Did they behave themselves?
It was cool. They came up and they were doing their little dance and getting down right along with me.
Compare performing on American Idol or in The Color Purple to singing songs off of your new album.
It’s different because on American Idol, of course, we did a lot of cover songs that I was familiar with and that I had a chance to listen to. Your own songs are like a piece of you. It’s one of those things where you have to put yourself in there. I can hear Whitney [Houston] all day long and I’m like, “I can so relate to this,” or Mary J Blige and it’s like, “Oh my gosh, she’s talking about something that happened to me two weeks ago.” But when you’re creating a song you’re like, “OK, what do I want my audience to hear?” You want to be portrayed in the song.
American Idol is a rags to riches story for a lot of people -- it’s about making people’s dreams come true and that was definitely what happened with you, right?
Before Idol I was laid off from my job, my car got repossessed, I was hopping from apartment to apartment because I was struggling to pay my rent. It was really hard with a small child, so, I’m really thankful for American Idol and the fact that I got the chance to do what I really wanted to do.
Who are you a fan of that you’ve met since you’ve entered into the spotlight?
I haven’t met that person yet. I would love to meet Whitney Houston.
Do you watch American Idol now?
I do when I have a chance.
Do you think America is ready for a gay American Idol?
Clay Aiken came out, but I think people knew all along -- they were just waiting for him to confirm it. And when you look at it, Clay didn’t win, but when you compare his sales to Ruben Studdard’s [who did win], Clay would be the Idol. The way the time is now, we’re ready for anything. We’ve got a black president! [Laughs] Times are good. And your sexuality has nothing to do with your talent. If you can sing or whatever -- you can be a speed racer – that doesn’t have anything to do with what you do in the bedroom. My philosophy is “Stay up out of my bedroom -- you don’t want to know what I’m doing there, anyway.”
Finally, Simon Cowell – hot or not hot?
I am so down. [Laughs] I would date him. I would not discriminate! [Laughs]
So Glad I'm Me is now in stores.
-- NOAH MICHELSON
Previously > American Idol: Go, Gokey, Go