American Idol final four finalists to make Top 13 interviewed

The following is a transcript from an interview with the final four contestants to make the Top 13 list for American Idol.  Starting Wednesday, one contestant a week will be eliminated, as the competition to become the next singing sensation continues.


Chloe Ellers, FBC Publicity

Jasmine Murray, American Idol contestant

Megan Corkrey, American Idol contestant

Matt Giraud, American Idol contestant

Anoop Desai, American Idol contestant 


Moderator                  Welcome to the American Idol Interview call with Jasmine Murray.  I'd also like to remind you that today's conference is being recorded.  I'll now turn the conference over to Chloe Ellers for opening remarks.

C. Ellers                      Hello, everybody.  Thank you so much for calling in today to talk to our four contestants that have made it through, Jasmine, Megan, Matt, and Anoop.  We are going to limit each person to 15 minutes to accommodate everybody in the hour and, as always, the Idols are here to talk about their experience on the show, and if we feel like anyone is harping on a question too much, we reserve the right to move on.  With that being said, we'll go right into the first question with Jasmine.

Moderator                   That will come from Mike Hughes with TV America.

M. Hughes                  Jasmine, people were really impressed when you used the big voice last night.  You do a lot of the big power singing, and what made you decide to really go for it last night?

J. Murray                    Well, I just like to explore different types of music, you know, but Christina Aguilera is like one of my favorite artists, and Reflection, I just thought it was a beautiful song, and I think it was like really age appropriate for me since I'm 17.  And it was like from a Disney movie, so I just really thought that it'd be a good choice to do, and so I just tried to do the best that I could last night.  So I'm glad that it paid off, I guess.

M. Hughes                  And the other thing is, the songs with big finishes usually don't do well with the judges, but really do well with the viewers, so is it likely that coming up when the viewers get to vote that you'll have more of that kind of like big finish kind of songs?

J. Murray                    Well, I guess it just depends, you know, on what song, what genre we'll be doing, so, but I look forward to, you know, doing anything, and I don't know.  You know, we'll see, I guess.  If America likes it, then I hope they vote for whatever performance they like, but I hope they vote for all of them if I get very far.

M. Hughes                  Okay, cool, thanks.

J. Murray                    Thank you.

Moderator                   Next we have Rodney Ho with the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

R. Ho                           I was wondering, have you done a lot of public signing before, singing in public at least?

J. Murray                    Yes, I have, actually, not like a lot, a lot, but I've gotten experience on the stage for sure.  I was like Mississippi's Outstanding Teen, and I was really involved in pageants and stuff for a little while, so that kind of got me used to being on stage and stuff like that.  And I actually got to sing for the Miss America Pageant two years ago, so it was amazing, and that was like one of the greatest experiences of my life ... but being on the Idol stage, I think it's like a little bit different, you know, because you actually have people judging you and stuff, but, I mean, it's still amazing, you know, being on stage, and I really, really like it a lot.

R. Ho                           Are you looking forward to hitting the Kodak Stage, the big theater next week?

J. Murray                    I'm definitely looking forward to it.  I cannot wait.  I hope that I get to be there at the end, so I'm just praying.  I'm believing, you know, that I can do it, and I'm just going to keep on practicing and doing my best.

R. Ho                           Good luck.  Thank you.

J. Murray                    Thank you.

Moderator                   Next we have Antonia Blyth with US Weekly Magazine.

A. Blyth                      Hello, Jasmine, how are you today?

J. Murray                    Hello.  I'm good.  How are you?

A. Blyth                      I am well.  I just wanted to get an idea of how you're managing to balance your schoolwork and Idol.  How many hours a day do you have to study?  Isn't there like a minimum you have to do?

J. Murray                    Well, I basically do like my schoolwork that is from my school, but we, like my teachers will send homework and assignments to me, and I do about probably three hours a day, sometimes maybe longer.  But, you know, it's different because here it's a little shorter because, at my school, I go from 7:45 to 5:15 every day going to class, because I go to the Mississippi School of the Arts, so it's kind of like college, and I love it, but it's a little different here.  And I really like school here too as well because it's shorter and, you know, it's cool.  I've got a great teacher and, you know, it's really cool though.  Yes.

A. Blyth                      What was that name of the school?

J. Murray                    I go to the Mississippi School of the Arts.

A. Blyth                      And do you think that having to study puts you at a possible disadvantage?

J. Murray                    No, no, because, I mean, everybody here went to high school too, and I really like school a lot, and I think education is so important, so I definitely want to continue that, you know, because education is something, you know, nobody can take away from you, and you learn and get smarter, and it's so important for you to have in your life.  So, no, it's not a disadvantage at all.  If anything, it's an advantage ... get the opportunity to go to school in other countries, so I'm blessed to even be able to go to school.

A. Blyth                      Thanks, and good luck.

J. Murray                    Thank you so much.

Moderator                   Next we have Katie Byrne with MTV News.

K. Byrne                     Hello, Jasmine.  How are you doing?

J. Murray                    Hello.  I'm good.  How are you?

K. Byrne                     Great.  I wanted to ask you about your past pageant experience.  I was wondering if that has helped you, do you think, on the Idol stage?

J. Murray                    Yes, definitely.  Getting used to being on stage and singing and stuff, it definitely has, and I'm glad that I have that experience in the past, or else I might be, you know, a little more nervous or, you know, just not as comfortable, so yes.  Definitely being on the stage before in pageants or just performing in talent shows or anything like that, you know, definitely has helped a lot.

