Burnell Taylor was “in it to win it” as judge Randy Jackson would say, but he was also relatively certain it will be a girl who ends up as the American Idol winner for Season 12 before his elimination on Thursday.
While Burnell agrees with Nicki Minaj that this is the year for a girl to go all the way, he really wanted to end up standing beside whoever it is at the finale. In a press interview after the Motown performances last week, Burnell Taylor said “it’s past overdue” for a woman to win American Idol again. Sadly, we learned in the elimination results this week he will only get to watch to see if it happens from the sidelines, not from beside her on stage.
Q: Let’s talk about the group performance. You knew your part, apparently. You looked angry at the end of that.
A: It wasn’t anger, it was disappointment because I thought that this performance was going to be a performance that stamped everything that the boys are in it to win it too because the girls are so strong. I feel like all of us were disappointed because we knew what we could do and we didn’t live up to that. We didn’t pull through. I hope that it didn’t come off on TV like I was angry or mad at anybody I was next to, because that wasn’t it. I love each one of them, so even myself I feel like I let myself down. I could’ve pulled through too. So I was just disappointed. It’s a lesson learned. I learned from it. Even if I could do it again I wouldn’t, because I wouldn’t learn anything from it. I’m glad that that happened because I know next week if we’re around, we’re going to kill it.
Q: Did you do well in rehearsal or was it shaky from the start?
A: Actually rehearsal was good, and that’s why I was so confident. Even after my performance I changed and I was like we’re about to kill it. Not in a cocky way—I was just so proud of our rehearsal. I was like we’re about to kill it, everybody’s gonna see that the boys are strong, and then we went on stage it just went downhill. I’m not singling anybody out because I feel like I did a poor job too. It’s not about throwing nobody under the bus, it’s just that we’re brothers, so from a brother’s perspective, I’m going to tell you this wasn’t our best. It wasn’t like I was singling anybody out saying you did bad, you did bad, because we all did bad. When we’re in a group, we all look bad. Not one person.
WP: What did you guys say to each other backstage afterwards?
A: We honestly didn’t say much because, like I said, we were disappointed. I couldn’t believe that that happened because rehearsal was, like, so good, and I feel like we were all dressed alike, it was nice, we had nice dance moves, I’m thinking we’re about to go out here and be on some Temptations-type stuff. And, like, we just went downhill. Like I said, I learned from it.
Q: Can you talk about Nicki’s harsh reaction? It seemed a little over the top.
A: Honestly, we needed that. We need honesty, and I feel like her honesty let us know that we need to work harder. If she wouldn’t have said that, we would’ve felt like we did good. Even though we know we didn’t, but if she wouldn’t have said that we wouldn’t have known the truth, and the truth sometimes hurts but it’s necessary. I’m glad that she said what she said.
Q: The other day I spoke to Nicki and she said two things—a girl is definitely going to win, and if she were to collaborate with anyone it would be you. What do you think of those things?
A: Honestly, and I’m being totally honest because I’m 100 percent real, my goal is to win but it’s pretty obvious that a girl is going to win, and I wouldn’t even be upset because I feel like it’s past overdue. A girl hasn’t won in a long time. I wouldn’t mind if a girl wins, so long as I’m standing next to her. So long as I’m next to her I’ll be cool with that. But it’s pretty obvious that a girl is going to win and I’m really close with all of them so I’m going to be proud of any one of them that wins.
Q: And concerning Nicki collaborating with you?
A: Yeah, that means a lot. I just have to live up to my performances. Hopefully, if I stick around for next week because I feel like that trio performance, all of us have to step it up ten times. Because that, it wasn’t horrible but like I said it wasn’t nowhere near our best, what we could’ve done. Next week, watch out because I’m putting in the work. I’m putting in the work all the time, we all do, that’s why we’re here, but like I said I have to do it ten times harder.
Q: Are you still dropping weight? Because you look even more trim.
A: Seriously? Actually, I’ve gained ten pounds. Don’t tell nobody. I am so hurt that I gained ten pounds but I’m in the gym. I was in the gym last night working hard because I’m trying to get it off and keep it off. It’s hard because we’re so busy so there’s never time to do stuff. But I have to get it off. I can’t gain the weight back, viewers are going to be confused!
Q: What’s your favorite Idol performance ever?
A: Of course, Summertime by Fantasia. Top of the list. Because it wasn’t like she was pushing for it, it wasn’t like she was trying. She sat on the floor and she sang Summertime so amazingly, so I feel like that’s at the top of the list and should be written on the history books for American Idol. I feel like nobody should touch it. Nobody.