I was personally sad to see Sabrina go home on Thursday. She was a great singer and itís a shame she will not be around for the weeks to come. She was very nice on the phone and I was able to get a couple of questions in (highlighted in red). I hope she gets some wonderful deals out of this and that she makes this into just a stepping-stone for her future career.
Now, I think we were all shocked when you got eliminated. What was going through your mind when that happened?
S. Sloan: I was shocked, too. I was definitely surprised and really hadnít prepared myself for going home. Part of that is because of the judgesí comments and saying, ďYouíll definitely be here. You deserve to be in the top 12.Ē I think I took it into consideration, America took it into consideration and thought I was safe and didnít need to vote. It feels like thatís kind of what happened.
Now that youíre eliminated, itís over and done with kind of, what do you see yourself doing next?
S. Sloan: Absolutely singing and performing, thatís my passion and Iím going to keep doing it. I started writing some music before I got here and collaborating with some friends, so Iím going to keep doing that and try to put out an album for sure. The great thing about Idol is that other doors might open because of it or are also going to be there. Hopefully, thereíll be lots of opportunities, whether itís acting or fashion or anything. Iím really excited.
My second question is will you continue with Hairspray in any way or will you move onto other roles? Are you thinking about a solo career?
S. Sloan: Iím definitely thinking about a solo career. Iím not opposed to going back to Broadway for sure if itís the right role. My Hairspray days are over for sure. There are a lot of great shows out there and Iíd definitely go back for a role on Broadway.
Just to go back, do you think that possibly America thought you were safe and thatís why itís such a shock, such a surprise with last night?
S. Sloan: Yes, it feels like it. Iíve watched the show for five years and Iíve tried to prepare myself every Thursday because you just never know. Iíve seen it happen before and been upset by it. You just donít get it until youíre there and youíre feeling it. Itís just such a disappointment. I absolutely wanted to be in that 12 that are getting ready to sing with Diana Ross. Thinking about all of it, itís really hard.
You mentioned that the judges made the comment that youíre definitely in the top 12 and America thought you were safe. Do you think the judges should watch what they say?
S. Sloan: I think that itís hard because Iím sure theyíre not thinking about it as theyíre giving the comments, but America absolutely listens to them. People who maybe didnít catch the show and just caught the comments will take that into consideration and vote for who they think doesnít have a shot at getting in that they want in. At the same time, of course, Iíd want them to say that, so itís hard to tell. I would rather him, Simon, Ö the hotel comment that he did. It was kind of not really true, but they have their opinions. Knowing that they were shocked by it, too, was definitely a consolation that they didnít mean for it to happen.
What kind of album would you like to record in the future?
S. Sloan: Something like a musical funk, a big band of Ö I like Corinne Bailey Rae a lot. Itís going to have to try to figure it out, but Iím going to get started.
Now, out of all the contestants, what was your favorite performance?
S. Sloan: Of all the contestants?
In this season, yes.
S. Sloan: Favorite performance? There were so many. Honestly, every time the girls got up, I went crazy. The girls knocked it out every week.
S. Sloan: Iím trying to think through everybodyís songs.
Well, was there a person who you would most like to see win now?
S. Sloan: I still think itís going to be a girl this year. The girls Ö Melinda is obviously great and sheís a great person inside and out. I really couldnít tell who might actually take it all because itís really a crap shoot.
Do you think that you were kind of grouped in with the big voiced diva-type females? Do you think that hurt you in terms of vote getting Wednesday night?
S. Sloan: I do. Honestly, I wanted to sing some songs that would maybe set me apart from Melinda, Lakisha and a lot of the songs I wanted to sing didnít happen in time. I was happy with the song I sang. I was hoping it would kind of set me apart. I think it hurt me a little bit, especially when Simon made the comment that thatís who my competition was, who I was lumped in with. And thereís no way that all of us can stay there if thatís who they keep comparing us to.
Since there is kind of an overabundance of big-voiced diva-type female singers, do you think it will continue to split the votes and maybe at the cost of some of the not-as-good singers sticking around, while some of the better singers go home?
S. Sloan: I do. I think ultimately the big voices might be split. Itís a position for the people who are separate from that group to advance. Thatís why I think itís really anyoneís guess, who could ultimately win it all.
I was just wondering. You were talking about that maybe the voters just didnít vote because they thought you were safe and maybe because she got so many bad comments. I wonder if the fans just went after it tooth and nail. How much does popularity play in this and how much does talent? Did you get a feeling of it just was out of everybodyís hands?
S. Sloan: Absolutely. Thatís kind of the perspective I had, that I tried to remember to have when I went up there. I felt like I did my job, I did what I was supposed to do, and Ö gets you into this competition for sure when itís up to the judges and the producers. But once youíre on, itís honestly up to America and the type of audience thatís watching. Popularity absolutely plays a factor. I think that is absolutely part of what happened.
Iíve actually suggested that maybe they just save the votes until after they get the top 12 because of all this type of thing happening. Not that I donít want my hometown girl in there or anything, but it just seems that itís up to the fans at one point. Sanjaya also got panned so many times and stayed in. Would you like to see that? I know youíre out now, unfortunately, but clearly, youíre going to get lots of offers, I think.
