The interview with Sundance was the final one of the day and Sundance seemed truly upset about being eliminated. He was one who came into the competition with a lot of hype surrounding him and I felt like he never performed to it. He was a nice guy and I was able to get a couple of questions into him (red highlight). I did enjoy talking with him but he called me ďMaíamĒ and that made me a little upset. Iím not even 30 yet! I know he was showing his Southern manners but that threw me for a little loop.
Just overall, how has your experience been on Idol, any regrets?
S. Head: Absolutely not. Iíve had a wonderful experience. Iím just thankful that I had the opportunity to work with so many professionals, the American Idol staff, 19, Fox, Ö, theyíre all super professional and theyíve taught me a lot. Itís just been an honor to meet all of them and Iím very thankful.
Do you think youíre going to continue with music?
S. Head: Absolutely. In fact, as soon as I get back home, Iím going to start working on a record and see where I can go with it. I just need to get back home and ground myself, and figure out where Iím at, and where I need to go, and whatís the fastest way to get there.
What Iím trying to get at is how a guy with a voice like yours would be available. In other words, how you would not Ė were you really working as a mechanic and not singing before you entered the show?
S. Head: Absolutely. I had sung in times before. I had shopped for record deals. But theyíd get my promo pack, theyíd see the picture of me and they wouldnít even listen to the music. The American industry just wonít hire a fat artist; itís just not going to happen. Hopefully, I can change that.
Your dad has had a hit once. Did he nudge you in any directions towards that? Did you grow up with your father? Did he push you in that direction at all?
S. Head: Absolutely. My dad has been a great mentor in my life. Heís taught me everything I know. I wouldnít be who I am today if it wasnít for my dad. I love him to death. I canít wait to get back home with him and sit down and discuss the future, and which way everything should go.
Back to that first thing for a minute, they are eventually stars of every size out there. Is this maybe you needed that one nudge out that now the next time they see you they will grab your record and listen to it?
S. Head: Absolutely. Thereís no doubt. Iím already fielding offers and things for small deals, big deals, different TV gigs, and things like that. I owe everything to American Idol. Thatís what that show does. They build success from the ground up. They can take anyone and make them into a star. They just have the baddest group of people youíve ever seen. Theyíre all super at their job. Thereís nobody better.
I wanted to know, apparently on Ryan Seacrestís radio show, you mentioned that you think another one of the male stars thinks he has the competition in the bag. Would you care to elaborate about that?
S. Head: I actually need to retract from that statement. I love all of the dudes on the show, and I was bated into that question, and I tried to answer it in more of a funny way but it spun out of control. I just want to say now that all of the guys on the show are extremely genuine guys. I feel honored that Iíve had the chance to meet them, and get to know these kids. Everyone is going to do great after this show. I just want the world to know, and America to know, that I have no hard feelings, even for Sanjaya Malakar.
I wish the kid the best. I know heís young. He doesnít have a lot of confidence in his voice right now, but thatís going to come to him as he grows. What America needs to understand is, youíre seeing this kid grow up on TV. Heís 17 years old; heís never been through this in his life, so people just need to remember that. Heís going to be a success in the music business. Heís got all of the great looks and heís full of talent. He just needs to get the confidence in himself, and heís going to go really far.
Who would you most like to win?
S. Head: Iíd really like to answer that question. However, I canít answer questions like that. Then it makes a bias opinion, and itís just unfair to the other contestants.
Last night when you got voted off the show, I think that was probably the most shocking of all of the four people who left last night. What do you think happened?
S. Head Iím not real sure what happened. I donít know if America just considered me to be safe. That I didnít need the vote and that I was a shoe-in for the top 12. I really donít know. I thought everything was going pretty well. In fact, I was almost positive that I was making it to the top 12. I really just donít know what happened, to be quite honest; Iím still in a bit of shock from it.
I was pretty sure, too. I even put you in one of my predictions for the week. Do you have any regrets about anything that happened on the show? Do you wish you sang a different song, or are you pretty happy with the way everything went?
S. Head I wish that I had sang something other than ďNights in White SatinĒ for my first time on the show. The reason I picked that song was because it was a slow, melodic, song and I was extremely nervous. I had never been on the stage before, and I didnít know what was going to go down. I also was coming into that first gig. I was a little paranoid because I forgot my lyrics in LA, and that was haunting me real bad. I was just glad to be able to get through that week and come out of the box the next week with ďMustang SallyĒ and really get my confidence back and get things rolling. I thought I did a real good job on Pearl Jamís song, ďJeremyĒ also. It was going to get better and better. Thatís the way I feel.
If youíre not growing on American Idol in this contest, then youíre going to be going. Thatís just the way it is.
Can you talk a little bit more, what are you going to be doing next; whatís your next move?
S. Head: My next move is Iím going to go back to Texas. Iím going to get a band together, and weíre going to start playing. Iím going to throw down everywhere I can do and just be a road warrior, try to keep my fans happy, put stuff out on the Internet that they can listen to, and just keep on going. If anything else, this gives me more gas in my tank. Iím ready for the wheels to roll right off. Iím ready to go.
