'American Idol' Top 9 interview: Janelle Arthur on how to make the Beatles go country
Many of the Top 9 singers of "American Idol" Season 12 tried to put their own spin on The Beatles. But it's possible that none did as good a job as Janelle Arthur. Her country-style "I Will" closed out the night in style. What did Janelle have to say about the experience? Find out here!
How do you feel about your performance?
Janelle Arthur: I actually felt good about my performance, which is unusual. I never feel 100 percent about my performance, but I usually feel happy with the choices that I make because I'm not going to go out there and do something I don't feel is the right decision. I was happy. I was mainly happy that the judges liked it.
What was your reaction when Randy said that you had one of the best performances of the night?
Janelle Arthur: That was crazy! And that made me feel really good because this was not country night. [Laughing] Hello! So the fact that he said that, that meant a lot. I love Randy. I love all the judges though.
What was it like to close the show?
Janelle Arthur: Wooh! Pressure! That's what I felt. I felt definitely like, oh man, this could be really good or really bad. Because if they give you bad critiques, that's the last thing people are left with. And if they give you good critiques, that's the last thing people are left with, you know? I was glad it was good.
How does it feel for you to still represent country in even a Beatles song?
Janelle Arthur: That feels so good just to know that. I've always loved to do that though. I've always loved to sing other genres and make them country. That's kind of what I've always done.
I never know what the judges are going to say, to be honest. I would think if I did something like that, I've always expected them to say "It's just not your thing," "You can't do it," or whatever. So, I was so happy that it just worked out to where you still felt like I was myself, but I still proved that I could hang with some Beatles songs.
How did you choose your song?
Janelle Arthur: I heard that Alison Krauss did a cover of it and that sparked my attention, my interest. So I looked on YouTube. I didn't really end up doing her version at all. Her version is way more fast and more bluegrass-y. So I had one cover that I really liked and listened to a bunch of different ones and kind of came up with my own thing.
Were there any other performances that stood out to you tonight from the other contestants?
Janelle Arthur: To be honest... I've talked about how Candice really -- she's my friend, I've known her for a couple years -- she's getting so confident every week. So that makes me so proud of her.
But to be honest, I'm backstage knowing that I'm last. I'm using the bathroom so much, I'm singing my song over and over and over in my head and I'm going back and forth to makeup and hair... I didn't really get to watch too many performances.
What is it like when they play back all the songs at the end and you know you're on the screen behind you?
Janelle Arthur: It's like oh my gosh! But then I look and I'm always like, "Ew! Nasty! That looks awful!" Because it's that nostril shot! Nostril cam! So I'm like, oh Lord. It's just weird. It never gets less weird.
When you're singing do you feel like you're on TV or just on a small stage?
Janelle Arthur: I always try to be aware that I am on TV, but I also try to not freak out about it. It's hard to process that you're singing in front of that many millions of people. And you're just looking at a studio audience, so it's hard to process. It's nerve-wracking for sure.
"American Idol" will air the Top 9 results on Thursday, March 21 at 8pm on FOX.