S. Sloan: I certainly hope so. Maybe it would be Ö to have a bottom two and then ultimately the judges pick. That might be something Ö the top 12. But again, I think the success of the show is the fact that there is that drama factor, that anything can happen, and itís in your hands. They want people to call. They want America to vote, and itís Americaís show once the 24 is selected. It wouldnít be the same show if we did it that way. Obviously, for us as the contestants, Iím sure that we would love it if that were the case, but it wouldnít be American Idol.
Really quickly, any offers yet?
S. Sloan: Nothing Ö I have to have a waiting period, but I definitely have some things on the table that Iíll be looking at.
Everybody sort of compared you to Gloria Estefan in My Town. Do you get that at all?
S. Sloan: No, thatís great. Iíve heard that before.
Could you elaborate on that one thing a little more? You said you were thinking of a couple of songs that would have set you apart from Lakisha and Melinda, and then that didnít quite work out because why?
S. Sloan: We have to get songs cleared. You have to get it cleared from the artist. When it comes down to it, if that doesnít happen and your dream song doesnít come through, youíre limited to a list of songs.
That have already been cleared.
S. Sloan: Yes, things that are approved.
I was wondering how much the 90 second time limit kind of effects. You said you have a fondness for what sounds like a very jazzy subtle kind of song sometimes. But when you only have 90 seconds, you sometimes have to choose a song.
S. Sloan: Yes. You know, thatís another thing. America just responds to hearing that big voice and you have to do it as fast as you can, as quick as you can. A lot of things that I might have wanted to sing a little softer and show a little more character, it was kind of like being in this competition with these singers. You just have to give it all you got every single week. It was difficult.
We were surprised when we ran into two people who got this far and had never seen the show before. Youíve seen the show for five years. What did you kind of pick up from that, that did help you along the way that you picked up from watching for five years?
S. Sloan: Ö what I said, what American responds to and big endings, you only have a minute-and-a-half to really show all you have. Iím seeing even now that there is an advantage to being shown before Ö having some airtime. I feel like I was kind of at a disadvantage not having that. Itís different every year and this year for sure, the talent was on a different level than maybe Ö year. I think people are going to have to keep stepping it up.
I was wondering, Simon was kind of saying that all the contestants have really poor song choices. Do you think that affected you at all?
S. Sloan: Slightly maybe the last show. I think really that was more maybe the arrangement of the song. I still feel good about it. I still feel like I wouldnít have changed it. I havenít had an opportunity to actually watch it back yet, so itís possible that it was wrong. But I donít think it was a bad choice. I think some people did make maybe bad choices in years past Ö I donít think it was a bad song choice. Actually, I really do feel pretty good about all the choices I made.
Good. Ö on the Gloria Estefan comparison, you said youíve gotten that before?
S. Sloan: Iíve gotten it physically before. I look Ö Gloria Estefan.
How do you feel about that?
S. Sloan: Iíve never been real thrilled. I love her, but I donít honestly think I look like anybody that Iíve ever met. I look at myself and Iím like Ö Iíd rather stand apart and be unique than look like anyone.
Just be you.
S. Sloan: Yes.
You mentioned Diana Ross earlier and you were all prepped to do the Diana Ross week. Who else were you looking forward to working with?
S. Sloan: Jon Bon Jovi.
Really? What is it about him besides the obvious?
S. Sloan: What was that?
I said what is it about him beside the obvious?
S. Sloan: Besides the obvious, that was kind of my rock group growing up Ö him just being him Ö sing and show a different side. I wasnít necessarily looking forward to country week, but definitely a chance to rock out. Gwen Stefani, too, because sheís from Orange County like me. I always wanted to meet her and talk to her about that. Hopefully, Iíll get an opportunity in the future.
Every week I feel extremely bad for Sanjaya, who is always ripped apart by the judges. I was wondering if youíve ever had to offer words of comfort to him or to any contestant who was completely ripped apart by them.
S. Sloan: Right. Well, Sanjaya, I give him a lot of respect because itís tough. I couldnít have done this at 17. I think heís handled things well. I think heís learned a lot already from all of us. He really handles the comments really well at 17. Heís learning and you can see it. He doesnít really need to Ö a lot. He has a great mom to keep him focused and encourage him.
My roommate, Haley, got crappy comments every single week. She took it like a trooper. I just encouraged her to know that it matters what they say, but some of that stuff is way out there and just not called for .. Simonís Ö By the end, she was done with Simon. She didnít even listen to what he said.
I was going to ask another question about Sanjaya. What do you think about him making it to the top 12, considering the judges reactions? Ö seemed disappointed. I know you think there were other contestants who deserved to be in that top 12 seat more than he does. What do you think about that?
S. Sloan: I think, again, itís a fair competition in terms of everyone being vulnerable. Each week Ö talent obviously got him into the competition and heís there for a reason and itís up to America. Sanjaya is really popular with the American public. I think itís a combination of factors. Whether heís the best singer or the most marketable popular person, thereís a reason that heís there. People love him and he has a fan base. People believe in him, so he deserves to be there as much as anybody else.
What are you going to miss most about Idol?
S. Sloan: Performing. That first week of performing on that show was incredible. It was a total rush. Itís just now that Iím kind of realizing that 30 million people were watching. Itís the biggest and best stage in the world and I wonít get an opportunity like that again no matter where my career takes me.
Thank you to FOX for allowing us to participate in this media call.