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'American Idol' Runner-up Crystal Bowersox on Season 9 and Missing the 'If I Can Dream' House Visit

by Andrew Scott, posted Jun 24th 2010 4:30PM
Crystal BowersoxCrystal Bowersox may not have won 'American Idol,' but the 24-year-old from Ohio created a huge following over the course of season 9 -- enough to make her the first female contestant to reach the finals since -- wait for it -- season 6.

Bowersox, who wowed America with her brilliant takes on 'Me and Bobby McGee,' 'People Get Ready' and 'Saved,' among other songs, recently gave an exclusive interview to TV Squad.

After the jump, read what she had to say about her upcoming CD, the quality of season 9, whether a girl will ever win 'American Idol' again and the real reason she missed the 'If I Can Dream' house visit.

Have things calmed down at all now that the show is over?

Yeah, a little bit. We've got some free time, and I've got a little more time in the morning to spend with my kid, but you know, I'm still busy, and we're rehearsing most days and doing interviews here and there. We're starting to work on the album and figuring out where I'm going to go with that.

Are you bringing your son with you on tour?
He can't come on tour with me; but right now we're stationary, here in L.A., and he can be here for that. But once I'm on tour, he'll be with family and friends.

One thing I always loved about your 'Idol' journey was that you never compromised who you were as an artist. But was there ever a point when you thought, "Hey, maybe I should change it up a bit?"
No. I pushed myself a little bit, as far as right towards the end. I finally got comfortable with the idea of not having a mic stand or a guitar. I wish that that had happened a little sooner, but it happened the way it was supposed to. I never changed who I was. I just pushed myself to try new things. I'm proud that I did it, because it just shows me what I'm capable of. It doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to be part of my career in the future, but knowing that I can do it is really cool.

Crystal BowersoxWas there a song you didn't sing on 'Idol' that you wish you had?
I wanted to do 'What's Up?' by Linda Perry and 4 Non-Blondes, but that never cleared.

You were allowed to sing 'Holy Toledo' during your hometown visit. Do you think the show should allow contestants to sing original songs?
I think if the contestants are less in the competition are all fine songwriters, then that's good. But I think that if it's from the beginning of the show, that wouldn't be fair, because not everyone is a songwriter, and to judge someone on their personal story or something they're singing about from their heart is a little scary. But I think that maybe in the future they should incorporate it somehow.

Do you have anything special planned for the Toledo tour stop?

Yeah. They actually said I could play 'Holy Toledo' when I'm in my hometown. So there will be an original song on tour in Toledo.

Have you started mapping out your CD yet?
Yep, yep. I've been in talk with Jive and figuring out what songs we're going to do. Hopefully it'll be all original and I can do some co-writing with some bigger names, and just kind of feel out what producer I want to work with and what artists. It's all in talks right now.We've got some big names coming up that I will not disclose.

Well that was one of my other questions to -- if anyone had ever approached you.

A lot of people, actually. A lot of legitimate musicians and songwriters have approached me -- and it blows my mind. I can't say who, but it'll be a pleasant surprise once the album's out.

Do you plan to use any of the songs you previously recorded on your new CD?


Will you be writing any new songs?

Yeah. I haven't been able to write on the show, because I've been too busy. But I've got a little free time now. I hope to write some new tunes. Maybe they won't make this CD; they might make the next CD. Right now, we're definitely going to record my pre-'Idol' songs. I've got a lot of them, so we're trying to pick which one's the best.

What will it sound like, musically?
Me. [Laughs] ... Really, it all depends on what producer and what musicians you work with, because everyone's got a different vibe and a different feel. But the songs are essentially mine; they're an autobiographical story. So it depends on what producer I go with, but I'd like to work with Ethan John. We'll see what he thinks, but he's one of my favorites.

Do you know when it might be released?
Well, I'm hoping before Christmas -- sometime this Fall. But, you know, if it's not ready, it's not ready. I'm not going to release anything that I'm not completely proud of. If it takes longer, it takes longer.

Going back to the show, there were a lot of complaints about the quality of season 9. What's your take on that, having been a part of it?
I think it's not necessarily the quality; it's just a change. It's different than what fans are used to. There was a lot of singer/songwriter artist-type singers, rather than people who just sing songs. I think it's good. It shows where the market's heading. I don't feel like it's less quality. I had a great time, and the performers this year were not the kind that prance around the stage too much. And that doesn't mean it's any less.

Crystal Bowersox

Is there anything you miss about being on the show?

Yeah. I mean, we had a pretty rigid routine ... it was pretty much the same every day and it was nice to know what to expect every day. But now everything's here and there, and they throw things in and shove it in your schedule whenever they can. I miss the staff. I miss Rickey Minor and the band; I miss all the producers -- everybody that was involved was so amazing. It was really great.

You were the first female contestant to reach the finals since season 6. After three guys in a row, do you think a girl will ever win 'American Idol' again?
That's really up to the people who vote, you know? It's up to the viewers of the show, and I think that most of the audience is young girls. And it makes sense that a young, cute guy would win. But at the same time, I don't feel like I lost. I still feel like I won. I've said it before, I won vicariously through Lee, and second place ain't bad. I mean, I'm so happy with where I am in life right now.

How did you go about picking 'Up to the Mountain' as your single?
My friend Brian Walker suggested it. It's a song that he's covered and I listened to it and I was like, "I love this song." I loved the message. Patty Griffin's version of it is amazing, and I tried to emulate and make my own as well.

Did you see Kelly Clarkson's rendition from 'Idol Gives Back'?
Yes, I have. I watched it after the fact. I didn't even know that she had covered it until someone had mentioned it to me. But her version is phenomenal, as well.

There was a rumor floating around the Internet that you skipped the 'If I Can Dream' visit because of what Alex Lambert said on our show, SomethingPitchy. Is that true?

No, no. Actually, my blood sugar was high, and with diabetes, if your blood sugar is high it causes spikes in hormones and emotions and things, and I didn't feel like I should be on camera in the state I was in. A couple hours later I was fine, you know, you just take insulin and wait. But my health is first and foremost -- my son's health is first and foremost, and I decided not to go.

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ok...I LOVE HER!...pistol cool!

June 25 2010 at 5:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Crystal interviews well. Nice personaliy. And has many interesting things to say. Captivating, or near-captivating. As is Siobhan Magnus, who was far smarter, more interesting, and funnier than the Idol editing showed her.
You can see why both the ladies got 8-part interviews at EW. Talented (slight edge to Crystal as the better, older performer - edge to Siobhan in some other attributes) and they present well.
Casey is also very good and Charismatic.
Lee is an introvert that has to work on the "public apppearance stuff", but is a superb maker of music.
Add Aaron as a talented project in the works who may also be very marketable.
All in all, this was a very talented S9 whose talent and performances were undercut by the dysfunctional judging, limited old song selections, and other factors.

June 24 2010 at 6:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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