'American Idol:' Jacob Lusk Says 'Man in the Mirror' Comments 'Sensationalized'

by Hilary Rothing, posted May 6th 2011 2:45PM
After repeated trips to the bottom three, the curtain finally closed on Jacob Lusk, last night. And as is tradition, the Compton, California native took to the phone to talk to the press on a conference call, this afternoon.

Asked about what led to his ousting, Lusk suggested he was a fish out of water during "Now and Then" night, this week on 'Idol.' Thus his elimination came as no surprise.

"I had expected it not because of my bottom three (visits) but because of the judges' feedback and my performance this week. I was the only one who was not in his element this week, everyone was in their element and I did songs that were not in my genre that weren't really my thing. I tried to do something different and this wasn't the time to do that.""And I feel that's why I was voted off, not because I was horrible or because they didn't like me or they liked somebody else or it's a popularity contest. No, those four people were amazing and they were in their element and I wasn't, simply put," said the gospel singer.

It's quite possible Jacob's very out of character attempt at a Jordin Sparks/Chris Brown duet led to his elimination, but there's also been talk of his past remarks, almost daring America not to vote for him. In particular, his statement that if he was voted off the week he sang "Man in the Mirror" for "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Night," it would be because America could not look itself in the mirror. Jacob clarified his controversial statement, in today's call.

"That comment had nothing to do with me and my vocal performance. I'm not the greatest singer in the world, or at least I don't feel I am. That was really more about my song selection and what was going on in the world, at that state and time. The Japan disaster had just happened a couple days before and it really for me, was about us all taking kind of an internal glance.

"And that is what that was about. It really had nothing to do with my vocal performance. It had really nothing to do with people voting for me. It wasn't about that. I just wanted people to look at ourselves and look at what we could do to really change the world because the world is in a disastrous state right now with disasters happening all over. And it's up to us to make a change. And especially, it starts with me, it's up to me. So I was starting with me that night, and saying that I was going to make a change, to help change the world. It had nothing to do with my performance or voting me in or out. It was kind of sensationalized a bit...a whole lot."

With that explanation in mind, perhaps Jacob's gospel roots and inspirational message were lost on the voting audience. Asked if he felt America got him, Lusk was confident that by the end, his style and message resonated with folks at home.

"I think sometimes they didn't know what to do with me but I think a lot of America got it. I think they got that I was the R&B, gospel soulful crooner guy. And those lines, often times, blur. A lot of those great R&B singers, like Luther Vandross, Patti LaBelle, Whitney Houston got their start in the Church. Even Mariah Casey has gospel roots so I think they got it. I just think I didn't have the greatest performance on Wednesday and I wasn't in my element, which is why I got sent home."

One person who may not have gotten Jacob Lusk is Jimmy Iovine. The Interscope chairman was a bit tough on Jacob, at times. This week, in particular, he placed Jacob at the bottom of the Top 5. And the church singer clearly felt the sting of the music mogul's criticism.

"It definitely hurts a lot to have somebody who is supposed to be mentoring you and it feels like every time you turn around, kinda tearing you down. But what you have to remember is that you're not doing it for him, you're doing it for the people out there in America and they're the people who are voting. And it definitely hurts and it's definitely hard to have someone beat you over the head with a baseball bat and then say 'OK, go out there and sing for your life.'"

But Iovine's heavy hand won't stop Jacob from continuing on his chosen musical path. While he did express appreciation for Iovine's mentoring and guidance, Jacob seems set on continuing down his chosen musical path.

"(My plan) is to really give my all and continue to show my heart and continue to do my best to touch people. Because that's what it's about, touching people with music. It's not about how great I can sing or how many riffs I can do or how good Jimmy thinks I am or how bad he thinks I am, it's about me really putting out great music that America will love."

No one can accuse Jacob of not showing his heart. His performance of "God Bless the Child" early on in the season, was one of the most emotional and dramatic the show has seen. Jacob elaborated on what was going through his mind during that moment.

"It had been a long week, three-hundred and twenty-five people had been whittled down to a hundred, I think at that point in time. And I was just tired, I was drained. A person actually went up right before me and sang 'God Bless the Child' and just killed it, so I was scared, I was shaking in my boots. And I went out there and I don't know if anyone noticed, I changed one of the lyrics in the song when I ended, I said 'God bless the child that's got his own, I need my own, my mamma may have, my papa may have but I need my own.'

"And that's really where I was singing from. I was tired and I didn't want to go back home to my normal life and I had to have my own and that's really where I sang it from. Everybody has theirs, J.Lo has hers and Steven has his and I wanted mine. And that's where I sang it from. I didn't want to struggle anymore or wonder where my next meal would come from or where I was going to live or how I was going to pay rent. And now I don't have to worry about that ever again."

Jacob followed up the much talked about number with another expressive performance, last night, as he prepared to leave 'Idol' after a long run in a very high pressure competition.

"I wouldn't say the pressure was getting to me, I will say that I was getting tired, probably. And I was really was just trying to do different things that I thought that (Jimmy) would like and that America wanted to see different things, but at the end of the day, I went out and I said 'I'm going to give it my all, I'm not going to hold anything back.' And that's what I did."

And though he's bowed out of the competition, Jacob felt anyone could have gone last night, calling the Top 5 "a very close race."