K. Byrne                     Also, I know you have sung a couple different styles of music, and I was wondering, now that you're through to the finals, what kind of genre are you going to focus on, or maybe what kind of music you put out after the show.

J. Murray                    Well, during the show, they do like so many different themes, different genres, so I'm really looking forward to all of that because I really like so many different types of music.  And since I'm so young, you know, I don't want to limit myself right now, like I really want to explore different things, you know, see what I like and try out different things and see how it sounds with my voice, and so I'm really looking forward to the different themes, but I hope I stick around and get to do that and show America the different styles that I can do.

K. Byrne                     Great.  Thanks so much.  Good luck.

J. Murray                    Thank you.

Moderator                   Next is Marnie Brodersen with

M. Brodersen              Hello, Jasmine.

J. Murray                    Hello.

M. Brodersen              I was just wondering.  I've just been noticing that the judges are particularly, you know, picky about song choices here, and I'm just wondering if you have any kind of strategy forming for the coming weeks, especially, you know, what kind of songs you think you'll choose.

J. Murray                    Well, I'll just, and going ... I think this goes with anybody.  You just have to take the best song that suits your voice that'll show who you are, that will show, like, your strong points and stuff like that because I think that's really important that you focus.  I mean, even though, you know, we're all doing songs by different artists that we try to make sure the song fits us, you know, because that's a problem sometimes, so yes.

M. Brodersen              Sure.  And what kind of album do you think you guys can make in the future?

J. Murray                    Oh my gosh.  I don't know.  Like, I like so many different types of music, so I would love to try tons of different things: pop, rock, country, I mean all of is because, I mean, music just in general is beautiful.  The different genres are so interesting to get to sing all of them or, you know, just experiment and see what you sound like signing them.  I'm mean, I'm still young, so yes; I'm still trying to find out what exactly.  But, like I said, I mean, I like so many different genres, and I want to try so many different things.

M. Brodersen              Great.  Thank you so much.  Good luck.

Moderator                   We also have Angela DeGregorio with Life & Style Weekly.

A. DeGregorio            Hello.  Congratulations.

J. Murray                    Hello.

A. DeGregorio            I want to know who out of the contestants were you surprised didn't make it to be one of the wild cards?

J. Murray                    I honestly can't say because, you know, all of the top 36 were amazing, and I don't even know how they made that decision, you know.  I mean, well, part of it was up to America too, but I don't even know how the judges, you know, did that.  It's so hard because this group of people, they were all so talented, all of them, so I certainly know I probably couldn't be up there judging because I would just want them all to be the top 12, but you know that wouldn't be right because it would be 36, but you know I don't know.

I'm just happy for the people that made it, and I know, though, the people that didn't make it, I know that they have big futures ahead of them.  And, like I said, they're so talented, and I know they're all going to keep singing and keep doing what they're doing.  And, I mean, hey, even if I weren't here, I would be doing the same thing; just keep singing, because if you really love doing this, you're not going to stop.

A. DeGregorio            Right, and do you have any thoughts on the rumors that are going around that Randy Jackson is paying favorites?  There's that whole story with Adam Lambert; they went out to dinner or something like that.

J. Murray                    I have never heard that until now, but I don't know.  I don't think ... but, I don't know.  I don't know.  I had never heard that until now.

A. DeGregorio            Okay, and how has your personal style changed since joining the show?

J. Murray                    As far as my vocal style or like...?

A. DeGregorio            No, as far as like whether it's your hair, your clothing, that kind of stuff.

J. Murray                    It hasn't changed a lot really, I don't think.  I like to just look nice and presentable, you know, wherever I go or whatever I'm doing, so just, I'm happy that I've been blessed to have nice clothes or, you know, be able to fix my hair up.  You know, just, you know, and....

A. DeGregorio            Great.  Thank you so much.

Moderator                   That concludes the questions for Jasmine.  Do you have any closing remarks?

J. Murray                    No, I don't, but thank you so much for everything.

Moderator                   Then, ladies and gentlemen, that concludes this portion of the call.  You'll be back on music hold while we get Megan Corkrey to the phone.  Thank you for your patience.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your patience.  We're back for the American Idol Interview call, and we have Anoop Desai on with us.  Our first question will come from the line of Randy Ho with the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

R. Ho                           It's Rodney.  Close enough.  Hello, Anoop.  How's it going?

A. Desai                      Doing all right.  How are you?

R. Ho                           I'm doing great.  You looked completely like utterly shocked last night.  I mean, how did you feel when you thought you were eliminated for about ten seconds?

A. Desai                      I mean, it was the pits, man.  It was, you know, I've been telling people it was the difference between having all your dreams dashed and then, ten seconds later, they're alive again, so it was definitely, I mean, it was a shock.  It was a genuine shock for me, and I'm just glad that I'm still here.

R. Ho                           And what did Ryan tell you afterwards?  I mean, did he apologize that he had to do that to you?

A. Desai                      Yes, they all, you know, the producers and Simon and all the judges sort of apologized and said, you know, sorry we did this to you.

R. Ho                           Sort of apologized.

A. Desai                      Yes.

R. Ho                           Thanks.

A. Desai                      Sure.

Moderator                   Next is Antonia Blyth with US Weekly Magazine.

A. Blyth                      Hello, Anoop.  How are you?

A. Desai                      I'm doing all right.  How are you?

A. Blyth                      Good to talk to you again.  I spoke to you last night.

A. Desai                      Yes, I remember it.

A. Blyth                      So I just was thinking, you were talking about how much you liked Kanye, so how do you feel about the fact that he's coming on the show next week?

