I recently had the opportunity to participate in an interview with eliminated contestant, Gina Glockson. I was completely surprised she was eliminated and the tone from the rest of the reporters was very similar as well. She was a unique presence on the show and she will be missed. I wish her success with all her future plans. (All my questions are in red.)
Idol is such a catch 22 with the whole do your own thing and stick to who you are. Are you second-guessing at all your decision to mellow out as much as you did for “Smile”?
G. Glocksen: I am not regretting anything. I’m not. I was happy that I had a chance to sing that song, because it kind of showed America that I also have a voice and not just a rocker image. I also have a voice to sing with.
For what it’s worth, I actually thought that you sang it even better last night when you were saying good-bye. I think that version might have kept you on the show another week or so.
G. Glocksen: That’s what Randy said.
Which of the upcoming theme weeks are you most bummed to be missing out on now? Is it J Lo and the Latino music or Jon Bon Jovi and the rock star?
G. Glocksen: No, it’s Bon Jovi for sure.
Did you have any songs in mind that you were—
G. Glocksen: Yes. I was going to sing “Living on a Prayer.”
Oh, that would have been good.
G. Glocksen: I know. Everything happens for a reason, though.
I wanted to ask you, having gone through that process before, I think you said this was your third time. Right?
G. Glocksen: It was my fourth.
Your fourth. Wow. What has that been like, sort of as a whole, just going through that and then this time finally cracking that top ten and then getting eliminated at this point?
G. Glocksen: It’s amazing. I wouldn’t have done it any other way. I’m glad that I got cut the previous rounds when I did, because they obviously thought that I had things to work on. I did that and I had a couple years to work on it. I think that really came out this year. I think that the time worked out perfectly for me. I did what I had to do, and I think I did it well.
Now what kind of stuff, you said you worked on stuff for a while, what kind of stuff specifically were you sort of focusing on to get further this time?
G. Glocksen: I took some vocal lessons in Chicago, just working on how to make my voice work with the different genres. Because I knew that I’d have to work with a Latino week or British invasion, and I had to know how to make my voice work for each genre.
It was a surprise to see you leave. Now you were praised for your talent throughout the competition, but how much does a contestant’s positive track record count each week with the judges and the viewers?
G. Glocksen: I think it counts a lot. That’s why we’re here for our talent, and that’s why we were cast for the show, but at the end of the day, you just don’t know what America wants. You don’t know if it’s based on talent, personality, if you have exactly what they’re looking for just in your style, your hair, your clothes. But you just have to just stay true to yourself and make sure that you stay focused on what you’re there for, and that’s vocal talent.
Now did you and any other contestants talk about how the viewers could be looking for something more than excellent singing?
G. Glocksen: We talk about it all the time, but we just always came to the same conclusion that we have no idea. Completely clueless of what they want, so we just have to make sure that we take the judges’ comments to heart and stay true to who you are, and that’s what’s going to get you far in the competition.
Well, you were really emotional last night when they announced your name. What was going through your mind at that moment?
G. Glocksen: I was really disappointed, because at no point in time on Tuesday night or before I went to bed on Tuesday or preparing for Wednesday night, did I think that I’d be going home, not this week. I thought that I had a really good performance on Tuesday, and I was really proud of the song that I chose and the way that I chose to present it. So it was just emotional to know that I was going to be going home. I didn’t even have a chance to be in the bottom three ever, and the one time that I was I’m going home. So it was pretty hard.
Do you consider yourself like a rocker singer, or do you feel that was kind of forced upon you because nobody else fit that genre on the show?
G. Glocksen: No, actually I love rock music. And if there’s anything that I wanted to bring to the show it would be a chick rock singer. I think that the thing about me is that I’m very versatile with the genres. I sing in a cover band since I was 16 years old, so I know how to cover each genre pretty well. But I’m more comfortable, I think myself, as a rocker girl.
Now we read that you were asked not to wear your tongue ring in the beginning of the show. And after a while, we know that you put it back in. I was wondering if you think that was really a hindrance for the people who were voting with your look and your style. Or do you feel like it was more they focused on your singing talents and the song choices?
G. Glocksen: I think they focused on my signing talent and the song choices. And if that was the reason why they didn’t follow through with voting for me, then I’m okay with that, because I was just continuing to be myself. I’ve had my tongue ring in for three years, and to take it out for a couple shows, it kind of seemed funny to me. It’s who I am, and that’s why people like me. It’s why people don’t and I’m okay with either one.
And after your name was read at the elimination last night, the crowd began booing. I was wondering how that big emotion of the crowd booing really made you feel.
