After your initial audition in front of the judges, the next time the audience sees you is during the Vegas round. How did the Hollywood rounds go for you and what songs did you perform?
Hollywood Week went really well for me. The first round I sang “How Sweet It Is” by James Taylor. I felt like it went really well. That round, as you saw, they don’t give you any feedback, they just tell you if you made it through. So, I made it through, and the group round I was with the Gutierrez brothers. (The group performed “Some Kind of Wonderful,” by Grand Funk Railroad.)
Aaron (Gutierrez) got cut. That was kind of frustrating, because I felt like the song went really well, but the feedback that we got was that the judges didn’t really enjoy it, but the crowd seemed to enjoy it. And then the third round I did The Fray’s “You Found Me” on the piano. And that to me was definitely kind of a turning point when I did that song, because I was able to finally get behind the piano and show my strongest suit, and that’s a song that’s definitely a good fit for my voice. It went really well. I felt really comfortable on stage. So that’s what happened in Hollywood Week.
Alright, so during the Vegas round you performed “Something” with Julie Zorrilla. How did that collaboration come about?
I heard Julie rehearsing in Hollywood Week at the piano. I saw that she made it through, and I remember thinking how talented she was, and also it was cool that she played piano too. We got to pick who we wanted to have — we could do groups of two or three for Vegas — and I was just like, oh man, it could be really cool if we could do like a piano/duet thing. I went and talked to her and she felt the exact same way. It was great, because we really had the creative freedom to put that together. It just worked really well. Our voices were able to blend very well, and she’s a great performer, as well as being comfortable on stage. And the song that we were able to do, “Something,” it just all worked really well. That was probably my best moment that they televised for Idol.