A. Desai                      Yes, when I spoke to you about that, I had no idea.

A. Blyth                      Yes.

A. Desai                      So actually I found out from Ryan this morning when I was on his show, so I feel great.  Hopefully I'll get to meet him, and we can talk about some collaborations in the future.

A. Blyth                      I know you wanted to emulate his style, his clothing style.  Maybe you can get some tips.  What do you think?

A. Desai                      Definitely.  I'm definitely going to pick his brain.  We'll see if he has anything to lend me to.  Maybe it'll have to dig a bit deeper for that.

A. Blyth                      Well, thank you, and best of luck.

A. Desai                      Thank you so much.

Moderator                   Next we have Mike Hughes with TV America.

M. Hughes                  Anoop, I want to learn a little bit more about you.  What are you majoring in, in grad school, and what was your degree for your Bachelor's?

A. Desai                      My undergraduate degrees were in political science and American studies, and my graduate curriculum or, sorry, my graduate program was in folklore, which is pretty much, I guess, the nearest thing that people know would be cultural anthropology.

M. Hughes                  Yes.  Speak of cultural anthropology, were your parents born in this country, or were they born in India?

A. Desai                      No, my dad was born in India.  My mom was born in South Africa.  There's a very large Indian population in South Africa, actually, so that's where her entire family lives.

M. Hughes                  Cool, and just one other thing, because you grew up in Chapel Hill, does that mean your folks are like faculty members there?

A. Desai                      No, they both work and have worked in the research triangle area.  It's, you know, a lot of high tech and, you know, biotech jobs, which is what they do.  My mom is a biochemist, and my dad does software work.

M. Hughes                  Cool.  Thanks a lot.

A. Desai                      Sure.

Moderator                   We'll go to Lisa Young with Chapel Hill Herald.

L. Young                     Hello, Anoop.  How are you?

A. Desai                      I'm doing well.

L. Young                     Good to hear from you again.

A. Desai                      You, too.

L. Young                     A quick question for you about Eve Carson.  I understand you were a good friend of hers.

A. Desai                      Yes, yes.  She was, you know, I mean, everyone, I feel like on ... Eve, but yes, I was....

L. Young                     Pretty much everyone's friend.

A. Desai                      Yes, but I was ... for our time at Carolina.

L. Young                     Right.  You mentioned that she inspired you to audition, but has she inspired your performances as well?

A. Desai                      You know, I go out - every time I go out on stage, I go out to make her proud, and I carry - when we graduated in May, they passed out to the entire senior class these big buttons that just say Eve and Carolina with blue letters on them.  The buttons are black.

L. Young                     Yes, I remember....

A. Desai                      Yes, and I carry that in my pocket every time I go on stage or go onto a results show just to remind myself that I'm doing it for her.

L. Young                     Cool.  And you gave the shout out to Chapel Hill last night.  How are you handling that anniversary of her death?  Has it been difficult to be away because of that?

A. Desai                      Yes, it was really difficult yesterday.  You know, I've been thinking about it for - you know, since they told me I was going to be back on the wild card, and I knew that the performance day was last night as well.  But I was lucky enough to - you know, they streamed it online, so I was lucky enough to-

L. Young                     The memorial.

A. Desai                      --you know, go on a Web site and be able to - right - and be able to see the ceremony and ... so I was glad.

L. Young                     Yes, it was really awesome, from what I hear.  I wasn't there, but-

A. Desai                      Yes, yes.

L. Young                     Thank you.

A. Desai                      Thank you.  Go Heels.

Moderator                   Next we have Scott Pierce with the Deseret News.

S. Pierce                      Could you just talk a little bit about how it's been interacting with the judges?  Is there anything that you feel that they've done that's helped you, anything that you maybe thought they'll a little off base?

A. Desai                      You know, I think that they're four very experienced voices in the industry, and so I'm grateful for that.  And, you know, we don't really have that much contact with them outside of the show, but I do feel like they say everything for a reason, especially Simon.  I think that he says things to elicit a reaction, so if something wasn't good enough, he's going to tell you because he wants you to do better.  You know, he's not a mean person at all.  So, yes, I think everything has - everything they say has its purpose.

S. Pierce                      Thank you.

A. Desai                      Sure.

Moderator                   We'll go to Victor Balta with

V. Balta                       Hello, Anoop.  How are you doing?

A. Desai                      Hello.  Doing all right.

V. Balta                       Good, good.  Thanks for taking the time.  So I wanted to find out a little more about your decision to sing the Bobby Brown song again and, you know, rather than show a different side.  Obviously it worked out, but just talk about maybe the chance to give people something new and not taking it.

A. Desai                      Yes, well, that song in particular has, I think, become, you know, sort of like an anthem for me throughout, you know, since Hollywood Week.  And I thought it was especially appropriate for the wild card round just, you know, to go out there and say, listen; this is who I am.  I'm going to do what I do, and I'm going to have fun.  It's my prerogative.  So that's the reason I chose it.

And, you know, I knew that I had done it in the past, obviously, but like the judges said, I think I did a better job of it this time.  I was really happy to be able to do that song with an audience too because it's such an audience reaction song, so the small audience on the stage that night was key and, you know, that performance, the wild card performance is all about showing the judges your - I mean, it's a last ditch effort, pretty much, and so I was, you know, obviously I wanted to show them the side that they liked before.

V. Balta                       Cool, and so what else can we look forward to seeing from you?  What, you know, outside of that type of song?