G. Glocksen: It made me feel so blessed and very much loved. You never know how many people love you in the audience. It’s hard to see all the signs that say, “LaKisha or Jordan or Melinda, you’re my Idol.” There were like two or three that said, “Gina, you rock.” I treasure those signs and posters. But to have that crowd in the uproar of booing, it was bittersweet because I’m great friends with Haley and I’m glad to see her still there, but I also wish that I were still there.
What did the judges say to you after the show? Did they have any comments for you?
G. Glocksen: Yes. Well, Randy he said, as I said earlier, he said, “If you would have sang it like that last night, you’d be through.” And Paula, she said, “I’m a fan, you’re a star. You’re going to go far.” And Simon said, “Gina, I really, really like you.” He said, “You’re a good person and I really like you.” He said that he’s glad that I went back to my rocker image.
On the show, who was the best mentor that you got to meet, not in terms of just meeting them, but the one that offered the best advice to you?
G. Glocksen: The one that offered the best advice to me was probably Diana Ross. It wasn’t even anything vocally. It was her telling me in this industry, you’re going to have so many people talking to you, telling you what to wear, how to do your hair, what song choices to do, how to present yourself, how to present the song. She just said just chose one; just chose one person. Trust them and give them everything you have and they won’t steer you wrong.
Was there any song that you ever really wanted to sing, not necessarily just last week, but the past weeks that you couldn’t for any reason? They wouldn’t pass it through or anything like that?
G. Glocksen: Yes. I really, in the top 24 when I was able to choose my songs, I wanted to sing “Who Knew” by Pink, but she doesn’t clear her songs.
One of the themes that seemed to be a constant thread in your appearance on the show was that Simon was awfully tough on you. Those of us who have watched the show a lot wonder if he doesn’t decide some singers that he likes and dislikes and gauges his comments accordingly. Do you feel that Simon was tough on you? And do you feel he’s tough on you because for some reason, he wanted to see you fail?
G. Glocksen: No. I kind of considered Simon as a parent. Parents will kind of, I guess maybe like the tough love kind of thing, they’ll tell you what you don’t want to hear, so you’ll do the opposite. And I think he’ll say that I had a bad performance, just to make me stronger, because he did like me and he does see something special in me. And I think he just wanted to push me to that next level.
Was it tough to see Sanjaya place higher than the three of you in the bottom?
G. Glocksen: It’s funny that everyone is asking is it tough that Sanjaya did, I mean it’s tough that all the other eight people did. It’s not just Sanjaya.
But there’s a sense that he’s not as good as the rest of you.
G. Glocksen: He’s just different. It’s not that he’s better or worse. He’s Sanjaya and Jordan is Jordan and Chris is Chris and Blake is Blake; America, I guess, was through with me, and that’s fine. I’m fine with it. I’m going to tour.
First of all, I wanted to make sure I was clear on the one thing you said. The tongue ring, did it come out for a few weeks.
G. Glocksen: For two shows.
It was such a perfect moment last night when you did sing the song, because it was just a perfect melding of the song with the emotion. In other words, a rare chance for someone to sing exactly what they might have been feeling at that moment, tell us what it felt like. Had you thought at all about what it would be like to sing that particular song if you were out that week? And then as you did it, how did it feel as you were doing it?
G. Glocksen: I never thought that I’d be singing that song again on the show. But as I was signing it, it kind of clicked after the first couple lines that I sang like, “Wow, I’m just actually singing about myself.” And I kind of changed one of the words, “When there’s clouds in the sky, I’ll get by,” instead of you’ll get by because I know that there’s always tomorrow. And yes, that song is definitely going to be a very special song to me for the rest of my life now.
I really liked your look on Tuesday, the hair and the make-up. Can you tell me a little bit about who is working with you guys in terms of clothing selection and all of that?
G. Glocksen: Yes. We have a great team. There are two stylists, and they’re amazing. They’re absolutely amazing men, Miles Figgens and Art Kahn. They just dress us and it’s such an art of what they do.
Because your style is very unique to you?
G. Glocksen: Yes. They get to know us on a personal basis, and then they dress us to just how we act. It’s not according to our song, because obviously, I was wearing fishnets singing Tony Bennett, but they dress us to our personality.
Your family who was in the audience were visibly, visibly, what we could see last night, visibly shaken. How did you hook up with them after the show?
G. Glocksen: How did I see them?
Did you see them after the show?
Yes, I got to see them. It was emotional. It was emotional. They helped me with my bags and they took me downstairs. I had to get some things out of wardrobe. And when I walked in there, I just broke down because the wardrobe, Art, my stylist, was one of my best friends. And just knowing that I’m going to be in there one last time and never again just kind of hit me hard.
