Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Idol Tour Must-Haves

The Houston Chronicle talked to the finalists who attended what they called "a low-key press reception" prior to the performance at the city's Toyota Center. According the paper, the finalists switch off interview duties to avoid fatigue, so Jordin Sparks, Melinda Doolittle and Sanjaya Malakar were not in attendance. However, Blake Lewis, LaKisha Jones, Gina Glocksen, Haley Scarnato and Phil Stacey were. Here are the reporter's remarks:

Blake Lewis' tour must-haves: "I have two PowerBooks and a desktop. I'm obsessed with Mac. My iPod. My Leica camera. I've got, like, 16,000 pictures. I do a lot of ... '80s-style pop art. I took all the pictures for my [CD cover]."

Lewis describes his upcoming disc as "2000-'80s." He was listening to rough mixes of new tunes on his iPod and graciously offered to--gasp!--let me hear a few.

"I haven't let anybody hear this yet," he said. My hopes were high.

It was an expectedly eclectic, electro-pop mix, ranging from Kylie Minogue-esque club grooves to a quick sample of '80s hit Owner of a Lonely Heart. Killer stuff.

"I try not to be put in a box," he says. "I'm inspired by everything. I've got six tracks done. I've got a track that's very Erasure-sounding, a track that's Sting-meets-Neverending Story and a track that's very electro-poppy Depeche Mode. It's all over the map."

LaKisha Jones' tour must-haves: "My Bible, my pillow and plenty of snacks. Pretzels and M&Ms. I love me some peanut M&Ms."

I'm really thinking maybe I should call Bon Jovi when this is all over and see if I can record (This Ain't a Love Song)," Jone said of her searing, standout Idol tune. "I may do that."

Gina Glocksen's tour must-haves: "My laptop, my makeup and my stuffed animals."

Glocksen is a stunner in person and was a charming whirl of random confessions:

On her high hopes: "I think everyone comes from that background of singing at weddings or singing backup for other people. I never want to go back to singing at a wedding, ever again."

On Idol life: "I get really homesick really homesick, really fast. I could just look at a picture of a cat and start bawling for an hour."

On her plush prefences: "I just noticed today how weird I am about stuffed animals. I'll send my friends ... pictures of my stuffed animal coming out of the shower with a towel wrapped around them."

On her music: "I really hope that (my album) kind of a cross between Pink and Evanescence. Kind of a dark, yet positive, sound. I don't want to sing about negative things."

Haley Scarnato's tour must-haves: "My cell-phone, definitely. I have a picture of [my fiance] Bobby, and that's about it. And makeup-remover wipes. After the show, I want this all off."

"It's nice to have the stress gone with waiting to hear what the judges have to say," San Antonio beauty Scarnato said of the tour.

"We're still being judged, but not point-blank, right in front of your face. And not from 'characters.'" (Insert air quotes.)

Phil Stacey's tour must-haves: "My cell phone, my laptop. You should see us. It's a pathetic mess. Every time we're sitting around anywhere, all of us have our computers on our laps."

"I have recorded a couple of songs already, and I have been in contact with labels," Stacey said of his post-Idol work. "I know the kind of recording I want to make, and I'm hoping to put it out sooner than later."

He also mused thoughtfully on his trial-and-error method to TV stardom

"I stayed away from country in the semifinals because I didn't want to be compared to Josh Gracin, who was a military guy, who came on doing country music," Stacey said. "And I stayed away from rock because I didn't want to be compared to Chris Daughtry.

"I was kind of stuck with adult contemporary. I think I tried to do songs that I thought would go over well on TV, and that was a mistake. What we want to see as viewers is an artist emerge."

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© 2007

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