A. Desai                      You know, I don't like to ... I don't want to typecast myself into, you know, I'm always going to sing a fast song.  I'm always going to sing, you know, a song I can jump around.  I'm, you know, I want to think of myself as a singer and an artist.  That happens to be one genre that I particularly enjoy.  But, you know, I'm not going to limit myself to those types of songs.  You know, I like to sing ballots, as evidenced by Angel of Mine, but, you know, it's really going to depend on the theme and what I'm feeling from that theme or that artist.

V. Balta                       Cool.  Thanks a lot.  Good luck.

A. Desai                      Sure.  Thanks.

Moderator                   Next we have Monica Sotomayor with Flash News.

M. Sotomayor             Hello, Anoop.  Congratulations.

A. Desai                      Thank you so much.

M. Sotomayor             So I wanted to ask you.  I mean, what has been the most surprising to you about your Idol experience?  I mean, did you discover anything crazy backstage that you weren't aware of before being on the show?

A. Desai                      I guess the whole process of it, you know, and I know that's really vague, but when you watch it on TV, and when I used to watch it on TV, it's like, oh, there's a commercial break.  I'm just going to go get a soda or whatever.  But there's such a frantic, you know, effort during those commercial breaks just to get everything in place.  And just, you know, the number of people, you know, the resources that go into producing just one of these hour-long results shows is incredible.  And, you know, I think that was, in my mind, furthered by our press experience last night and just, you know, looking into all these flashing cameras.  You know, I knew that it was a juggernaut, but it's really something else to experience it.

M. Sotomayor             Yes, and the judges really like you, obviously, so, I mean, what are you going to do to stay on their good side?  Is there any bribing going to go down?  What are you going to do?

A. Desai                      No, not really.  I haven't really done any - you know, I haven't tried to get in their good graces.  It's just that I've been fortunate enough for it to happen.  So I'm going, you know, just be - I've been myself this entire time, and so that's what I'm going to continue to do.

M. Sotomayor             Great.  Best of luck to you, Anoop.

A. Desai                      Thank you so much.

Moderator                   Next is David Menconi with the Raleigh News.

A. Desai                      Hello?

D. Menconi                 So depending on how long this goes, I'm calling from Raleigh, as I believe they said.  You're going to miss March Madness here in Chapel Hill.

A. Desai                      I am.

D. Menconi                 Does that bum you out?

A. Desai                      It - you have no idea.  Actually, the last Carolina/Duke game, you know, we were sitting in our hotel room, me and Ricky Bratty, who is also a big Carolina fan, and we were watching, and seriously about two minutes before tip off, ESPN blacked out, and it was the only channel in our hotel that blacked out, so I was - and I'm really superstitious about Carolina games, like I can't look at the score while the game is going on.  And so, I was pacing back and forth in my room for two hours.  And so, I don't know what I'm going to do about, you know, not being in Chapel Hill for March Madness.  I've never been - you know, with the ... that we used to go on spring break and we'd miss some tournament games, but, you know, I'd always have someone keep me updated, tell me the score, and everything because obviously I couldn't look, but this is a whole other ballgame.  I'm going to have to be a little creative and figure something out.

D. Menconi                 Okay.  And I hadn't realized Kara went to Duke before you said that last night.  Have you all sort of had any back and forth about Duke versus Carolina, other than that last night?

A. Desai                      Not really.  I actually, you know, I read that in a New York Times article, and I thought - after I auditioned and everything, and I thought that was really funny.  So when she - you know, we haven't - that's the first time either of us has mentioned it to the other, so-

D. Menconi                 Okay.  Very good.  Well, keep it up.

A. Desai                      Thank you.  I appreciate it.

Moderator                   We'll go to Katie Byrne with MTV News.

K. Byrne                     Hello, Anoop.  How are you doing?

A. Desai                      I'm doing well.  How are you?

K. Byrne                     Pretty good.  I just wanted to see what kind of music you were thinking of releasing after the show, what kind of style you think that you'd release an album in.

A. Desai                      You know, I love Neo right now, and I think that I'm a pop, R&B singer.  I'm a contemporary R&B singer, so that's really the album, the type of album I'd like to release.  I'd love to do some collaborations with Luda and Kanye and stuff like that because I love those guys, but we'll see.  You know, like, whatever this takes me, I know that I'm going to have a great opportunity to do my music.

K. Byrne                     And I know you're excited about Kanye being on the show next week.

A. Desai                      Definitely.

K. Byrne                     Are there any other guest mentors that you would look forward to working with?

A. Desai                      You know, if Stevie Wonder came back, I would faint because I think he's the greatest musical mind that I've ever heard, and that would be the ultimate for me.

K. Byrne                     Very good.  Thank you.

A. Desai                      Thank you.

Moderator                   Next we have Barbara Rodriguez with The Associated Press.

B. Rodriguez               Hello, Anoop.  Congrats on making the top 13.

A. Desai                      Thank you so much.

B. Rodriguez               I see that most people have asked a lot of the other questions that I would have asked, but what do you think about the addition of a 13th contestant?  I mean, what do you think it brings to the competition, and what sort of pressure does that place on you since you were the last person selected?

A. Desai                      Yes, I mean, obviously I'm glad that they expanded it, but I don't know that there's an added pressure.  I happen to be the last one chosen, but I'm very comfortable with that.  I think that everyone here is going to, you know - you're going to get what you pay for, you know what I mean, in a sense with this show because every one of the top 13 is, I think, really, really talented and has their own niche and their own style.  So I think it's going to be a boom for the show because it's going to be able to showcase that wide variety, that array of talent.

B. Rodriguez               Also, I realize on previous episodes at least that you try to wrap your Carolina blue gear and things like that.  Are there any sort of things that you're going to be doing like that in the upcoming weeks to kind of really show that you're from North Carolina and all that?

