American Idol Contestant Shannon Magrane Dishes on Her Musical Influences and Why She’s Scared to Sing Whitney Houston — Exclusive
Though 16-year-old Shannon Magrane initially stood out in the auditions because of the awkward banter between her father Joe Magrane and Steven Tyler (Who can forget Steven’s quip: “Hot, humid and happening, just like your daughter”), the teen became memorable for all the right reasons in last week’s semifinals after she performed “Go Light Your World.”
Wetpaint Entertainment had a chance to catch up with Shannon between rehearsals for her first Top 13 live performance, and got the scoop on being the young one in the competition, what scares her, and almost peeing her pants.
Wetpaint Entertainment: It's now been a few days since you made the Top 13. Is it still as exciting?
Shannon Magrane: It is still so exciting! I'm in this giant dream and I don't want to wake up from it yet.
What were your thoughts when you heard you were safe?
I got called up with Skylar (Laine), Baylie (Brown), and Chelsea Sorrell), and it was really nerve wracking because it was all country girls and this pop, R&B girl. I wouldn’t fit in like that. So when Ryan pulled me out and told me I was safe, and I almost peed my pants, literally.
Do you see yourself as a country girl at all?
I don't think so. My dad listens to a lot of country music, so I kind of grew up with a lot of country. I like singing country, but I sing mostly pop and R&B stuff because that's what I feel in my soul.
What are some of the songs that you're dying to sing in the next hopefully 12 weeks?
That's a good question. I don't know, because I haven't really been thinking about that yet. We're taking it one step at a time. They're telling us you have to sing this kind of theme and this kind of theme. So we haven't really had much time to go around and see what song we wanted to sing the most. We've just been focusing on that one theme, you know.
Are you scared of singing a Whitney Houston song?
I actually am very intimidated by singing a Whitney song because she was probably the biggest female vocalist ever. It's really intimidating singing one of her songs. It’s just scary. So I'll try to do it in my own way.
I have sung Whitney before, but this time I'm tackling kind of a bigger song. So I'm hoping that it will come off as well as I would sing another, a less difficult song.
How you see yourself musically?
I really love Beyonce and her music. She's a dancer. She's a singer. She's an actor. She's a triple threat. She's an all around amazing performer, and I aspire to be just like her. I do.
What is it like now to be sort of in the midst of Idol?
It's definitely much different than I thought it would be because I've been watching it for the past 10 years, and now I'm on the 11th season. It's so much different backstage than what you see on the show. I don't know how to explain it. It's just so crazy. There's no time to rest, and I love it though. It's something that I love to do, so it's not really work to me.
How do you feel about the criticism that you've gotten so far? Has it been constructive?
The judges that we have right now are iconic people in the music industry, and they’ve helped me grow. I've been here for only what? Like almost a month now, and I feel like myself growing even more.
What have you learned to take into consideration?
Never, ever to be late. Everybody's on time. On time is late and late is unacceptable to me. Literally, it's never be late. And always practice and always have your voice warm because you never know if they’re going to pull you out and be like, okay. You're singing right now.
Do you have someone who's supporting you through this?
I actually do. Because I'm a minor I have to have my mom here. I actually love the fact that I have my mom here. I don't know what I would do without her here because she's helped me so much. In every way possible she helps me with my outfits and hair and makeup. It's just been awesome with her here, and she's helped me pick my songs and guide me down the right path.
How do other people feel about that? You and the other minors have parents there to kind of help guide you along. Does it separate you from the other contestants?
Minors are minors, and they have to be back first. So that means we get to skip the line and stuff. But the other people who aren't minors, they're not mad about it or anything. They all think, “Oh, that's fair.” We have literally the best group of people.