gave me an outlook on how strong God has helped me become. I've found my own voice as opposed to my "blending voice," and I couldn't have asked for more from this experience.


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