A. Desai                      Being from North Carolina Chapel Hill is just who I am, and I always bring my personality and my identity through.  But I think everyone knows that I love North Carolina ... and I love Chapel Hill.  I don't know, short of doing some PD Pablo on the show, I'm not really sure what I could do, but yes.

B. Rodriguez               Great.  Thanks so much.  I appreciate it.

A. Desai                      Thank you.

Moderator                   We are out of time for this portion.  Anoop, do you have any closing remarks?

A. Desai                      Just thank you all for all your support and, yes, Go Heels.

Moderator                   Thank you.  Then, ladies and gentlemen, you'll be back on a music hold while we get our next contestant online.  Thank you.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the American Idol Interview call.  We now have Megan Corkrey online.  Our first question will come from Earlene McMichael with the Kalamazoo Gazette.

E. McMichael             Hello, Megan.  How are you doing?

M. Corkrey                 Good.  How are you?

E. McMichael             Fine, thank you.  I have watched you, and it's been very interesting.  Actually, you participated in our live chat last night, and a lot of people remark on the interesting way that you dance, the kind of movement thing you do.  It's very interesting and unique.  Can you tell us a little bit about that?

M. Corkrey                 I really don't know why that happens.  When I start singing, I just blob around, and it just happens.  I don't know why.

E. McMichael             Yes.  What is your musical influence?

M. Corkrey                 My number one influence is Biork.

E. McMichael             Tell us more about that.  What is it that you like about Bjork.

M. Corkrey                 I fell in love with it when I was 16.  It just changed my life.  Her music is so beautiful and original and different, and it's so emotional, and I just love it.

E. McMichael             Thank you.

M. Corkrey                 No problem.

Moderator                   Next we have Joel Amos with

J. Amos                       Hello.  How are you?

M. Corkrey                 Good.  How are you?

J. Amos                       I'm doing great.  Thank you.  I bet you're doing fabulous.

M. Corkrey                 I am.

J. Amos                       I'm so sure, and congratulations, first of all.

M. Corkrey                 Thank you.

J. Amos                       I wanted to ask you.  Obviously you are a fan of the show so much so that you turned out following a dream, but I wanted to see if you felt like things were different and how it was from a contestant point of view with four judges versus what you know, which is American Idol with three judges.

M. Corkrey                 It's been pretty crazy.  It's exciting to have a fourth input, and Kara is tough, so it's nice to have somebody that you want to impress and get on your side, so I'm all about it.

J. Amos                       Cool, cool.  A follow-up would be if there is a song that you have not done yet that you hope that you can get done in the next couple weeks, what song would that be?

M. Corkrey                 If I was allowed to, I would sing any Bjork song, any.

J. Amos                       Cool.  Thank you so much, and all the best.

M. Corkrey                 No problem.  Thank you.

Moderator                   We'll go to Andrea Dresdale with ABC News Radio.

A. Dresdale                 Hello, Megan.

M. Corkrey                 Hello.

A. Dresdale                 I think you should sing Birthday by the Sugar Cubes.  How about that?

M. Corkrey                 All right.  Let's do it.

A. Dresdale                 No, I wonder if you could tell us about your tattoo because it's so interesting and it's so colorful.  Tell us about the imagery in there and what it means, if anything.

M. Corkrey                 Absolutely.  It's a castle, and there's a night sky above it.  And in the glass, it's stained glass, and it's my fairytale.  And there's a king and a queen, and that's me and who knows.  And then there's a fairy godmother, my mom, a wizard, my brother, and a prince, my son.  And then there's roses growing up the castle.

A. Dresdale                 Did you design that yourself?

M. Corkrey                 I did, well, I came up with the idea.  I can't draw, so I sat down with my artist and told him exactly what I wanted, and he drew it up.

A. Dresdale                 Why do you look at your life as a fairytale?

M. Corkrey                 Because it is.  I'm very blessed, and I love my family, and I'll always love my family....

A. Dresdale                 Thanks very much.

M. Corkrey                 No problem.

Moderator                   Next we have Antonia Blyth with US Weekly Magazine.

A. Blyth                      Hello, Megan.

M. Corkrey                 Hello.

A. Blyth                      Great to talk to you again after speaking to you last night.

M. Corkrey                 Me too.

A. Blyth                      I wanted to ask about your tattoos as well.  How many do you actually have in total?

M. Corkrey                 I have seven, if you count my sleeve as one.

A. Blyth                      Wow, and what are they, and how long did it take your sleeve to complete?

M. Corkrey                 My sleeve isn't complete, but it's taken two years up to this point, and it's a castle and my fairytale, and then I have my son's name on my wrist.  And I have two stars on my back for me and my mom.  I have my middle name, Joy, on my hip, and I have just like a jumble of things I love on both of my feet.

A. Blyth                      Nice.  Well, it's good to talk to you, and best of luck.  I'll speak to you soon, I'm sure.

M. Corkrey                 Thank you very much.  Okay.

A. Blyth                      Bye.

M. Corkrey                 Bye.

Moderator                   We'll go to Alex Dobuzinskis with Reuters.

A. Dobuzinskis           Hello.  How do you think the judges would take a performance of a Bjork song, because I think it's sort of outside of the mainstay of what they expect on the show?

M. Corkrey                 I think they would probably criticize it a lot.  It would have to be the right song.  It couldn't be anything too crazy or weird.  It'd have to have, you know, a pretty solid rhythm, and some of the songs don't.

