*It was the end of the road Thursday night for “American Idol’s” Naima Adedapo.
Her reggae rendition of Elton John’s hit “I’m still Standing” apparently fell flat with voters – the judges weren’t that enthusiastic about it either – and the funky, earthy R&B-flavored contestant was sent packing along with teen Thia Megia.
- Read Naima’s exit interview below.
Before Ryan Seacrest delivered the bad news, former “AI” winner Fantasia – complete with blonde hair and shoes that stayed on during the entire performance – sang her new single “Collard Greens and Corn Bread.”
- Scroll down to watch clip.
Below, Naima’s Q&A
About the female contestants having a harder time:
“When it comes down to it, the reality is that more than 50% of the audience is teenage girls and once they get a crush, we’re done. They dominate and that’s alright, ya know? I feel like [the girls] didn’t really have too many conversations about it because we were all pretty confident in our work. It is the reality of the situation and the teenyboppers, once they fall in love … my audience is the older crowd, not necessarily as technology-savvy sometimes. I would get people saying, ‘Yeah, I voted for you three times!’ and it’s like well, you could vote 500 [laughs] … that’s just the reality of the situation.”
On Lauren Alaina taking it hard when Naima and Thia were eliminated:
“She cried a little bit, but that’s a natural thing. It’s alright to do that. I think it was very hard for her because not only was it like me kind been a mother figure a bit, telling her to have confidence in herself and telling her she’s beautiful, but I think even more so it was Thia. That was like her age, they were in school together all the time. They were really close and really tight. It really is like losing a best friend. I had my moment saying see you later to Jacob, that’s been my ace, so you get emotionally attached to these people, you start to learn their stories, you start to learn their personalities, and it hurts to see people go.”
What was her favorite part of the experience:
“Shopping! [laughs] I think that was like one of the biggest, best parts for me. Performing is everything, but when you get to shop and you get to do the accessories and the shoes, oh my god, I get such a kick out of that … That was my release time. It was great to kind of co-create things with [Soyon An, the ‘Idol’ stylist]. She knew my style. She would have stuff hanging on the rack before we even went shopping. That was one of the best parts for me.”
On her dancing background:
“I have been part of many dance troupes actually. I used to do hip-hop, but for most of my life it’s been African dance. Any African dance company that you name in Milwaukee, I’ve been a part of. Dancing has always been a part of my life, since I was young, just playing around on the streets in Chicago. I did go to college and study dance, I got a BFA in dance, so I know all different forms of dance. I could’ve tapped on some ballet if I wanted to, but it’s not necessarily my realm [laughs] would’ve looked a little weird doing pirouettes in a reggae song, but dance is something I’m really connected to. I’ve always incorporated dance into my performances. I had a reggae band back home with my husband and we always move on stage, it’s a natural for us. You have to dance, you have to move, you have to physically be engaged in order to fully connect with the audience.”
On the unique style she brought to “American Idol”:
“For me, I’m really about staying true to myself. Once I have my mind set on something, I just kind of go out there and do it. I did what I did and I have no regrets about anything I’ve done on the show and I’m happy to have shown that side of me. I think sometimes people just didn’t know where to place me. I felt like maybe they didn’t understand me sometimes, but honestly, the reactions that I’ve gotten from people have still been positive. It’s like, ‘I don’t know about you but I still kinda like you.’ I definitely struck people in a different kind of way. I think ’cause it was hard to place me in a certain category, that did have an effect on how people voted or how they perceived me.”
Below, Fantasia performs “Collard Greens and Cornbread”