This week, America voted, and unfortunately Lil Rounds was sent packing. But before she could return home to her husband, kids and brand new puppy, Rounds had to endure an IDOL exit right of passage: The media frenzy, 10 questions of which we’re sharing with you.
What did you learn from your experience on IDOL?
What I learned from IDOL was that, even in the midst of adversity, you just got to keep your head up, stay strong, and keep moving forward because the second that you give up, you drop your head, and you give in, that’s it. I feel like I came back each week, regardless of what the comments may or may not have been, I would sing my little heart out each week just because I love to do that. I feel like American Idol has given me something great; they gave me a great platform. Forty five million votes came in, so all I can say is, it’s been a blessing. It really has.
It seems like the judges were being a little tough on you the last few weeks after being one of the favorites from the start of the season. What do you think happened there? Do you think maybe you scorned one of the judges in some way, scorned Simon?
Lil Rounds: No, I don’t think it was like that at all. Basically, I just feel like the judges gave their critiques based on how they felt the performance may have gone. It might not have been what they necessarily thought should have happened at the time or whatever with how the performance went, but whenever they gave me their comments, I always took them in stride because I felt like they were giving me constructive criticism to improve me. There were times I felt like they would go back and forth a bit, but it was okay because, in the end, I’m going to take everything that they gave me and push forward with it because I will definitely have some albums to come out. The things they gave me is going to help me to make that a great success.
Did you sense before the results show that you were going to leave? Did you even have a vague feeling, or did you feel confident you might be able to make it another week?
I actually had a good feeling. It might have been time right then for me to get ready to go. So, I kind of started coping with the idea that I might be leaving before the show.
Each week, you heard what the judges said. You were always very quiet. You were, “Yes, I’ll do better next week,” etc., but last week, you actually stood up for yourself very, very strongly. Why was last week the right week for that?
I just felt like the judges, when they would give me their critiques or their comments, it seemed to me like it started going back and forth. One week they would tell me one thing; then, the next week, the same thing they told me the week before, they’ll flip it and tell me to do the opposite of that. So, I was kind of like, “Eh, I don’t know which way to go.” I had to make it clear, not just trying to go toe-to-toe with Simon or the judges or anything like that, but I just wanted America to really know that I really, really am an artist. If in any way I gave the vibe that I didn’t know who I was or what I was trying to do as an artist, I was trying to let everybody know that I’m definitely an artist, and I love to do the R&B and soulful vibe.
So, that’s why I did the bit, “Mill is on the Road,” and I turned it and made it into my own. So, I just felt like, regardless of what artist you choose to do, as long as you make it your own, and you sing it the way you want to sing it and you know is you, then you go for it. So, I just had to tell them.
Ultimately, why did you pick “I’m Every Woman?” Did you have any other songs in mind as well, or was that one that just really stood out for you?
“I’m Every Woman,” that was – I can remember when I was a little girl hearing that song. I always wanted to sing it because I thought it was a woman’s anthem.
Could you take us through how you picked your songs throughout the weeks and how you worked on it and who helped you?
Of course, we have vocal coaches. My vocal coach, which is Bird – she’s really, really great. Her and Dorian are really, really awesome. I would go to them and let them know how I was feeling each week. If I felt like I wanted to do a fast song, kind of vibey, then we would go for that, or if I felt like it was a week to do a slower song, like a big ballad or so, then we would go for that. So, it depended on how I felt emotionally and what I was trying to get America to see me as. That was not just being this poppy girl that could sing all these fast poppy songs, but … I could also slow it down and do the slower songs, but still give you the R&B soulful feel.
I was wondering if there was any sort of special exchange between you and Allison last night since she’s now the last girl left in the competition.
I gave Allison the biggest hug that I could possibly give her. We were crying like, of course, two girls. That’s my baby. I just told her to make sure she keeps her head up and continue to be Allison and go out there and nail it each week like she’s been doing and hold it out for the ladies. So, there were a couple of words that was exchanged, but she’s such a phenomenal singer. She’s going to do absolutely fabulous.
Who do you usually perform to, the crowd, the judges, your family, or a combination?
It really is a combination. The audience is right there with me sometimes, so I just go ahead and groove with them. I like to get them on their feet, but then, of course, it’s for the babies, for my children and my husband, and for the judges as well. So, it’s a combination. I try to get everybody off in there.
What did you say to your children when you first saw them after being eliminated? What was that like?
Well, I haven’t gotten a chance to see the babies yet, but they did get to watch the show. I just explained to them that my run on American Idol was up, but of course, I was getting to come home to spend some time with them before I went on tour. They’re still so very, very proud of their mommy. They’ve been great during this. They’ve tried to understand what I was doing. They’re really proud of me, so I’m happy.
So, when you think about going home, it seems like, obviously, you gave a little shout out to your kids last night, but what do you miss most about just being at home with them?
So, of course, I’m ready to go back home and take them to a park and just have fun. My husband actually bought me a puppy. So, we’re ready to go home and get my puppy and run around with the babies for a minute before the tour. So, I’m going to miss that.