A. Dobuzinskis           Great.  Thanks.  Good luck.

M. Corkrey                 No problem.  Thank you.

Moderator                   Next is Scott Pierce with Deseret News.

S. Pierce                      You're kind of the antithesis of David Archuleta from last year, and I'm just wondering if people react to you knowing where you're from, that sort of thing.

M. Corkrey                 I really haven't had a lot of people comment about Utah and David.  Yes, I really haven't heard anything about that.

S. Pierce                      Which is kind of a good thing, I suppose.

M. Corkrey                 Yes.

S. Pierce                      And do you feel - I mean, from the auditions here, through - I mean, what did you really think when you went to audition?  Did you ever imagine that this would end up like this?

M. Corkrey                 No, way.  I didn't think I was going to make it through the first thing.  I mean, I never even made a solo in choir in high school, so I didn't think I was going to go anywhere.

S. Pierce                      Really, which high school?

M. Corkrey                 I want to Taylorsville.

S. Pierce                      Well, thank you very much.

M. Corkrey                 No problem.

Moderator                   We have Mike Hughes with TV America.

M. Hughes                  Yes, actually, continuing on Scott's question, we kind of, in other states, have this image of Utah as being kind of a closed place, a kind of place that Roseanne Barr used to complain about.  And yet, here you've come, and you've got this very wide-open personality and the wonderful tattoos and so forth.  Do we misunderstand Utah?  Is it a much more open and allowing place than people think?

M. Corkrey                 Utah is so beautiful and friendly.  It's such a family place.  If you want to raise a family and feel safe, Utah is the place.

M. Hughes                  Also, with the name Joy tattooed, I understand you used to go by Megan, and how you prefer to go by Joy.  Tell me kind of when did you make that change and why do you ... like that?

M. Corkrey                 I just decided that, I mean, Corkrey is my ex-husband's name, and I just kind of want to get past all that and start new, so I just decided to go by Megan Joy, which is my middle name.

M. Hughes                  So Joy is sort of like your last name, in a way.

M. Corkrey                 No, well, it'll kind of be, but-

M. Hughes                  Cool.  Thanks a lot.

M. Corkrey          , ;       No problem.

Moderator                   Next is Rodney Ho with the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

R. Ho                           Megan, do you play any instruments?

M. Corkrey                 I don't, sadly.

R. Ho                           Do you plan to learn any once you get further into this whole journey here?

M. Corkrey                 I would love to.  If anybody is down to teach me, I am in.

R. Ho                           Any particular instruments that appeal to you?

M. Corkrey                 Sorry.  What was that?

R. Ho                           Any particular instruments that appeal to you?

M. Corkrey                 I would love to play the piano or guitar.

R. Ho                           I'm sure you've got a lot of musicians there who could teach you.

M. Corkrey                 If they want to.

R. Ho                           Yes.  Thanks.

M. Corkrey                 No problem.

Moderator                   We'll go to Matt Mitovich with

M. Mitovich               Megan, congratulations.

M. Corkrey                 Thank you very much.

M. Mitovich               I'm curious.  What music theme would scare you?  What would give you pause and make you shiver in your shoes a little bit?

M. Corkrey                 Well, I'm not really scared, but I'm a little unsure, and I don't know what I'm going to do with country week because I don't listen to a lot of country.

M. Mitovich               But you think you could pull it off?

M. Corkrey                 Yes, I'm going to do it though.  I'll tear it up.

M. Mitovich               All right.  Cool.  Thanks.

M. Corkrey                 No problem.

Moderator                   Thank you.  We're out of time for Megan.  Do you have any closing remarks?

M. Corkrey                 Just thank you.

Moderator                   Thank you.  Then, ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude this portion.  We have one interview left.  We ask you to please hold while we get Matt Giraud to the phone.  Thank you.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your patience.  We're back for our final interview, and that's with Matt Giraud, American Idol contestant.  Our first question will come from Monica Sotomayor with Flash News.

M. Sotomayor             Hello, Matt.  Congratulations.

M. Giraud                   Thank you so much, Monica.

M. Sotomayor             Yes, of course.  So I wanted to ask you, what did you think of Simon dishing out fashion advice last night to you on the show?

M. Giraud                   I don't know why he's always hating on me.  No....  You know what?  I trusted the wardrobe people with that one.  They said, hey; just go for it, and who takes fashion advice from Simon anyway?  Come on.  Really.

M. Sotomayor             Exactly.  That's what I was thinking.  No, let me just ask you.  I was looking at your Q&A on the Idol Web site, and I love how you said that you would love to be talented at sports because you're really bad at them in real life, so what's that all about?  Tell me what you've tried to play and just can't.

M. Giraud                   I used to play soccer in high school.  I think I was like third string benchwarmer.  It was a great time.  I think I did it just to get a workout at practice, but I never really played in the games.  It was fun.  I used to always kind of wish I was good at sports, but definitely music is the thing, and athletics is definitely not.

M. Sotomayor             Yes, well, you're a great singer.  Best of luck in the competition.

M. Giraud                   I appreciate that very much, Monica.

M. Sotomayor             Thanks.

Moderator                   Next is Marnie Brodersen with

M. Brodersen              Hello, Matt.  Congratulations.

M. Giraud                   Hello, Marnie.  How are you doing?  Thank you.

M. Brodersen              I'm doing well.  Thanks.  I was just curious because you had mentioned that you are really into pop music, and the judges are so all about your, you know, bluesy, soulful side.  Do you think you'll attempt pop music again?

