'Idolatry': Siobhan Magnus talks rainbows, ponies, evil clowns, and her 'American Idol' run

Idolatry-Siobhan-MagnusLeft to her own devices, Siobhan Magnus says her American Idol tenure might’ve looked very different from what you saw on TV — and probably ended a heckuva lot earlier. The Glassblower sat down with me at Amalia Restaurant in New York City earlier this week to talk about which contro-versee-ahhl songs she almost chose in the semifinals (instead of “Wicked Game” and “Think”), how her rendition of “Paint It Black” was influenced by scary clowns, and why she hopes someday to make an album that’s “little-girl friendly.” We also dished combat boots, British boy band 5ive, dial-up AOL, and her Hollywood Week “drama” with Todrick Hall and @theriroxursox. Plus, Idolatry executive producer Jason Averett gives us some insight into Siobhan’s “origin story.” How can you resist pressing play on our eight-part video below? I don’t think you can! And to get all my Idol news and commentary, follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak. If you’re having trouble watching videos in PopWatch, or if you’re on an iPhone/iPad, head over to our Idolatry hub for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, and Part 8. [RELATED: ‘American Idol’ recap: Connick’d Four; Kris Allen on the controversy over his new single, ‘The Truth,’ and those added Pat Monahan vocals; The 13 Worst Performances Ever by American Idol Finalists.]

Comments (413 total) Add your comment
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  • Hadda Napp

    If someone can name me three people who are worse interviewers than Slezak, I will eat my toenail.

    • KristenV

      Nah, I disagree. He’s asking the questions and making the comments that I think really allow these contestants to express their personalities.

      • Brianna

        Yes! Loved this interview! Siobhan is such a awesome person. Siobhan is one of my favorite singers of all time. Her singing is very very pretty. Siobhan-you are so very amazing in everything you do. I’m so excited about going to her concerts and buying her cds. She is a very very very very wonderful, paint it black-dark horse hero!!!!! Her singing is very deep, emotional, passionate and intense. She has so much motivation and courage. She works very hard in life. I am very inspired by her. Siobhan is way too lovely! Good luck Siobhan! Lots of love!

      • Ms. K

        This was a fantastic interview with a very bright, very funny, and talented performer. Thank you Michael Slezak and Jason Averett for devoting so much time to a Siobhan, who definitely kept it interesting enough to warrant the attention. What a charming person. I hope she has a great career in music or theatre.


        Siobhan Magnus is so adorable! She is such a great inspiration to people because of her effort and courage. She is such a great and lovely superstar!

    • Jon

      Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Tyra Banks, and Wendy Williams. Enjoy your lunch.

      • Johnification

        Don’t forget Larry King nowadays and Jay Leno.

      • Katherine

        Soooo funny

      • levelheaded

        Ha!!! I would love it if Slezak could take over interviewing duties for the five people mentioned above.

      • D

        Ryan Seacrest

      • Scooter

        @Jon – OMG! You “nailed” it!

      • Jay

        oooh snap

      • allison (R)

        I’ll add David Letterman. The stuttering kills me.

      • Siobhan Magnus rocks!!

        She brings so much girl power!! She is very special. Good luck Siobhan.

    • Johnification

      I know, how dare he put Siobhan so at ease, coax interesting stories out of her, and make me focus on the subject? Heresy.

      • Jamini

        I agree with you–all of his interviews (even with Idols he hasn’t liked) are so congenial and fun to watch. He laughs at every even half-joke, I would never want to be interviewed by anyone else personally!

    • Niix Starkyller

      Will you lip the toenail first, or chew it directly off? Just wonderin’. Also, red or white wine? Which one is the appropriate beverage?

      • Niix Starkyller

        I lost a “c”. I think it ran off with my best friend’s Pershing longhair. Damn those privileged kitties!

    • Chichi

      I never noticed how much Siobhan looks like a young Sandra Bullock.

      • KristenV

        And so cute with the bangs! It’s a good look for her.

    • amanda

      how DARE you? something way worse than glitter will rain down upon you.

    • Alex

      Sometimes Slezak asks the questions that other interviewers would be afraid would offend the person that they’re interviewing. I really think he brings out the best in all the contestants though, Siobhan articulated MUCH better here than I’ve ever seen her before. If you want proof of how he really does bring out the best in the contestants, check out the Tim Urban interview. Absolutely fantastic.

