Tonight, James Durbin returns to the American Idol stage for the first time since Season 10, to perform his new single “Love Me Bad.” But viewers might expect the real show to be backstage, If James runs into his old mentor, Jimmy Iovine.
During his time on Idol, James continuously clashed with Iovine, yet he tells Wetpaint Entertainment that he considers the feedback from the legendary record producer to be among the best that he received while on the show.
“Even though Jimmy and I butted heads a few times, the other times we were actually pretty buddy buddy,” says the former Idol contestant, adding that Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, and Randy Jackson gave him fluffy feedback compared to Iovine’s bluntness.
“Jimmy doesn't care what other people's opinions are. Jimmy has that job for a reason. He is who he is for that reason, and for that reason only,” says James.
While Idol contestants on the verge of tears may not be able to see it that way, James recommends that the Season 11 hopefuls listen to Iovine’s advice.
“When you're in his position, and you're a music mogul and the head of a huge record label, you have to be pretty harsh,” says James. “I think that that prepared me [for a career after Idol].”
“The harsh reality, especially for his job, is sometimes you have to hurt people's feelings. But I think it’s how you weed out the ones who want it to be a millionaire superstar, or the ones who want it because that's what they love to do. If money and adoration comes along with it, then so be it.”