'Idol' exit Q&A: Alex Lambert on stage fright and the song he wish he sang

Alex-LambertSoft-spoken Alex Lambert, 19, may not have been the most theatrical of performers. But he did have that voice. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to get him into the Top 12. He talked to EW after elimination night.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How’s your morning so far?
ALEX LAMBERT: It hasn’t hit me yet that I’m off the show. It’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I thought I was going to be a lot more upset.

Were you surprised you were cut?
I was a little bit. At the same time, I saw it coming because I’m not much of a performer. I can see how other people were connecting with the audience. I understood what [the judges] meant when they said that I was uncomfortable on stage.

Did you feel uncomfortable?
No, I’m just not an experienced performer. This is the first thing I’ve ever done [like this]. I don’t know where to look or anything like that. Anything I do is all me. I was never taught anything.

If you could go back in time, would you have changed your onstage persona?
I did the best I could’ve done ever because I honestly didn’t think I could handle this. I’ve had such stage fright since I was a little kid and I think I did great for how much experience I have.

So, is it safe to say that your case of stage fright has improved since being on the show?
Yeah. I didn’t even ever want to be on the stage. I’ve always had a great fear of getting up there. Just getting up there and nailing the vocals is a good accomplishment for me.

So did you join the show to face your fears?
My mom has been trying to make me do this show for a few years. This year, she pretty much made me. She said she was going to take away my phone if I didn’t audition.

You chose “Trouble,” a song that a few past contestants have performed. What made you choose it?
I had another song in mind: “Let Me Love You” by Mario. It’s an R&B song, but I was going to change it up and make it my own. But it was a song a lot of people didn’t know so I went with my second choice because one of the producers was telling me, “If you do this song, you’ll get more votes.” But obviously I didn’t get enough. I wish I would’ve done the other song. I wish I didn’t listen to the producer. But I still feel like, vocally, the song I sang, I didn’t think it was bad enough for me to go home, but it is what it is.

Do the producers often chime in about songs?
They give you suggestions. They don’t tell you, “You have to sing this.”

You said you’re not a performer, so did you feel you were lucky to be making the cut week to week?
No, because a lot of the contestants aren’t the greatest singers, but they’re great performers so that’s the reason they’re still on the show. So I felt honored that I was one of those people there strictly because I had good vocals. I thought that was awesome. I never felt like I didn’t deserve to be there. I always felt like I did.

What are you up to now?
I’m probably going to go back to Texas to finish high school. I have to do that. I need to get my high school diploma before I think of anything else. I’m also going to be making music and seeing what’s out there for me. But first thing is finishing school. Ultimately, I want to influence people’s lives like I’ve been influenced with music. Listening to The Beatles and even today’s music, you hear something you like and you want to keep listening to it. I want people to be like that with my music. I want to be on the radio.

More American Idol top 16 exit Q&As:
Todrick Hall on setting his sights on Glee
Lilly Scott on ‘karaoke singers being molded into a big pop star’
Katelyn Epperly on ‘molding myself to be something I wasn’t’

Photo: Frank Miceletta/Fox

Comments (201 total) Add your comment
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  • Eleanor

    love you Alex. can’t wait to hear you on the radio in a few years.

    • Daniel

      OMG. He sounds like a reasonable and not self-abosorbed person. I was shocked that he was sent home over Gokey-lite, but now I’m kinda heartbroken. Good luck to you Alex!

      • jenn

        I agree! What a stark contrast to most exit-interviews, particularly Todrick.

      • brandy

        Ugh. I’m still so bummed about this. Come baaack!

    • Sally in Chicago

      HE IS SO HONEST, SO PURE! his mom made him….good move mom. He’s a better man for it.

    • wg

      Yup, love this kid and wish him the best.

    • Silvie

      YES I love you too Alex! I’ve watched AI every year from the start and this was a real travesty. He was one of the best and should not give up his dream because of this competition. I wish him the lots of luck and really hope he finds a future career in the music industry.

    • Me too

      You are great! I’ll be looking for you on the radio, too~<3<3<3

    • Shana

      me too, love him<3. Idol let one of the great ones go this season…

    • char

      Hey,All of you who love Alex’s voice, Sign the petition to get him back on Idol. Google Alex Lambert petition. Hurry, Do it now.

      • Lex

        Already signed it :-D If FOX and AI are listening and bring Alex back via the wildcard, my faith in them will be restored and I will keep watching. Otherwise I (and thousands other) will not be watching anymore.

    • Cheryl

      I love Alex’s voice! He is sooo cute too. OMG I cant wait to hear your album!

  • Joseph

    Oh my! That last question & answer about what he is up to now made me teary eyed. I so feel for him. God bless him!

