At age 17, Katie Stevens was the second-youngest finalist on season nine of American Idol. During her time on the show, the four Idol judges offered sometimes confusing and conflicting feedback to the young singer.
Simon Cowell wanted to see her add a country tinge to her style. Kara DioGuardi felt R&B was Stevens' strong suit. In the end, her elimination came during the second Top 9 week. Michael Lynche had benefited from the judges' "save" the prior week. As a result there needed to be two contestants cut from the show. Stevens got the axe despite a spirited rendition of "Baby, What You Want Me To Do," which she chose for Elvis Presley week.
I had a chance to catch up with Ms. Stevens prior to the American Idols LIVE! concert at Seattle's Key Arena.
How does it feel to be touring the nation?
Wonderful. A year ago had anybody told me that I'd be on tour I would've told them they were nuts. I know it sounds cliched, but I've been dreaming of this my whole life. So to finally have this opportunity, it's just incredible.
Any special highlights from the road?
Actually when I was on the show, I was contacted by someone from Fredericksburg, Texas who told me that I was a sign from God. A week prior to my audition, a 15 year old girl in their town named Katie Stevens had passed away in a car accident. So they said that I was kind of a sign, telling them that she was doing okay.
And when the tour went to Houston [August 7th, 2010] her family came to the show. I was able to meet them and hang out with them. It was really amazing to be in contact with them during the television show, then finally come face to face with them. Because they told me that I kind of helped them heal.
Talk about your short-term career plans.
I've already started writing songs. I've worked with some writers. I've also been writing on my own to be prepared for whatever's to come after the tour. Because clearly I want to put out an album. Taking those initial steps is what I'm doing at the moment. The tour's kind of our opportunity to show America once again what we've got. We kind of chose songs that are the genre we'd like to have on our albums. So I take every show as an audition, because you never know who's watching; producers, managers, anything like that. So I try to put on the best performance that I can every night in hopes that after the tour I can get signed.