      • Jay

        and the Katie Stevens and Paige Miles ones too.

        AI treats contestants like cattle…The differen side of them that we see post-elimination with Slezak is almost like meeting them for the first time.

    • dona

      I have been teaching public speaking and interviewing for 6 years– michael slezak is one of the BEST interviewers I know. I am actually looking fw to seeing him interviewing more people outside of the AI bubble.

    • CJ

      I don’t care what you eat, just slither the f*ck away.

      Now, back to Idolatry. Great interview. I got better sense of Siobhan’s personality here then in all of her other interviews combined. So great job Slezak.

    • MNCyn

      So – I get done listening to 8 segments of Siobhan and Michael and thing -wow – that was great! Loved it! And the first comments are this. Must be me. I must be as odd as these two. ha. Well that made my day!

    • D-Con


    • charlie

      Eat away! I like his interviewing style.

  • Gwen

    I was about to watch this until I saw that it was eight parts. Suddenly, I remembered how much she talks. I can’t. Sorry. Transcript?

    • smmfdyb

      And that’s your opinion. To me, eight is not enough.

      • Gwen

        Last time I checked, opinions were okay and not banned from the comments section. Please enjoy the eight that are not enough. Thanks.

      • Bob

        And they were giving there opinion, Gwen. See how opinions work?

      • Brian

        And eight is an even number…and I like even numbers a lot.

      • T.C.

        Bob–smmfdyb was actually stating a fact when she wrote “that’s your opinion.” The statement implies that opinions are not welcome by subtly devaluing them. Gwen was correct to point out that opinions are what message boards are for. Snarkily devaluing other’s opinions while on message boards is a pet peeve of mine. I wish people would stop doing it–it’s annoying.

      • Gwen

        Bob, I know you meant *their*, but that’s cool. No edit on the board. And yes, I understand how opinions work. But, thanks for the time.

      • BobDob

        …to fill your life with joy?

    • Dana

      I agree, nice girl but no thanks

      • Bob

        Based on your spelling, not sure you understand English so maybe that could be your problem. Just saying….

      • selena

        Kind of a loss, IMO…even if you aren’t a diehard Siobhan fan. This is a very bright, funny, and definitely off the beaten path young woman. She also shows a deep knowledge of the music culture she hopes to work in.
        Quite likeable, with enough perception and interesting things to say that I appreciated her even more.
        8 parts was long, so I watched the 1st 5 on FRiday, then the other 3 today. Worth my time.
        As was Slezak’s interview with Tim. He was nothing like what Idol packaged him as. In his own way, every bit as interesting, likeable and admirable for who he is, as Siobhan Magnus is.

      • Suzanne

        I dont think Siobhan knows just how lovely she is. Words cannot express. She is so talented. Her singing is so fun to listen to. She is such a great person!

    • Jannie

      I’m with you Gwen…. no way I could listen to her for that long… I find I want to finish her sentances for her, she is that slow talking.

      • Jannie

        “sentences” I know how important everyone takes spelling here ;)

      • B

        stop saying that. if you watched her fox interviews she isn’t a slow talker at all. :)

      • Niix Starkyller

        Oh, she rambled on delightfully traipsing down tangents and digressions like a child happy to be ‘lost’ in an amusement park. And, yes, she paused often to *gasp* consider what she was about to say. Not your cup of tea, but that meandering quirkiness was most certainly mine. One cube of sugar, please? And ponies and rainbows, too.

      • Leigh-Ann

        She speaks perfectly normally. If you took 15 seconds to listen, you’d know that. By far the best Idolatry interview I’ve ever seen, imo… just loved it!

      • selena

        Along with Slezak’s interview, Siobhan had others, and came across as well spoken, funny, and very likeable. Throwing off charisma and a not inconsiderate amount of eye candy to the guys.
        Hosts and audiences were very favorably impressed. Especially when it was at one of the venues where Magnus sang or played piano.

      • Karnak

        You must be an auctioneer or something. I did not find her speech slow at all.

    • samehere

      LOL! I felt the exact same way. I saw 8 parts, decided to browse some comments and I’m outta here!

