After one final twist on American Idol on Thursday, the show has set its top 13 for the year. Last week, I got to chat with Allison Iraheta, Adam Lambert, and Kris Allen about their experiences making it through the semifinals, and this week, the final seven contestants into the final group — Lil Rounds, Scott MacIntyre, and Jorge Nunez from Wednesday and Jasmine Murray, Megan Corkrey, Matt Giraud, and Anoop Desai from Thursday — hopped on the phone to share some of their thoughts. Here are some tidbits of what I learned:
- Matt will try singing pop/rock again. The judges slammed him during his semifinal round for his take on Coldplay's "Viva La Vida," but they put him into the finals on the strength of his bluesy riffing on "Who's Loving You." So will he ever go back in the pop direction? Sure! "I definitely will attempt" a poppier sound again, he said. "I've heard some rumors of some certain theme weeks coming up that I can definitely sing some pop stuff. I definitely want to get back into it — maybe even do a [Justin Timberlake] song one day."
- Megan Corkrey loves Bjork. "I fell in love with her when I was 16," Corkrey said. "She's changed my life. Her music is so beautiful and original and different, and she's so emotional." She said she'd love to sing a Bjork song on the show if the opportunity arises, but she knows it could also draw a lot of criticism from the judges if it was too out there.
- Anoop wants to work with Kanye West. "Hopefully I'll get to meet him and we can talk about some collaboration in the future," Anoop said of West, who will perform on the show next week. He's also a big Ne-Yo fan and lists Ludacris among his other dream collaborators.
To hear from this week's other additions to the top 13, just read more.
- Lil's kids call her "American Idol mama." How cute is that? She said her three kids (ages 5, 3, and 2) might not know exactly what it means for her to be in the Idol finals, but they do know it has something to do with a dream she's always had to sing.
- Don't worry about Scott during the choreography sections. Even with his compromised sight, Scott fully intends to rock the dance element of Idol. "I've had some dance in my background — I've done some swing dancing, some salsa," he said. "Sometimes it just takes someone showing me the steps, and as long as I know that I'm not going to fall off the stage, then I'm good." He said he just memorizes all the camera changes so he knows where to look, and every so often someone will guide his head or hand in the right direction.
- Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony love Jorge. The couple sent a text congratulating Jorge on moving into the top 12. "That's the best thing that has ever happened to me throughout the whole journey," he said. "They told me that they were brought to tears by my performance . . . I'm like, 'Oh my God, they know who I am!'"
- Jasmine's looking forward to experimenting with her sound. "I would love to try tons of different types of things — pop, rock, country, all of it," she said. "Music just in general is beautiful. . . . I'm still young, so I'm still trying to find out what exactly I like."
- We might see dueling pianos on the stage. Both Matt and Scott said they're looking forward to getting back behind a keyboard. Matt said he wasn't sure how much he'd integrate piano playing into his Idol songs yet ("maybe I'll do a keyboard for the first half of the song and stand up and rock it out for the second half"), but Scott said using the piano is the thing he's looking forward to most. "You really hurt yourself if you end up hiding behind your instrument on this show," Scott said. "[But] I can really emote when I'm sitting at the piano because my fingers do their own thing. It's where I write music, it's where all my magical moments happen musically, and so next week I am so excited to finally be able to start showing Amercia who I really am."
Photos courtesy of Fox