How did you feel at that moment when there was shock in the judgeís faces? Do you think American just maybe possibly thought you were a shoe-in?
S. Head: Yes. Thatís what I think. At least thatís what Iím going to hope for for my own morale. But Iíve got to tell you, I was extremely disappointed and I was even angry. You can see that when I did ďJeremyĒ when it goes into the verse about Daddy didnít give affection. And the boy was something the Mother wouldnít wear, I was holding myself. I held my shirt and I felt like that was my chance to speak to America. I was really disappointed.
How would you describe the experience after all of this?
S. Head: Itís a wonderful experience. Iíll do it again, if I could, every time. Itís just been great. I just want to say that the American Idol family is truly a family. The things that you read in the tabloids about them brainwashing you or trying to make you do things, trying to make you into people that youíre not, that is not true. The only thing they want to do is make you into the best possible star you can be. They just want to bring the best out in everyone. They do a fine job of it. Iíve got to say that Iím very proud and honored to have been a part of this team, and the people that Iíve met on this journey has been extraordinary. Iím just blessed.
Iím just wondering, how soon do you get to go home?
S. Head: Iím actually fixing to get on a plane at 5:00 and head back. I just canít wait to get in my yard. I want to hug the trees and Iím going to fishing tomorrow. Just try to ground myself and hash this out, and try to figure out what happened. Iím extremely confused. Iíve been riding this roller coaster for months now, and itís like doing 80 in a Ferrari and just hitting the wall. I just donít know what happened. Iím a little bit confused on which direction to go in. Itís a terrible thing.
I could understand if I was sucking, or whatever, or just doing a terrible job, I could have prepared myself. But there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to make it into the top 12. So emotionally, I just had no shield for this. Itís really eating at me.
I was just wondering. I know we had some major players coming on the show. Who were you most looking forward to getting to work with?
S. Head: Definitely Bono. Even if I wasnít going to work with him, just to be in the same room with that guy would be an honor. Thereís nothing like that. He is the rock and roll icon of our time right now. He is a rock god. He tries to help the world out. Come on, he should be President of NATO. I donít even know if I would have been able to speak, but I certainly would have loved to be in the same room as he.
A Texas boy. You said youíre going to just sort of enjoy yourself and get together a band. Are you going to come to San Antonio, do you think, can we see you?
S. Head: Absolutely. Iím going to try to be all over the place.
I was really shocked. The only thing I wasnít shocked by is this is Americaís vote, and Sanjaya for some reason looks like the Teen Beat idol or something.
S. Head: The girls love him. Heís a good-looking kid.
He looked almost ashamed afterwards. Everybody was sad about you. Did you talk to him afterwards? How did that work out?
S. Head: Sanjaya Malakar is a young kid. I feel in part he did feel a little ashamed because this is the second week that I think someone good has went home on his part. However Ö Heís got a great talent. Heís a great singer. He just needs to grow. He needs to learn about himself and get confidence in his vocals. I think heís going to go very far. I wish him the best of luck. I canít wait to buy one of his records.
How much do you think cuteness and popularity plays into it now rather than talent?
S. Head: Itís definitely a popularity contest. You can throw talent out the window after the floor auditions. Once you get on the show into the top 24, itís a popularity contest that starts immediately. Thereís no doubt.
Actually somebody from our market, Haley Scarnato, also made it last night over Sabrina.
S. Head: She was one of my best friends.
Were you glad that she got part of it? Everybody was a little shocked by it.
S. Head: I always thought Haley would get through anyway because sheís a good singer and sheís beautiful. It doesnít hurt to have both of those.
Exactly. But Sabrina, of course, the reactions of the judges were shocked because she went off.
S. Head: I think that was a miss also.
But I donít know. Itís Americaís vote. If you had a choice, would you like the top 12 to be decided before America gets to vote?
S. Head: Yes, of course, Iíd say that now. If I went into it, Iíd have no complaints, would I?
But I know youíre going to do well. I loved your comment about, ďGive me a job.Ē
S. Head: Thatís right.
Whatís the name of your band?
S. Head: I donít have one yet.
Youíre going to build one.
S. Head: Yes. This should be fun.
Thanks for taking my call. I was wondering, did you ever consider doing Pearl Jamís ďJeremyĒ a risk?
S. Head: Actually, I did. But Simon had told everyone in there that if weíre not taking risks, then itís pointless to be there. Anyone can come out and sing a song, but itís when you take a risk that makes it worth it, when you come out and do a risky song, and do it well.
I felt like I did do that song well. Maybe I just didnít understand Ė I thought everyone knew who Pearl Jam was and what the song ďJeremyĒ was, because in my life there was nothing bigger when the Seattle movement hit. It changed my life musically and it was a time in my life when I actually was mowing yards and stuff to get the money to go buy records. Pearl Jam was one of my favorite bands, and I felt like it was an honor to be able to do it on the show. Pearl Jam had never cleared a song to be performed on American Idol before.