M. Giraud                   I definitely will attempt - you know, I mean, I've heard some rumors of some certain weeks, certain theme weeks coming up that I can definitely pull off some pop stuff, and I definitely know how to sing pop music.  I just, you know, picked the wrong type of rock song, I guess.

M. Brodersen              Sure.

M. Giraud                   Yes, I definitely want to get back into it, and maybe I'll even do a JT song one day in the future.  Who knows?

M. Brodersen              I'd love that.  I love that.  And what about, you know, who would be a dream mentor for you?

M. Giraud                   Man, dream mentor?  I'd say the Piano Player just because he's a musician that I just love.  Billy Joel would be ridiculous.

M. Brodersen              Yes.

M. Giraud                   That'd be amazing if he came in and taught me how to play and sing something of his.  That would be a dream, so yes, definitely....

M. Brodersen              Great.  Thank you so much.

M. Giraud                   Thanks a lot.  Appreciate it.

Moderator                   We'll go next to Victor Balta with

V. Balta                       Hello, Matt.  How are you doing?

M. Giraud                   What's up, Victor?

V. Balta                       Not too much, so I wanted to ask you about, you know, obviously this unique style that you have.  I mean, can you just talk about the balance because I think it was Kara said that it was just a little bit over the top at times.  I mean, obviously it's sort of coming from within you, but are you thinking about how you're going to keep going forward without too much of that sort of style thing coming through?  Yes.

M. Giraud                   Yes.  You know what?  It's American Idol, man.  What the heck, you know?  And it's just like ... I love the blues style, and I love ... gospel and soul and all that stuff.  Sometimes it's a little bit over the top, but last night I was singing for my life, so I definitely was ... bring it, man.  If I go over the top a little bit, that's all right.  They'll understand.

V. Balta                       Right.

M. Giraud                   There definitely is a balance.  I try to mix all the different styles, so yes.

V. Balta                       Cool, and should we count on seeing you behind the piano most of the time now that you'll be able to, or are you going to balance it?

M. Giraud                   I'm going to take the chance if I can, but I'm not going to be back there every time, definitely not, but I definitely want to try to get out there and work the crowd a little bit too.  Pull out the keyboard.  Maybe I'll do a keyboard for the first half of the song and then stand up and rock it out for the second half.  Who knows?

V. Balta                       There you go.  There you go.  Right on.  Good luck, Matt.

M. Giraud                   Thanks a lot.

Moderator                   Your next question is from Earlene McMichael with the Kalamazoo Gazette.

E. McMichael             Matt, hello there.  We're cheering for you here in Kalamazoo.  Congratulations.  What I'm interested in is, I see that you're from Ypsilanti, which is really near the Detroit area, and I was most interested in what some of your music influences were at a young age.

M. Giraud                   At a young age, I was listening to like artists like Kirk Franklin, a lot of gospel stuff.  I love like the country like Shanai Twain.  I listen to 'N Sync, and that type of pop type of music.  But also, as I grew up, I really got into jazz music and Motown music as a young man and really got into that type of stuff.

E. McMichael             Okay.  And I'm trying to think what else I could ask you.  If there was someone that you could work with and collaborate in the future, who would that be?

M. Giraud                   I think I'd love to work with Billy Joel, maybe Elton John, some of these like heavy, heavy iconic piano singers, you know, maybe even Alicia Keys.  Definitely that'd be cool.  I heard somebody call me like the white boy Alicia Keys.  I thought that was pretty funny.  No, I'd love to work with some of the iconic piano performers.

E. McMichael             Thank you, Matt.

M. Giraud                   Thank you so much.

Moderator                   Next we have Rodney Ho with the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

R. Ho                           Hello.  I was wondering, what happened after you sang the Coldplay song last week?  Did you feel like you blew it, or did you feel like the judges were a little too harsh on you?

M. Giraud                   I felt a little harsh, but I definitely could not sleep that night.  I felt like....

R. Ho                           No.

M. Giraud                   ...disappointment.  I felt like, you know, because people thought I was going to do well, and I kind of felt I let everyone down, and just wasn't the right song, but that's behind me, and this week I'm going to pick the right song, and I'm going to bring it back and make them forget about it.

R. Ho                           How did you dig up the Jackson 5 song?  How did that come about?

M. Giraud                   That's like that song that I just forgot about, but it's in my bones.  I've been singing it for years.  I've done a couple competitions with it, and it went well, and I was like, I can sing this song.  You know, it's just like, I don't even have to practice.  It was just there for me.  I don't know why I didn't think of it.

R. Ho                           The first time, right?  Thank you.

Moderator                   We have Rhonda Cloutier with the Walton Sun.

R. Cloutier                  Matt, how are you?

M. Giraud                   How are you?  I'm great.

R. Cloutier                  Congratulations.

M. Giraud                   Thank you so much.

R. Cloutier                  I'm originally from Ypsilanti.  I am pulling for you in northern Florida.

M. Giraud                   I need that.

R. Cloutier                  I wanted to ask you about the Hollywood group round, and your group, the White Chocolate, that was probably the best group song we have ever seen during Hollywood.  How did it come about and who choreographed it?  How did you decide who would sing what?

M. Giraud                   It was a group thing.  I think me and Chris Allen definitely kind of took the reigns on the vocal part, and then we all kind of came up with the choreography.  We wanted to keep it simple and make sure that our harmonies were really cool, but there was no drama in our group, so we didn't get that much airtime, so we just kind of worked real hard, and we just said, you know what; let's just work and get it out.  But I came up with White Chocolate because that's what people used to call me when I was a little kid, so....