    • Jill :)

      OMG if he makes any CD or Album I will buy it the second it comes out! PLEASE Alex make an album!!! We love you!!!!

  • Melissa

    His mom was going to take away his phone?! How cute is that! I’m really sorry to see Alex go this soon, but I’m glad he can recognize that what he may have lacked in stage presence, he made up for in actual vocal talent. Hope good things come his way.

    • Allison

      So true. It’s just sad that people with more in-your-face personality beat those with better voices, on a singing competition. I can’t be excited about this top 12 at all without Alex – I thought he was top 6, even, for sure.

      • Aunt Haley

        I totally thought he was going to be this year’s Elliott, where we’d get to hear an amazing voice every week and see a transformation of confidence and looks. I am so disappointed that that’s not going to happen.

    • Musica1

      He is SO good! I hope he gets signed soon so we can hear music from him.

  • rosie

    Oh Alex, you will definitely be missed! You were my favourite male contestant. Very sad to see you voted off. Good luck to u buddy!

  • AmyC

    Love, love love his voice. What a travesty.

    • rosie

      I agree, he has a distinct and wonderful voice that I wanted to hear more of. Plus, he is so adorable!!!

    • llevinso

      I love his voice too. I would love to hear him on the radio one day. Don’t give up Alex!!

  • Darren

    My favorite male singer. Can’t believe he’s gone. He earned a spot in the top 12 with his raw talent. Good luck to him in his future endeavors.

    • Kari

      Agreed – he was my favorite male singer, quickly on his way to becoming my favorite overall. Alex, PLEASE make a CD! You have tons of fans that will buy it! (But get that high school degree first – I have to say it, I’m a teacher!) :)

    • Amidala

      I’m curious because he appears to have been sooo many people’s favorite male singer, so what happened? he’s my favorite too, so I’m confused on how he got the least amount of votes.

      • Shana

        I think everyone thought he would be safe… everyone was predicting Todrick, Aaron, Tim and Andrew to go

      • Bernie

        that might not be so–nobody ever sees the numbers and if they did–are they true–AI controls what happens

  • Kate

    Oh Alex … :(
    I was so looking forward to buying your iTunes .. and watching you perform…

    • Heidi

      kinda bugs me that the producers influenced his song choice. Now I’m thinking the reason certain songs are repeated year after year are because the producers are pushing those songs. The producers need to expand their songbook and let artists take a risk.

  • AliceS

    I hope someone signs him and he puts out an album. I’d definately but it. So sad he’s gone.

  • mpr

    omg “let me love you” would have been revelatory and certainly earned him more votes. ugh

    • Psac

      I don’t know that song, but it really shows the producers push these people into singing the samn songs over and over again. Clueless.

    • Psac

      Samn = a combination of same, and another word I had in my head that ends with -amn. :)

    • Jen

      seriously, ‘let me love you’ was a number one song a few years ago! I wish he had sang that instead :(

      • DJ

        Right “Let Me Love You” that was #1 on the charts I’m sure if ppl looked it up they would remember it. He would’ve stayed and gotten a ton of votes if he did that song. YEah just shows not to listen to the producers we wanna hear the same type of songs over, over, and over again.

    • Vivi

      If he had performed that song, he’ll still be in the competition. For sure. But then again, he did well in his last performance and America still punk’d him. UGH!

  • Hallie

    Worst results show ever. Alex- you will be missed. Don’t give up the dream.

  • sarah

    miss you Alex

  • anonymous

    It would have been interesting to hear him perform Let Me Love You.

  • Ritz

    how is he 19 and hasn’t finished high school?

    • angela

      You’re allowed to drop out of school when you reach a certain age, usually 16. The thing that makes him unique among drop-outs is the fact that he grew up and was smart enough to realize being a drop out will not serve you well in your long-term goals. Even if he chooses to pursue music, education will never be a detriment.

    • Texan

      If he had to repeat a grade, or started school late, then he will graduate at 19.

    • Allison

      Or maybe he’s just a year older than the rest of his grade? It’s certainly possible

    • amanda

      it could very well depend on when his birthday falls in the calendar year. I know of many people who were 19 as a Senior in HS who were neither held back or started late.

  • Jessie

    This year AI is so depressing. All my faves are gone. All the great, distinctive singers are gone. Alex was sooo good. He could have gone far in the competition had he just had more time to improve.

  • GaryB

    I thought Alex was one of the best, natural vocalists this year. How is it that he doesn’t even make the top 12? I just don’t get it. I hope he gets a record deal.

    • teaira

      omg alex was one of my favorite male singers. i loved his voice and sincerity. i hope he puts out a single and do well. i really dont want to watch AI any more.

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