      • Gwen

        Is each part one question?

    • druzilla

      It *is* a long interview and probably one or two parts too long but a lot is discussed. I wish others got equal treatment but just watch it.

      I’m really disappointed with Siobhan because she pigeon-holed herself. She claimed to be thinking about her prior performance but refused to *listen* that she was becoming “one note” or “tired” with the “scream.”

      She was so much more interesting doing Wicked Games, Paint It Black, House of the Rising Sun. She could’ve won but defeated herself but not listening to what she was being told about how to advance in the competition.

      Until she can separate having a career from what she likes to do which, apparently, is nothing at all like we saw on Idol because it involves a band and heavy metal I just don’t see her have a noteworthy recording career.

      • tatar69x

        I disagree with the premise that Winning Idol is Everything and that Siobhan is about to be “lost” to a heavy metal band.

        She has the evident talent that many doors are opening. Besides returning to her band Lunar Valve and opening up a contract that way, she has also talked about stage opportunities, signing as a solo vocalist if there is interest in that, doing film work.

        Would “Winning!!!” matter that much if she started her career arc as an Idol-packaged piece of meat she thought was not truly who she was? Still worth it because the Win is Everything!!!
        I think not.

    • Ms. K

      Just watch the first one or two and I bet you’ll get roped in. Girlfriend is so funny and self deprecating. Totally worth it.

      • Ursula

        I agree 100%! Siobhan is a wonderful person and I have a lot of fun watching her interviews. She looks so happy with light in her eyes when she is doing her interviews. She has so much passion. You can tell that she really wants a great career very much when you look into her eyes. In her eyes-the light, the passion.

  • April

    LOVE THIS INTERVIEW!!!! Love Siobhan! Hope to hear much more from you in the future!

    • Mothra

      Me, too April! I thought she was a delightful, entertaining woman and I really hope she carves an entertainment career out of her stint on Idol. This week without her was such a snoozefest. She would’ve had a ball with Sinatra week… and should have come in ahead of everyone but Crystal. Maybe Lee, if he ever loses that “deer in the headlights” look he’s got going on… Siobhan rules!

    • Yes

      I agree!! I think Slezak was really disappointed that she was voted off…..ie the extra long idolatry. She has so much more personality than the rest of the top 10 combined.

      • zina

        also, she is interesting! she thinks differently, she dresses differently, she is a breath of fresh air and a real artist at heart. i am really curious to see how she will develop– 20 is still super young and I find her mature beyond her years, but still sweet and a bit naive. mslezak, thanks for letting us get a glimpse of her.

    • Siobhan is so great

      Siobhan is a very great person. Her singing is one of the nicest ever. Her music is very neat and interesting. She is a very talented lady. I have a lot of fun listening to her music!

    • Megan

      Siobhan has such great and amazing talent! I have extreme feelings of happiness and fun when listening to her music!!!! God made Siobhan’s talent very special. I’m so excited to hear a lot more music from her in the future.

    • Brianna

      When I listen to Siobhan sing I completely light up inside. I get very happy and I feel that I’m alive. She has such a pretty voice. Very talented lady.

    • Nicki

      Siobhan is already a great star. Like Alecia Keys said: “Siobhan is doing things that I don’t think most people can do, and I’m very impressed with her voice”. Like David Letterman said: “I don’t know why they voted you off…Frankly, I don’t care. As far as I’m concerned, you should be our American Idol.”

  • S

    thanks MS. woot.

  • DF

    If you don’t watch this, you’re missing out. She has much more personality than she ever showed on TV and it’s eight parts because she has a lot of really good insight and anecdotes. Great job as always, MSlez.

    • Jean

      Yes! I loved this. These 8 segments went by way faster than the 3 segments of Andrew Garcia tragically-lacking-in-self-awareness “I had fun” fest. She’s very entertaining, and Michael facilitates an interesting discussion.

      • levelheaded

        I know Jean! I loved Garcia but he was awful to listen to in the interview. She is fantastically hilarious and awesome.

        I want to hang out with her.