R. Cloutier                  It ... together really well.

M. Giraud                   Thank you.  That was great.  We had so much fun, and people, and we still talk about it, like, White Chocolate.

R. Cloutier                  What judge has given you the best advice, and what has it been?

M. Giraud                   I think that Kara used to give me the best compliments, but now it's getting into advice where it's like stick to what you're good at, and Paula and Kara both say that.  Stick to what you're good at and make sure you nail what you're good at.  Sometimes you try different things, and you might like it, but if you can't nail it, then it's probably not worth it.

R. Cloutier                  Right.  Good luck on the piano next week.

M. Giraud                   I appreciate it.  Maybe I'll get back on the keyboard.  We'll see.

R. Cloutier                  All right.  Congratulations.

M. Giraud                   Thank you so much.

Moderator                   We'll go to Gary Graff with United Stations.

G. Graff                      Matt, congratulations on things.

M. Giraud                   What's up?

M. Graff                      And I am based in Detroit, so I was curious.  I heard you talk about your influences earlier, but what music around Detroit, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti were you into either growing up or do you feel made some impacts?

M. Giraud                   Some areas?

G. Graff                      Yes, from that area when you were growing up.

M. Giraud                   You know, I definitely played a lot of piano in the lobby down at the Marriott in Ypsilanti as a young, like 19.  I just played by myself for free just sitting in the lobby.  Definitely at the Detroit ... outreach church in Redford, I played drums and sang there, and also at my high school, Lincoln in Ypsi, doing a lot of choir work and stuff like that in my senior year, so those are pretty much my three major spots playing in worship band and playing in choir and playing piano, and pretty much all from myself at that time.

G. Graff                      Tell me a little more about that playing in the Marriott.  You would just go in there and sit down, and did they ask...?  Go ahead.

M. Giraud                   What's that?

G. Graff                      I was wondering.  Tell me about how you did that, and also, did you ever get unsolicited tips for just playing the piano?

M. Giraud                   No, I never got tips.  I was just learning.  People would encourage me and say, I like the way you play.  I had only been playing for a year, so I couldn't play that much, but I'd just kind of come in and sit down at this kind of out of tune piano, and I'd just get lost and play.  It was just strictly passion.  It wasn't anything else.

G. Graff                      Do you come from a musical household?

M. Giraud                   Yes.  My grandfather was a singer, but as for my immediate family, no.  I just kind of had it in me.

G. Graff                      Good luck ... well there.

M. Giraud                   Thank you so much.

Moderator                   Next we have Adam Graham with the Detroit News.

A. Graham                  Matt, how are you doing?

M. Giraud                   What's up, Adam?

A. Graham                  I'm good.  You mentioned that White Chocolate was a nickname as a kid.  Why?  How did that come up?

M. Giraud                   Because I was like one of the only lighter kids in the gospel choir in Detroit, and they used to call me White Chocolate because I learned how to sing like that, and I love that type of music, and I'd sing that soul type of stuff, that church music.  I tried ... church last night.

A. Graham                  What are you leaving behind in Kalamazoo right now?  Is there a day job?  Is there a girlfriend?  Is there anything...?

M. Giraud                   Yes, I have a girlfriend back home.

A. Graham                  Sorry?

M. Giraud                   I have a girlfriend back home.  I have a girlfriend back home, you know, holding me down and giving me good advice and keeping me grounded, so ... and the Radisson and my little brother ... I'm a mentor for Big Brother Big Sister, and so he's back there.  But he told me.  He said, you know, I miss you, but don't come home for a while.

A. Graham                  Nice, nice, and real quick.  Have you been an Idol fan in the past, and is there any Idol's whose career you'd like to kind of emulate or any contestants who you've really taken a shine to or would like to...?

M. Giraud                   You know, last season I started watching it.  I watched the whole season last season, and I liked kind of like David Cook's kind of swagger and how he did things.  I've also kind of liked the rocker guys.  I don't know.  It's not even my style of music, but I always remember buying his videos on iTunes and stuff, and ... was pretty good.  I liked Brooke White a little bit too.  I never really had any particular Idol that I was just like, oh, I love them.  Fantasia was definitely on the list for me and Carrie Underwood.

A. Graham                  Thanks, White Chocolate.  We'll be pulling for you.

M. Giraud                   Bringing back memories.

A. Graham                  Right on.

M. Giraud                   Thanks, man.

Moderator                   Our final question will be from Julie Hinds with the Detroit Free Press.

J. Hinds                       Matt, congratulations.

M. Giraud                   Thanks, Julie.

J. Hinds                       I wanted to ask if you could share any of your family's reaction to last night since they're here and wonder what they thought of what happened.

M. Giraud                   I called my dad first, and I just remember him screaming, and his girlfriend screaming and screaming.  They're just so proud, and they're like; you killed it.  You killed it.  You know, it was just like that feeling of redemption.  My mom was just so excited.  She was just flipping out.  She was like, can I tell my fiends this?  Can I tell my friends that?  She's just, they can't contain it.  That's probably one of the best parts of the show is making your family so happy.

J. Hinds                       Yes, and since you're from around here, I just wanted to ask, does your family have any connections to the auto industry?

M. Giraud                   Auto industry, no.  My dad is a truck driver, but that's it.

J. Hinds                       Great.  Thanks a lot, Matt.

M. Giraud                   Thank you.

Moderator                   Matt, do you have any closing remarks?

M. Giraud                   No.  No, that's all.  I guess, just appreciate you guys, and thank you for your help.

Moderator                   Then, ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude our conference for today.  Thank you for your participation and for using AT&T Executive Teleconference.