"To be honest, its five of us so any one of us could be in the bottom two or bottom three, it's only five us and with everyone being so amazingly talented, to be honest I think the vote is just about split evenly. It's such a close race that anybody could win. Anyone of us could have been sent home, it's just that close of a race right now."

A few more interesting tidbits from Jacob Lusk's exit interview:

- Ellen DeGeneres hooked Casey Abrams up with Jack Black for the 'Idol' finale. If Jacob were to be given the same opportunity, he'd love to perform with Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, Prince or on the gospel side, Yolanda Adams or Bebe and CeCe Winans.

- Though music is his primary focus, Jacob, whose done some gospel stage plays and Off-Broadway shows, would love to do more theater and even some film.

- Jacob once worked with the late Nate Dogg, in a gospel group called "InNate Praise."

- Expect Jacob's forthcoming music to continue with his traditional R&B vibe ala Luther Vandross, Teddy Pendergrass and Marvin Gaye. Though the church singer says he won't be forsaking his gospel/inspirational roots.

- Elaborating on his childhood, Jacob said he was often beat-up in school and has been homeless in the past.

- After the cameras were off, last night, Jacob performed again for the studio audience, not wanting his departure to be a sad moment but rather "rejoice" in his experience. The judges apparently joined him on stage. "It was not planned! I didn't even know they were up there until I looked up and saw J.Lo getting her Church gig on and Steven and Randy," said Jacob.

- Regarding the note Randy said was the highest he's heard on 'Idol,' Jacob said he go even higher.

What are your thoughts on Jacob's departure and his future musical pursuits? Let us know in the comments and for more on last night's elimination show, check out a full recap and the latest installment of 'Something Pitchy!'

'American Idol' airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8PM ET on FOX.

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melba w

Jacob was the BESTEST!!! Yeah, he could have done much better but I think Idol really didn't want another one US to win this one and TRUST I understand but all of this drag queen this and drag queen that has NOTHING TO DO WITH HIS SINGING. It shows that U must in the closet or just coming out of it to be pointing fingers in his path. Just be glad he made it this far and know the BEST ONE'S R THE ONE'S THAT DON'T MAKE IT!!!! Keep ur head up Jacob and KEEP THESE BITCHASSNESS HATIN ON YOU BOO!!! Much love from NC.

May 12 2011 at 1:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Maybe stop blaming everyone else and face up to the fact that you over-sing everything!!!

May 08 2011 at 10:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
el polacko

did his mirror show him his future, singing in drag in seedy gay bars in the south ?

May 08 2011 at 3:31 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Darna Sf

I seriously think that Jacob is a drag queen who wouldn't get into terms for the sake of being in AI.
If I dig deeper into his skeleton vault, I am sure I will find a pic of him in a dress.
I have nothing against drag queens, I would even had voted for him had he just embraced this.
Just saying......

May 07 2011 at 11:53 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Carmen McMoon

No surprise that Jacob got snuffed out. His arrogance ("America has fallen in love with me" and "America should look in the mirror") outweighed his singing ability. He would not take the judges advice, even argued with them about his song choices. You gotten be really arrogant or stupid to not listen to what the pros and the top of the game are telling you. I also found his overly dramatic style of singing to be a big turn off. Jimmy Levine even told him a couple weeks ago "not to preach to 6 million people". The competition is about singing, but America takes into consideration the personality of the contestant also. Jacob needs to grow up.

May 07 2011 at 12:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Fred Stevens

Jacob seem to think he is a lot more important than he really is. He'll be singing on the Idol Tour, but that will be about the end of him....unless maybe he picks up some gospel gigs, but nothing mainstream.

May 07 2011 at 8:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dexter Morgan

Robert Chen
I found one that can get in 20 votes every 5 minutes. It's insane!
Jacob's ouster was a sure thing this week as his performances and song choices got worse every week. and he was the worst of who was left....
NEXT week should be the END of Lauren who is now soooooooooo "out of her league"...

But that said, teeny bopper grits who don't vote with their eyes and ears.....an annual A I dilemma they have never fixed.......THOSE PEOPLE with unlimited votes......Vote for what zip code the contestant comes from.....So don't be shocked if the 2 teeny bopper grits who have been voted thru this far... make it to the final 2.....but NOT with my votes......I vote Haley and James .....or NOBODY....

May 06 2011 at 8:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Action Jackson

Jacob, has a killer voice and a huge range, he should do well in the Gospel and some R & B end of the music business. We will hear more from him in the future!
I, for the life of me cannot understand why they felt it necessary to feature JLO in a singing capacity. I have watched many segments of American Idol and she would have been voted off at the outset. I can't believe that they would dress her up in a costume that enhanced her big butt and thunder thighs and allowed her to sing and not carry a tune. Why waste our time!!!!!!

May 06 2011 at 7:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dexter Morgan

Actually it was pretty simple.. Lusk either did not listen to his advice, or was getting bad advice. His choice of songs became ridiculous and his voice went places the voters didn't wanna hear , or go there.

May 06 2011 at 5:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Don't worry about changing the world. Become someone the world might listen to first and that takes a legasy and time to build a reputation.
Your just a kid right now, although a very lucky one, so be humble, the country does not love you yet.

And with your attitude IT MAY NEVER LOVE YOU!.

May 06 2011 at 5:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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