If American Idol was a show judged by experts in as objective a way as possible, Sabrina Sloan would have at least made the top 6 last season. Sabrina Sloan, a 27-year-old from California, has an incredible voice and it was shocker when America eliminated Sabrina from the competition after making it into the top 16 on American Idol. Thankfully, we haven’t heard the last of Sabrina. She stopped by BuddyTV recently to discuss her time on the show and what she’s got coming up in the future.
Below you will find both the written transcript and full mp3 audio of the interview.
First, can you tell us a little bit about what made you audition for American Idol last season?
Yeah, I’ve been a fan for the last five years watching the show from the first season, and my friends and family were always telling me, “You could be on the show, you can totally compete on that show. You should go audition.” And I was actually in New York, on Broadway, kind of doing my thing but I wanna go, you see every year people get kicked off that should stay, and it’s kinda controversial who ends up winning. But I thought I absolutely have nothing to lose, I just really wanna try and get in the show and I decided this year I had to do it.
When you went into those auditions, did you think you had a pretty good chance to move on once you got there and saw the competition?
I did. It wasn’t too overwhelming, actually. I flew to Minneapolis from here to audition. I live in LA, but when they were in Pasadena, I was throwing my best friend her bachelorette party in Las Vegas so I missed the LA audition and ended up going to Minneapolis. And it was still a huge, huge crowd but I actually got really lucky and got in kind of in the first couple of hours and like out by 8 am so it wasn’t like the long, long day that I thought it would be and I…I felt like, yeah, I mean when I walked in, you don’t know what people sound like necessarily but the characters around you so you kind of feel like, “Well, I’ve got just as good a shot as anybody else.”
One of the things I think viewers don’t get to see enough of is the Hollywood week and kind of what happens there, you know. Can you explain to us a little bit about your experience in Hollywood week?
Hollywood week was crazy, cause I watched it on TV too so you just think it’s so…you’re up all night, it was crazy. And it’s intense. It’s a little like boot camp, it’s a little like, you know, kind of a sorority rush cause you’re on lock down in the hotel and you’re around people you don’t really know, you’re rooming with somebody you didn’t know before, maybe you just met and day in day out, going up and singing a song and getting cut and like hanging out for the day, like the girls day where they took us out at Long Beach and it was a good four days, five days and by the end of it, it gets really intense during that group daytime when you’re working with three or four people trying to memorize lyrics or put together a song, a routine for the judges. It was a whole lot of pressure and not a lot of sleep and at that point everybody really wants it bad because everybody gets into Hollywood thinks they absolutely belong in the show so it gets really competitive at that point.
When you got the news in that big room that you made it to the top twenty four, what were your initial reactions, were you expecting that or did you think you had a chance to be sent home at that point?
The thing is with the show you never know and I’ve treated every step of the process as kinda like a callback. It was like, “Okay, I made it to the next step but I haven’t gotten on the show yet,” and that was the big ultimate goal, so for me it was kind of that last step. Like, I’ve come so far. You know, I really, really asked the show, please tell me and they left me till the last three or four girls and so I was really sweating it out cause there weren’t many spots left, and you never know. I mean, there are people that you thought would probably go home that went home but then there are people that shouldn’t go home that went home so by time I got up there I was like fingers crossed and okay I’ll see what happens.
Being in the top 24, being a semifinalist, what was the thing that took you most by surprise during that whole experience?
I think a lot of people that went home in Hollywood week. You may see some of it on the show, even stuff that was you know, edited out like there were some stellar people that you would go, “Oh, for sure, they’re gonna be on the show. They’re a contender to win the whole thing.” And then they wouldn’t, they wouldn’t go through, it was like one little lyric forgotten or you know, you’ll never never know and it’s hard to keep that mindset that once you go on the show you can go at anytime and it’s not all about just talent. It’s kind of the whole package, there’s a lot involved, so you really just never know when it’s gonna be your time.
This season had a fair amount of controversy. What’s your take on both Antonella’s thing and then Sanjaya making it as far as he did?
Right, right. I mean, it really comes down to it being not about the talent once you get on the show and when you leave it up to America to choose, and you have all the different variables and people voting because they don’t like the show and you know, voting based on popularity, or whatever it is, I mean that’s kind of the draw to the show. Who’s gonna leave, even the upsets are what make the show popular. Because you can get mad and scream and go they don’t deserve to go home and I can’t believe it, but it’s kind of the name of the game. So, we’ve got contestants that have to be prepared for it and I think this year definitely had some of those elements, but the point is that everybody who’s on the show deserves to be there cause they have the votes, so whether it’s because of their voice or not because of their voice, because of something else, if they have the number of votes, they’re in. It’s not like So You Think You Can Dance where the judges have some sort of say in who stays or some of the other shows. That’s the thing about what makes American Idol, American Idol, that America is the deciding factor.
I think most would agree that you were one of the better pure singers on the show. Were you then pretty surprised to be eliminated when you were?
I was surprised then. I was. As much as I tried to say, “Okay, I could be going home,” I didn’t want to and I really wanted to be in the finals and really didn’t think it was my time, so it was hard. It was really hard to leave that night and I was a little bit taken back and you just got to look at it as a huge blessing and so many doors open because of it so I would do it again no matter what.
What have you taken away most from the whole Idol experience?
I would say just to stay true to myself, because I feel like I did that all on the show. I didn’t pull any tricks or try to do anything other than do what I do and sing, all the interviews that I’ve done afterwards people kind of recognize my character, you know, they appreciate me staying true to who I was and that came across and I really had no regrets about any of the choices I made on the show. So, it’s something you worry about going on to such a huge stage in front of 37 million people and putting yourself out there to be torn apart and be judged by everyone and no matter what people say, good or bad, about what I did or who I am or what I look like, you know, I just I feel confident that I got a good job and I deserve to be there.
Since being on Idol, how has your life changed and what have you got in store for the future?
Life changes because people definitely recognize you and even now that the show’s over, the finale’s over, you really start to realize once you’re off the show what a huge, huge machine American Idol is and how many people really watch cause people still recognize you and I definitely can’t go bummed out to the 711 anymore, cause undoubtedly somebody will say “Hey!” And the huge opportunities…I hope I can make a record pretty soon and working out a deal with a major record label, and just some kind of cosmetic promotion opportunities and I was an actress and singer before Idol so God created agents and they live here in LA. Hopefully some acting opportunities too, but lots and lots of doors open so it’s been really, really great.
(Interview Conducted by Oscar Dahl)
(Image Courtesy of FOX)