Two quick questions, one is sort of parochial. Chris Richardson is our boy here in the Tidewater area. I was just wondering if you’re buddies with him and what you think of him?
G. Glocksen: Of course. I love him. He’s become like a brother to me. He and I have formed a very, very close bond. We’re both kind of contemporary artists and he’s amazing. He’s going to go far.
Do you look at him as being long odds to win this thing or is everybody at equal footing now?
G. Glocksen: I really think everyone is at equal chances now. Like I keep saying, you never know what America is going to do; you just have no clue.
So you wouldn’t pick him to win now or you wouldn’t.
G. Glocksen: I would pick whomever America chooses. I’m game for everyone; they’re all my favorites.
Along those same lines now, are you guys, when you get to this stage, are you really family now or are there rivalries among you?
G. Glocksen: Honest to God, this is the first season that we’ve been told that it’s just one big family. There are no clicks. There is no hate or resentment towards anybody; we all get along.
People Magazine had a little blurb in there about Chris may be having a romance on the tour, and his girlfriend didn’t react to that too well. So I wonder if that’s just rumors or not.
G. Glocksen: It’s not true.
But you guys are pretty restricted, though. You can’t mingle with the press.
G. Glocksen: Right.
Does that bother you, though, that you’re so restricted?
G. Glocksen: It’s hard. You want to be able to tell people real stories or let them know what really happened behind that story. That’s how people form their opinions on you. You can’t really do anything about that.
I wanted to ask you about life in the bubble. What is it like, once you get to the top 24 and you’re sequestered and you go through this star school, as Deborah Bird calls it, what is that life like? And what is it like emotionally to go through something like this?
G. Glocksen: I love it, although sometimes when I get down on myself, like wondering if I made the right choice, did I make the right decision, I’d like to know-- I wish I could take my body home for just ten minutes and see how they’re supporting me. I wish I could just see how they’re doing that, so I know that would bring me up.
Are you literally kind of in a bubble and not really knowing what’s going on in the outside world in a way?
G. Glocksen: No. We have no time to. We have no time to. We’re never out and hanging out.
Just the last part of that is how does that affect your psyche? Do you get exhausted and start second-guessing yourself a lot? How does that bear on you over time, I guess is the question?
G. Glocksen: I never second-guess anything. This is what I signed up for; we knew what we were getting ourselves into when we signed our contract to join American Idol. If you think about it, it’s only six months out of your whole life, and it’s just an amazing experience. So I wouldn’t regret anything.
One of the reasons why I was really cheering for you is because I loved your back-story of trying for this for four years. Now that you hit that goal, what is your next big goal? What’s the next level for you?
G. Glocksen: After the tour, I want to move to LA and try to get a record deal. I want to make music, my own music because I’ve been singing covers for so long, and just try and sell albums.
Will that include your band?
G. Glocksen: No.
G. Glocksen: They’re not actually my band anymore.
Where does Mr. Pickles stand in all of this today?
G. Glocksen: Oh, Mr. Pickles; I’m a little upset with him, but he got me this far.
So now going back to just the whole thing about your edgy rock girl kind of image, do you think that the judges pushed it a little too much on you? They were saying that you are this bad ass, that you’re really, really--is that how you are or was it a little bit more forced for TV purposes?
G. Glocksen: Honestly, I was who I was. I think I was more no myself the first two performances in the top 24, and then I just kind of came into my own. I’m very random when it comes to clothes.
You were known for your stylish hair with the red streaks in it and the cute cut and everything way before Sanjaya was known for his hairstyle. So did he ever come to you for hairstyling tips or advice like before performance night, like, “Hey, your hair looks great. Help me out.”?
G. Glocksen: Oh, no. No. It’s funny; it’s like a competition--who has better hair, and we’re going to have a hair-off.
You just said something about your band. Did something happen that made you decide not to stick with them anymore or was it—
G. Glocksen: It was after Idol last year, I just kind of realized that the bar scene wasn’t for me. It wasn’t helping singing shows on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday when I knew that I kind of wanted to audition for Idol again, and I didn’t want to blow out my vocal cords before I got on the show.
I know everyone keeps asking you about Sanjaya, so I do apologize in advance. But I just wanted to know, does everybody feel the same way as you in the group that there is just no bad feeling? Or have there been any grumbling with people who have—
G. Glocksen: Not that I’ve heard. People are pretty fair about what they say in front of people. I’m friends with Sanjaya, so they know that if they’re going to bad mouth him, not to do it in front of me.
You talked a little bit about being in the Idol bubble before. Could you just run us through a week, just real quick, what exactly is your week … that experience?
