He was no stranger to the Bottom Three. But American Idol's Stefano Langone, the 22-year-old from Kent, Washington, says that from the moment he was chosen as one of this season's three wild cards, everything else was gravy.
TV Guide Magazine: Pia Toscano said you took her elimination harder than she did. And last night, James was incredibly emotional over your elimination. Why?
Langone: Me and James are brothers. A lot of people don't know that we have been roommates all the way back to Hollywood Week. I'm going to be the best man at his wedding. We're really, really close. He was really upset. And he's a big crybaby. (laughs) We just connected as musicians. We have respect for each other. James rocks it out. And I rock it out my way. We were so different, but being around each other so much really shows who you are inside. We just clicked.
TV Guide Magazine: But you're going on tour in a couple of months, so why get so upset?
Langone: Because this is the real deal. Meaning that we really, really support and care about each other. This season has been busier than any other season. More press than any other season. The busiest schedule, ever, seven days a week. We're around each other 24 hours a day. So we have such a strong bond. And then with me and James, we were rooming and spending every second together, since Hollywood Week [in November]. And again, he's a big crybaby.
TV Guide Magazine: You said you were in the Bottom Three about 30 times. What did that do to your confidence? Did you ever think 'What do I have to do to win these people over?'
Langone: It really didn't do much to my confidence as a performer, knowing that this is a show. That's why people like Pia left, and why Jennifer Hudson left when she did, and Chris Daughtry. It's a show. And you gotta keep that in mind and not let that get in your head, because if you do, it'll f--- you up. I know what I've got is something special, and the producers on the show know what I've got. And the producers in the industry know what I've got. And they're all supporting me, saying, "Look, kid, you've really got what it takes and you could really do something in this industry. There's a market now that you could really take." So now it's my responsibility and I'm ready to take that on.
TV Guide Magazine: Jennifer Lopez said, "You have to stop singing to stay and start singing to win." Was she right about that?
Langone: Yes, she was very right. And it kind of sucks because the song that I did [on Wednesday], "Hello," didn't actually show my singing. I had just learned it, and I was singing it to myself instead of singing to people and making them feel something. That's where I lost. Right there.
TV Guide Magazine: What did Jennifer say after the show?
Langone: She just said "We're here for you, if you need anything. Call me. I'm here. Marc [Anthony]'s here. You know Marc loves you. We know you're gonna do great." And Randy said the same thing. He said, "Dawg, just keep that fire in you. We know you're gonna be hustling." And I'm like, "You're darn right I'm gonna be hustling." We had that moment and I'll never forget it.
TV Guide Magazine: And then you waved to the crowd to give you some more applause. Why did you do that?
Langone: I wanted to go out on top. And I feel like I did. And I felt like, for what I did on that stage, I deserved to say, "Hey, man, stand up on your feet. We did it." For that last moment on that stage, I didn't want to walk off with my head held down. I didn't want to walk out like that. I wanted to walk out with my head held high and my spirits held high. And I did.
TV Guide Magazine: Of the six contestants left, who's the most homesick?
Langone: Either Lauren or James.
TV Guide Magazine: Who's got the best sense of humor?
Langone: Casey. He's a great spirit.
TV Guide Magazine: Who's the best listener?
Langone: Scotty. I really developed a good relationship with him. I really took him under my wing. The last few weeks, I must say, I'd like to take some credit for opening that boy up. He's a great kid, and a great listener. I talked to him right before I went out, and I said, "If I leave you tonight, Scotty, I want you to just remember one thing." And he just looked at me and he goes, "It's all a game, brother." And I go, "You're darn right."
TV Guide Magazine: He's 17 going on 40, isn't he?
Langone: Yes, he is. I have a lot of love for that kid.
TV Guide Magazine: Who's the one who would give you the shirt off of his or her back?
TV Guide Magazine: When is his wedding?
Langone: They're planning it right now. We don't have the exact date.
TV Guide Magazine: You've said you dream of performing with your father at the Grammys? What would you sing?
Langone: It would be one of our songs, an original. My father plays every instrument you can think of. It would be a mix between John Legend and Stevie Wonder lyrically. From the soul. When I say soul music, I don't mean gospel. I mean something that touches your soul. That's the kind of music that's really gonna get me out there in this industry.