It's that time of year when American Idol's Top 10 hit the road, free from the pressure of performing for votes, and perform in arenas around the U.S. for the fans that voted for them each week.
For 17-year-old San Jose, Calif. native, DeAndre Brackensick, this moment has been about two years in the making. After just barely missing the cut for the Top 24 during season 10, Brackensick proved he was ready to take season 11 by storm with performances like Buddy Holly's "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" from the Las Vegas group round and Stevie Wonder's "Master Blaster" from Top 13 week.
In between rehearsing for the American Idols Live! tour, which kicks off July 6 in Detroit, Mich., Brackensick graciously took the time to speak with me about Idol, what to expect during the tour, and how he's "pushing for music" during his post-Idol career.
So you guys are doing dress rehearsals today, how are they going?
It’s so much fun. The show is crazy. It’s coming along really, really great.
What are you looking forward to the most about the first show?
Just knowing that this is the beginning of what hopefully I’ll be doing for the rest of my life. It’s just fun to perform in front of big crowds like that and doing all this stuff with my Idol family.
Are you having any nerves about the first show at all?
A little bit. More like nervous, but like excited-nervous. I hope I don’t mess up.
You just missed the cut for the Top 24 during season 10, so what were you feeling when you were told that you had made the tour during this past season?
It was the best thing. Right when I made it, I could not even believe it. I was just sitting there; I couldn’t speak, couldn’t look, couldn’t do nothing. I was in shock the whole time, and I’m just so thankful for this.
Even though we all want to win, tour is what we push for. That’s the main thing that we’re looking forward to. It’s cool that I get to be in this experience and make it.