G. Glocksen: Well, our weeks pretty much run Thursday to Thursday, just because it’s after the results show. So we’d pick our songs on Thursday, rehearse them for three days, meet with our mentor on Saturday. Do the Ford shoot on Sunday, rehearse on Monday, show on Tuesday, show on Wednesday, pick songs on Thursday and it’s just a continuous circle.
All of that, the clothes part of it, you said you liked the fashion element of it, too, and loved working with Art. Where does that fall into the whole thing? That’s during …?
G. Glocksen: That falls in back and forth between rehearsals.
And these are like 15-hour days. Right?
G. Glocksen: Yes.
You said that you’re Sanjaya’s friend. What is this young guy like? Why is he your friend?
G. Glocksen: He’s exactly what you see on TV. He doesn’t care what anyone thinks. He does his thing and he’s proud of himself. I love that; self-confidence is a great trait to have.
The judges have been ripping him constantly. What do you think about him hanging in there week after week?
G. Glocksen: I’m proud of him. He’s hanging in there and he’s not letting it get to him. He still comes out on stage every week and he gives his all.
Now in terms of the wild haircuts, where does his faux-hawk rank against some of the other haircuts?
G. Glocksen: I think it’s number one; I think it was awesome.
What did you like about that one?
G. Glocksen: It just set him apart from everyone else. It was crazy.
What would you say was your best hairdo through the episodes?
G. Glocksen: Probably when I sang “I’ll Stand By You.”
What was that one like again?
G. Glocksen: It was short and just spiky in the back and long in the front, I had it covering my face.
Do you go through a huge makeover in terms of your appearance for the show?
G. Glocksen: No so much. I don’t think so. The only thing they really did make over wise was cut my hair. I’m still wearing the same clothes that I’d wear back home.
Just further back, another Sanjaya question, aside from him personally, I just wonder if you could talk a little bit about how you guys maybe felt or heard about the press that was going on about him outside of the show and sort of the maelstrom of conversation, and if it affected you guys at all or were you sheltered from that?
G. Glocksen: We were pretty much sheltered from it. American Idol is really good at keeping up away from the things that are being said about us, just so it doesn’t affect our performances and affect us and our emotions throughout the week.
How do they do that sort of stuff? Are you in some sort of lock-up or something? With the Internet, you must be able to e-mail friends or—
G. Glocksen: Things are going to be told about you on the Internet, and it’s to our own caution that we don’t read it. And he doesn’t read it, I try not to, other people don’t; we just try to stay away from it.
I’m from Israel, and I was wondering, are you surprised that people here, in such a far country, really like you and watch this show avidly?
G. Glocksen: I had no idea, so yes, I am surprised.
Because people really like you with your style and we really like rock music, so I think people will be really disappointed. Not everybody has seen the show yet because of the time difference, and it’s going to be a shock.
G. Glocksen: Well, tell them when you talk to them that I thank them so much for their support.
I wanted to ask you, who are your friends besides Sanjaya?
G. Glocksen: It sounds so pageantry, but it’s everybody. I have a different personal connection with every single person on the show. I mean, I have to be; I’ve been with them for three months.
Do you have any special experience backstage with people bonding? Can you tell us something about that? In your spare time, if you have any.
G. Glocksen: There really is no spare time, because bonding just happens every day because we’re with each other around each other every day. I can’t even give a specific.
I wanted to ask do you think the reason why, because obviously you have this rocker image, do you think that the reason why you got voted off this week is because this week’s theme was the great American classics?
G. Glocksen: No, I don’t think that’s it, because I think my fans in America knew that this was going to be a tough week for me and kind of it that into stride because you can’t rock out Tony Bennett. But I think my fans were just proud of my last two performances. They were probably my two strongest out of the whole season, and kind of thought that I’d be safe, so they decided not to vote so much. And I think that kind of killed me, because every vote counts.
I wanted to ask, because as far as I know there is nobody else from Naperville, or Illinois for that matter, that made it this far. Are you the first?
G. Glocksen: I am.
Really? So how do you feel about that?
G. Glocksen: I feel good. I feel like I’m representing the city that I live in in a very good way. I’ve lived in Naperville for two years. I lived in Tinley Park, a southern suburb of Chicago, for 20 years. So I feel like I’ve taken on two cities and kind of planted my feet and made it my own.
Are you aware of any particular kind of support that they’re giving you?
G. Glocksen: I know that there’s a bar that I perform at with my boyfriend’s band that they hold parties for me every week, like viewing parties, so I’m very happy to have them behind me.
Thank you to FOX for allowing us to participate in this media call.