So whenever they told me that they cleared the song for me to do it, I said, ďThereís no other way. Iíve got to do this song,Ē if out of nothing then just respect for Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam. It is what it is. I made that decision and I still feel good about it. I donít know if thatís what tanks me in or what. I just guess people thought that I was a shoe-in and they didnít have to vote. I do know that I was the number one voted male for the last two weeks. I donít know what happened this week.
Everything happens for a reason and this just means that I can start my life right now. I donít have to wait, and Iím not bound to an eight year contract, a five or ten year contract with these guys. It could work out better or worse, but either way at least I have the opportunity now to be free and go out and do it.
My other question was, do you think that you ever wanted to sing one of your fatherís songs?
S. Head: Absolutely. I would have loved to have done that. I didnít make it to the 60ís, obviously, but if I would have, that would have been a treat to do.
When you were told that you were going home last night over Sanjaya, the judges were obviously disappointed. I want to know how you feel about that, and what do you think about Sanjaya making it to the top 12?
S. Head: I was really shocked. I thought I was going to make it to the top 12, and I couldnít believe it. In fact, top 12 was nothing; I figured Iím going to get real down to it, maybe to the top six even. Iím sorry that I didnít have that opportunity.
As far as Sanjaya goes, Iíve said this to people all day, heís a hell of a kid. Heís a good kid. I wish him the best of luck. I think he has a great talent. Heís a good looking kid. He just needs to get confidence in his vocals, and figure out who he is as a person. America needs to understand that youíre watching this guy grow up on TV every week. Heís only 17 years old and heís never been in this position in his life, so this happening. This is as real as reality TV gets.
I think that the fans understand that and thatís why he has so many fans. Thereís kids his age that are growing up with Sanjaya. Itís going to continue to happen like that. Iíll tell you what, if he comes out and has one breakout week, just one, if he just comes out and blows the house down one time, all of the talk about Sanjaya not being able to sing will be solidified. It wonít even matter anymore because his popularity is out of this world.
I wanted to ask what about Idol are you going to miss most?
S. Head I think Iím going to miss the free breakfast. Just the fact that they treated everyone like stars, American Idol is a first-class organization. Thereís just nothing else that I can say, except for at least I was part of an elite group. Thereís maybe 150 of us that has been top 24 contestants, and itís like an alumni, and Iím very proud to have been a part of it. Even though my American Idol road ends today on the show, it doesnít end in life. Iíve got that to take with me for the rest of my life.
Iím just wondering, youíre married, right?
S. Head: Yes, sir.
Being in this American Idol bubble, and with things going on at home and being there, how hard it is? Some of the people donít have that other connection. Is it extra pressure for you that youíre missing your wife, and all of that kind of stuff? How does that come into play?
S. Head: Absolutely. Iím a very emotional guy, I donít think I have to tell you guys that. One thing that really insulted me was for Simon Cowell to say those were crocodile tears. That really insulted me and it made me incredibly angry. Itís hard being away from your family. My kid, heís only three months old, and I just missed out on a huge step in his life. The last time I saw him, he couldnít do anything, but sleep and eat. Now he smiles, he laughs. He moves around, he crawls. He holds his head up, and heís figuring out what his hands are. Thatís terrible to miss that. Thatís a lot to think about everyday.
So a part of me is actually really happy that I get to go home and spend time with my family and reroute my life. I just want to thank everyone who is concerned. I hope that people still know who I am eight months from now whenever I release a record, or whatever happens to me. I just want to let all of America know and anyone that reads your magazine that Iím very proud to have been in American Idol. I wish everyone the best. God bless the U.S.A. What else can I say?
One of the fun things about the show is, you can throw guys from totally opposite worlds together. Jared earlier today was saying that when you two guys were roommates, the city kid and the Texas kid, and you actually ended up getting along really well. Whatís that like when two opposites are suddenly together?
S. Head: I donít think itís that big of a deal. Whenever you have so many extraordinary people, super talented group of people, and everyone is pretty cool, I donít think it matters where youíre from. A lot of us donít really consider race, age, size, looks, or any of that. Itís more about the art. Itís about the music. Itís about the ability to write songs, to capture the moment in words, and it was just neat to meet people like that.
Jared is an extremely good poet and songwriter. He can write stuff that will make anyone cry. Heís super talented and I look forward to seeing whatís in his future.
Just one brief thing, at first people used your first name some, but people really preferred to call you Sundance. Is that really an advantage? When youíre at home, do people call you Sundance, and is it an advantage to have a really distinctive name to be known by?
S. Head: In fact, thatís all anybody has ever called me is Sundance. The only people that call me Jason is my cousin, Brandy, and my mom when sheís really mad.
Thatís kind of cool. Now that youíre getting known, people will instantly remember who Sundance is, right?
S. Head: Of course. Everyone Iíve ever met knows my name. It backlashes, too, because I meet a lot of people along the way, and they know my name, and they expect me to know theirs. But itís hard to remember everyoneís name, but itís pretty easy to remember Sundance.
Thanks to FOX for allowing us to participate in this media call.