Carly Rae Jepsen didn’t win her season of Canadian Idol, but the show did launch her into international stardom. In an interview after the American Idol performances show on Wednesday, Carly Rae said she thinks Kree Harrison could use her journey on Idol to make it a “really long way” in the music business too.
I remember you from Canada, is there a sense of déjà vu coming on in the States?
Yes there is. It was really strange to be backstage actually. It wasn’t so much once I was on, coz it was just kind of a performance, but leading up to it — the music that plays — I was like, “What? Why am I so nervous? I don’t get nervous anymore, but I did tonight and I think it was the American Idol/Canadian Idol jitters.
Who’s the better host?
That’s a dangerous question, my friend. I would say both of them, but that’s why I would be a bad judge.
Carly, this has been an interesting way to write a song, can you see yourself doing it this way again?
One part of me thinks it’s really interesting because it was kind of cool to get all these opinions and it was the part that intrigued me to write the song in the first place. Essentially I wrote three different lyrical options and then fans would vote on their favorite one and the problem was that I totally did have a favorite version, because I’m a very opinionated person when it comes to music, so I was worried that if it’s a version I don’t like I’d be secretly bummed the entire time. But they actually picked the version that I liked. So it was good. Phew. I don’t know that I’d like to do that too much more.
You didn’t win your season but you followed it up with a great career. What advice would you give the runner ups?
I think the really valuable thing about Idol is the exposure and that is the tool that you get to take with you, that’s the gift that all the contestants get and I really saw that for myself. I remember sitting with the lawyers when there was five of us going through what the Canadian Idol contract looked like and I don’t know what the American one is like but for me, and having a father who’s a principal and made me read all these business music books, I was like, “I don’t know if this is a good idea — second sounds great!” But at the same time I was very competitive by nature and the golden egg/pie seemed great too. For me, coming third was awesome. I was able to align myself with great management and great producers and a lot of people who helped develop my career to the point where when Justin Bieber came to town he could hear “Call Me Maybe” on the radio. So I would say to both of the contestants, the real fight begins as soon as the show is done and even for the winner, they have a great opportunity but don’t stop fighting.
What about the music video? Do you have any ideas?
I haven’t even gone there yet. I like the concept of taking a picture of you taking a picture of me, because I actually caught myself with my boyfriend when we were both on the beach one day, and it was totally ruined moment, but it was kind of funny because you see two cameras over our faces. To me, if there was a video I would just incorporate a lot of fun photography and the idea of a summer day at the beach — something simple like that.
As somebody who has competed on a show like this before, what do you think each of these girls have?
Well, I wasn't able to follow the entire season, because my television time is quite limited. I get what I get on the airplanes. I can tell you everything that plays there! That being said, I did catch up on the latest few episodes, and I have to say that both of these girls are very passionate about music. I would say Kree's got a really cool country element to her, and I think that can go a really long way. It's a whole new genre that can be taken over. I would say there's a softness to her voice that country music doesn't really have, that I really admire. I think it could be a nice way of making it her own. I think what I learned in "Idol," actually, was that ... It feels like there are millions of us! How do I stand out? I think, in high school, you spend so much time going like, "Let me fit in! Let me fit in!" And then you go on a show like this, you go, "I gotta stand out!" So you've gotta find out what it is that's different about you and really hone in on that rather than shy away. And as for Candice, I feel that every word that she says is just milk and honey. And I love it!
Going along with your song, "Take a Picture," what's your favorite Instagram picture you've ever taken?
It was in the Bahamas. There was a sea otter — this massive sea otter — and he kissed me, right after he sang a version of "Baby" by Justin Bieber actually. True story. This makes no sense without actually being there! But basically, the trainer would be like singing half of it, and he would wail every time "Baby" happened. And it was hilarious. There's a picture — a video — of me, killing myself laughing. Anyway, it was a good memory.