'American Idol' Exit Interview: Brooke White!
Post by: Sal
Every contestant has a unique and individual reason for going on American Idol. Many crave music industry stardom, but some would be satisfied with Broadway or a movie role or the chance to eventually host a two-bit cable reality series. For Wednesday's (April 30) bootee Brooke White, though, it almost sounds like Idol was a form of therapy.
Talking to reporters the morning after her Idol elimination, White continues to frankly discuss the confidence issues that occasionally threatened to knock her journey off course.
"I was very honest and open about that struggle I have and, to be honest again, it escalated at times during Idol and other times I felt like I had a better handle on it," she admits. "It was very much a roller-coaster ride. Tuesday I think I felt kinda a resurge of confidence that I hadn't felt in a long time, a lot of joy, gratitude for being in that place, and I think that's what gave me that boost. It felt great and even though I went home, it was wonderful to leave on that note. I know that Simon [Cowell] said it was a nightmare or whatever, but personally I think it was a great moment and I've such incredible support from fans, which also helps to kinda reassure you."
White continues, "Finding that inner confidence is something that's definitely been a struggle for me, but I'm learning and I'm growing and Idol definitely helped me work on that. We always say that this show brings everything to the surface which might be an issue for you and that one is certainly one of them, but I worked through it and I at times had to work through it in a very public way and that's hard. It's a very vulnerable position to be in, but ... to be honest, it feels good to work through it and to face that challenge and work through it."
It's hard to imagine a contestant on a reality show as competitive as Idol doubting his or her ability to sing. Even Sanjaya Malakar probably would said he has a good voice. White, though, says she's never been so sure.
"Definitely I've had comparison issues my whole life," she says. "I didn't start singing until I was a teenager, til I was like David Archuleta's age. And I never thought that I had a nice voice. It wasn't pretty. I thought it just this low, raspy thing and I didn't have a big range and I think I was very intimidated by other singers and especially on American Idol where it's so focused on vocals, I didn't know how well I would do or if I'd survive and often times through rehearsals I'd hear everybody sing and I'd think, 'Wow, how did I get here?' It was amazing and these people are incredible and sometimes it was easy to feel ... intimidated. But you know what? I'm learning that everybody's different."
As White mentioned, her elimination came after a week when Cowell called her rendition of "I'm a Believer" a nightmare and, as you might imagine, facing harsh criticisms like that can be difficult if you're already plagued by fears about your adequacy.
"Not that it always turns out the best, but I always give my best and when you're standing there in a place of vulnerability it's hard to know what you should take and what you should not take," she says. "I think sometimes he has some valid points and sometimes I think his delivery is just plain mean. And I like him. I think he's a good guy... Paula [Abdul] said last night that someone has to give hope to [contestants] for their dreams, someone has to be positive and I think she gets that. And I think Simon comes from another side, that he wants to push you to do your best and his way of doing that is being harsh and very blunt. So that's his style. Sometimes I take it. Sometimes I leave it."
It's no surprise that when asked what she didn't get to do in her Idol time, White says she wishes she'd been able to just stop and enjoy things more.
"Honestly, the pressure was gigantic," she says. "I didn't even tune into the media, I wasn't even into it, but just your own insecurities that you feel throughout the whole thing and the pressure and the workload -- physically, emotionally, mentally -- it's huge. But you still have to try to find a way to enjoy it and I did in so many ways, but sometimes on that stage I just let it get to me. But I gave it all. I totally gave my heart and I have no regrets because of it."
Other highlights from White's exit interview:
On her emotional Wednesday exit: "I kind of anticipated it in a strange way, it was in my gut. I thought I was strong. I really did. I felt so grateful and happy and then Boom, it hit me. This is done. This is over. And the finality of that phase of the experience being over was sad and the fear of going back into the real world and what does the future hold and also excitement, so it was just a lot feels that I guess I was feeling. So yeah it was emotional and I hoped so much that I could have been strong, but you know, I guess I'm an emotional girl and I'm passionate and, I guess, really came across on the stage, because I felt very vulnerable every time."
On Paula Abdul's unexpected prognostications this week: "You know what, it's live television. Anything can happen. I mean, last week I stopped and restarted my song. It's just human moments that happen on the show. And I don't know exactly what happened with Paula, but you know, stuff happens on the show. When it's live, things can change very quickly and they kind of decided in the middle of the show to change something and I'm she just kind of got lost in the moment. You know what? She's a good-hearted woman and you just move on."
On what her own album would be like: "I would love to write, or at least co-write, and kind of build an album around that organic sound -- keep real, keep it raw, keep it fresh. I know it's 2008, so you've got to make it current, but I definitely think that's my avenue. I want to play the piano, I want to play the guitar and I want to be very involved with the music and just connect with people on a very honest level."
On this season's gender gap: "Well, you know what? The boys are awfully popular this year. And I know that because their fan mail came in great humongous stacks and the girls got like three-a-day. It's amazing, but the boys are very talented and very charming. Yeah. Oh to be a boy this year."