      • JD

        Jean, I couldn’t agree more! I loved this interview and I had almost forgotten how good she was those first few weeks

      • Veronica

        I loved Siobhan’s performance “Summertime”. She sang that song on the Wendy Williams show. Such a beautiful performance. That performance just gave me a bunch of light to have all summer long! It was one of my favorite performances of all time.

    • Alison

      I have even more of a girl-crush on her now after seeing this interview. Great job, Michael!

      • Jobless

        Going back to those early performances makes me a little sad that she kinda flamed out. I wish she had outlasted a couple of the guys just because she actually interesting and unpredictable.

      • Leigh-Ann

        Now that we know how many times her song choice wasn’t cleared or the theme was changed at the last minute, it’s no wonder she kinda flamed out. How is it possible that a song that was on the list of choices for “Idol Gives Back” week suddenly couldn’t be cleared when Siobhan wanted to sing it? Also, think of how different things might be if “Through the Fire” had been her original choice, “To Sir, With Love”.

      • alazani-ahmed


    • Vivica

      This was a great interview!!!! :)

  • Melissa

    I love this girl. Her singing voice isn’t as refined yet as it probably will be in 5 years, but she’s funny as hell. If she ends up making a record on some small label, I’ll pick it up for sure.

    • chris ford

      It might not be a small label company.
      Outside Idol World, Siobhan has put markers down that she has not just crazy talent – but the looks, charisma, interesting personality, and humor to be a very effective promoter of herself and her work.
      Going over huge on a series of shows with audiences connecting to her and doing standing ovations helps.
      And she has added down “markers” of some fantastic vocals in studio recording that show “the suits” how Magnus can deliver. Her last two “Across the Universe” and “When You Believe” were fantastic pieces of work. Add that her “Summertime” performance on BET’s Wendy Williams Show showed another facet – jazz-R&B singing with brilliant improvised vocals as the band led her. Worth seeing a tape of it just to see Williams jaw drop.

      • Jamie

        So…are you like, her brother?

      • chris ford

        Nah, just one of several million who wish she was my sister or daughter.

      • Chris B

        Add me to that list!

      • tatar69x

        Add me too the list too! Along with the hope maybe she has a think for dirty old men like me!

  • Adam

    Thanks so much Slezak for 8 parts of pure entertainement. Siobhan is the coolest contestant. I blame American Idol for not having cool theme weeks that would have allowed her to pick cool songs.

    • Noelbelle

      I completely agree with that. The theme weeks have been one disaster after another. I think a big part of why this season has been so lackluster is the producers’ fault. I mean seriously, “Inspirational song week?” BLECH. And not to mention most of them were artist-specific instead of genre-specific, which narrows the options immensely.

      • Lily

        i love the idea of inspirational week… it fits with Idol gives back.. we cannot do Rock or Dance or Broadway every week…

  • The Fonz

    Siobhan just may be the coolest chick alive today.

  • f


  • Stacy

    This girl could easily be my best friend.

  • charlotte

    Awesome idolatry! I thought it was really interesting and I can’t believe Siobhan went home before HSAK. I would actually buy her album but no way would I ever buy HSAK or Big Mike’s. She has such a unique styling in her tone. Her ‘House of the rising sun’ and ‘Paint it black’ were amazing. Anyone have anything remotely memorable as that on this season? I think not.

    • Karnak

      Interesting comment Charlotte. To be honest, I really can’t remember any of Crystals performances after Hollywood where she did that great cover of “If It Makes You Happy”. Lee…Meh…, Casey did one great cover, the rest was completely forgettable. Apart from making Kara cry, what songs did Mike sing? Really?

      Idol is dead now…..

  • Grady

    A 90s stain? References to B*Witch’d and 5ive? Rocko’s Modern Life references? A polka album? I’m in love.

    I loved the whole interview! That was very fun.

  • the real wendy

    Wow. She is so cool.

    • alazani-ahmed


  • cubannerd

    I want more. Siobhan rocks. I miss her on the show. She is wicked cool.

    • very lovely talent

      Siobhan Magnus is such a lovely star! She puts a lot of great effort into life. Her music is very deep and great. She has got such lovely talent in her!

  • Bob V

    Terrific interview with Siobhan. I may not have loved all of her performances, but I loved her personality, unpredictability, and obvious talent. She was a bright jewel in a mostly dull season, and she will be missed.

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