*Burnell Taylor said he wasn’t going to cry when he landed in the bottom two on “American Idol” last week, but when he took one look at Mariah Carey and fellow contestant Candice Glover, he lost it – just a little. [Scroll down to watch.]
“There wasn’t a dry eye on stage,” Taylor told TVGuide.com. “It touched me.”
Carey was a bawling mess on Thursday during Burnell’s sing-for-your-life performance of India Arie’s “Ready For Love.” At one point, she turned her chair around so that the cameras would not shoot her shedding tears.
Mimi also cried for Taylor during his audition earlier in the season, when he told the judges that he lost his Louisiana home during Hurricane Katrina. His rendition of “I’m Here,” a song from Broadway’s The Color Purple soundtrack, led the judges to give him a standing ovation and Carey got emotional.
Following Thursday’s elimination show, Billboard chatted with Taylor who explained that he’s excited to return to his hometown because “he’s got work to do.” He also talks about his crush on contestant Amber Holcomb, whom he kissed during his farewell performance last week.
How are you feeling?
Just goin’ home. No big deal. I mean, everything happens for a reason. Now it’s time for me to kill it.
You went out on two highs tonight — Nicki actually came out to say goodbye and you kissed Amber…
I knew it was coming! I just wanted to let all them know that I love them, and they all capable of killing it. I feel that the place where we’re at right now, we’re all going to be somebody — if we take this experience and run with it. So that was just my message: “Do what you all gotta do. Kill it. And I’m gonna see y’all again.”
What did Nicki say to you?
Nothing. She just cried! Probably make me cry, ’cause I wasn’t expecting her to cry but I gained like a high… I always respected her, all of them. I gained a higher respect just seeing that she really cares about me. It means a lot.
Mariah was bawling too. What did she say?
Nothing. She was just saying, “Take this experience and do what I gotta do…keep my name hot.” And that’s what I’m gonna do.
Are you and Amber dating? She suggested to us last night that that little crush is a mutual feeling.
It definitely is. I said it once before: A crush only involves one person. So it ain’t a crush.
And you were singing right to her today…
I sung to all of them. And it took everything in me not to cry — not because I was sad to, you know, be going home, but… You know, these are people that I didn’t even know last year, so the fact that they’re crying behind me going home, it means a lot. I love them like nobody!
Watch last week’s bottom 3 announcement, Burnell’s “Ready for Love” performance, everyone crying, the Amber Holcomb kiss and his elimination below.