Chris Sligh: "I almost dropped out" of Idol

by Geoff Bennett, posted Mar 29th 2007 4:41PM

Chris SlighIn his day-after exit interview, former 'American Idol' contestant Chris Sligh revealed he almost dropped out of the competition two weeks ago because of artistic differences.

"I never came into this wanting to win it. I come from an indie / alternative rock kind of background," Sligh told TV reporters during a conference call. "For me, I think winning would hurt what I was really going for."

After the judges criticized his arrangement of the Diana Ross classic "Endless Love," said Sligh: "I went to the guy from 19 [Entertainment] and said, 'If I drop out, can I still go on tour?' And they were like, 'No, you have to get voted out.' So I was like, 'Well, we'll see what happens.'"

He also responded to criticism from a spokesman for fundamentalist Bob Jones University. In news reports which emerged last week, the school expressed "disappointment" over Sligh's musical direction.

"I specifically kept my comments about Bob Jones to myself just for personal reasons," Sligh said. "I don't want to throw them under the bus, and I respect what they do. It's just that their sect of Christianity is not what I want to be associated with."

He also explained why he was kicked out of the school before graduating. Read the full interview.

'Pyschic Friends'

Though Sligh's elimination came as a shock to some, anyone who took AOL's 'American Idol' poll would have known his fate well in advance.

AOL users accurately predicted Sligh's ouster and the eliminations of Stephanie and Brandon in the previous weeks. (You online bettors have a new weapon in your arsenal.)

Right now, Sanjaya is at the bottom of the pack ... though surely not for long.

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From Chris Sligh's blog today:

In my interviews with the press today, I mentioned that I had thought about dropping out of the competition. I should clarify that the reason why I wanted to drop out was dealing with the emotions of seeing things that I thought were great universally smashed. Top 12 week, I received about 20 positive comments from band members, production staff, etc. dealing with my arrangement of "Endless Love". Gina Glocksen cried the first time she heard my arrangement. A photographer on the set cried when she heard the arrangement of the song. I had every reason to think that the arrangement would go over well.

SIDE NOTE: For those of you who don't realize it, when you see a 45 second pre-performance video package, usually the interview that makes those packages are 30-45 minutes of questions. So a lot gets edited out. In my pre-performance package interview, I mentioned that I was messing around with "Clocks" by Coldplay and noticed that "Endless Love"s verses fit within the context of those chords. What you may not know also is that I arranged the song 3 different ways, and in getting opinions, the performance version I did was the best across the board.

Anyway, that week, I tried something new with the song it got ragged. I was okay...a little frustrated, but I was okay. Then Blake's performance got trashed...another new arrangement that I thought was incredible. Phil's performance got trashed...another performance I thought was great. Then to top it all off, Richardson's performance, which I thought was one of his better ones got trashed. I literally asked myself why I was there. I mean, everything I thought was really good, the judges thought was horrible, and it simply made me question my bearings in the competition. So, I went one of the managers from 19, talked about quitting and he talked me out of my emotionial side, and made me see that the cold hard facts.

So, I came back the next week and gave what I felt was my best performance of the whole competition in "She's Not There". I think it should be made very clear that I did not "throw in the towel" or give up. If I had thrown in the towel or given up, I would not have chosen "Every Little Thing", being that I worked harder on that song than any other performance...I would've phoned it in with my original choice, "Give a Little Bit". If I had thrown in the towel, I wouldn't have started working on a cut down version of "A Kiss to Build a Dream On" that I thought was great for next week. I definitely did NOT throw in the towel.

I should point out that the rhythm on "Every Little Thing" is very, very complex. I don't think I was that bad on the timing of the song...but when I watched the tape back, I can see in my face that I was never just free and in the pocket....I was thinking about the rhythm. If you go listen to the studio version of my song, then listen to the live version, there really is no difference in my phrasing or rhythm...I sang the song as it was written.

Anyway, for the people who care: I did NOT throw in the towel or give up...I had emotional feelings that I overcome with cold hard logic.

March 29 2007 at 9:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't get any of this.

He got made fun of by the judges, wanted to quite, but couldn't go on tour and then Bob Jones was pissed?

March 29 2007 at 6:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Would have quit except then he wouldn't have been able to go on the Idol bubblegum tour. Wow, now that's some serious artistic integrity for you. What an edgy indie rebel kind of guy.

March 29 2007 at 6:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I understand what he's saying but Chris Daughtry benefitted from staying in the competition, and I'm sure he didn't like the theme weeks, Ford commercials and retardo dance numbers any more than Chris Sligh did.

March 29 2007 at 5:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

sounds like sour grapes but you could tell his heart wasn't into it anymore - bob jones can kiss my ass - if there is a g-d he/she didn't teach you how to hate

March 29 2007 at 5:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

He got kicked out for going to a For Him concert? As far as contemporary Christian music is concerned, they're not that bad. I got kicked out of a Christian college as well. I had a drink on my 21st birthday, and my so-called "friends" ratted on me, and I was kicked out the next day. I was about to graduate too. No big deal, it was the best thing that could have happened to me.

March 29 2007 at 5:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What little respect I had for this Curls fella I just lost. "I didn't really want to be in it." You know what? Can someone please kick this fool? That's not the thing I'm going for? Yeah, I mean, I pity the fool that wins and gets fame and fortune. I'm sure he'll be much happier singing in some madricals group that cover Depche Mode songs.

March 29 2007 at 5:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Whining AFTER you're kicked off is lame. But getting kicked out of Bob Jones is awesome.

March 29 2007 at 5:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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