10 Questions with AMERICAN IDOL’s Sarah Burgess

By: Couch Tater

When Sarah Burgess made it to Hollywood Week on AMERICAN IDOL last season, she cried buckets (see Exhibit A above). But when she was cut from the competition, it was our turn to wail. Well, nobody’s bawling now, because the vivacious vocalist is back with a vengeance. She’s landed herself a management deal and a recording contract, and is currently putting the finishing touches on her debut album, ONE, which she describes as “soulful pop.” To celebrate today’s release of her new single, “Dangerouz” — which may well be the catchiest diss Christina Aguilera never recorded — theTVaddict.com’s Couch Tater sat her down for an abridged game of 20 questions.

OK, first things first — how scary is it to sing for Simon Cowell?
It’s terrifying but not so much because of him — he was actually incredibly sweet to me. It was nerve-racking because, you know, my whole life was on the line.

Were you surprised to find yourself eliminated after they’d focused on you so much during your audition episode?
I didn’t even know that I had been on so much until it was all over, because I was in Hollywood. It’s just as well I didn’t know, though, because if I had known, I might’ve been overconfident.

Why DID they cut you?
I wish I knew — even just to get the feedback — because I thought that that had been my best performance at that point. But they got rid of my whole group all at once, and all they said was thank you.

sarah burgess

Your dad was dead-set against your becoming a singer prior to IDOL. Has he come around since then?
I’m actually glad to get a chance to clear that up. It wasn’t that he was against me singing, he just didn’t want me to travel eight hours away to audition for IDOL. So he’s really excited for me, and I’m really excited to have this chance to show him what I can do.

Was he mad that you had lied to him to go to the tryout?
Now could he be mad at a face like this? (Laughs) No, he wasn’t mad at all. He was just happy I got home safe.
Now that you’re promoting the single and finishing your album, are you still in school?
No. I’m taking a break right now to focus on my career. I don’t think I’d be able to give either my education or my work 100 percent if I tried to do both. Like, how would I have studied for a test when I was on my way to open for Chris Daughtry? I couldn’t even sleep the night before, I definitely couldn’t have studied.

So it’s all glamour and excitement for you now?
(Laughs) Not ALL glamour. I’m still working as a waitress, but if everybody buys my album, then I can quit.

Is that when you’ll turn into a big diva, demanding that nobody look you in the eye and bathing only in champagne?
(Laughs) No, I don’t think so. But what’s scary is that if the album IS a success, I’ll be able to do a lot more shopping, and for me, that could be seriously dangerous. I’ll be like Toni Braxton and blow my way through a fortune in a weekend.

Speaking of celebrities, is there anyone you hope to meet through your touring and whatnot?
Christina Aguilera. I’ve always related to her, because we both had kind of a tough time growing up. I felt like I knew exactly what she was talking about, so definitely her. She’s always been one of my idols.

I can hear that influence on “Dangerouz.” Can you imagine her hearing it on the radio and going, “Damn, why didn’t I do that song?!”
No! (Laughs) I think she doesn’t have any trouble finding great music. I hope she’d like it, though. I hope EVERYBODY likes it. But I’m not trying to be another Christina at all. I think my vocal inflections really set me apart from her and anyone else — not better or worse, just different; just me. I have my own style. And I plan on keeping my clothes on. (Laughs)

Although Sarah says she’ll never be, you know, THAT kind of a diva, the behind-the-scenes reports from the making of her “Dangerouz” video suggest otherwise. Take a look and have a laugh.

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