From a cafƒ© in Arizona, accompanied by his “wingmen” Danny and Anoop (fellow former “American Idol” contestants), Matt Giraud took some time out of his day off from the “Idol” tour to chat with Blast Magazine about his “Idol” experience and upcoming new gig as mentor and host of the Yobi network’s new show, “Make the Cut.”
Prior to his recent Idol fame, Giraud spent his time as a dueling piano player, a gig in which he never truly felt comfortable. “They thought I was too good to be playing there; they could always tell I wanted to be a true artist. At the time, I just wanted a job.”
Born and raised in Michigan, Giraud was a performer from birth. It wasn’t until last season’s “American Idol” that he got his “big break” unless you count a 2nd place win in the West Michigan “Idol” contest.
In Hollywood Giraud placed fifth in the competition, after being the first ever recipient of the “judges save” and given a second chance at proving his talent. That he did, performing The Fray’s “You Found me”, Stevie Wonder’s “Part Time Lover” and eventually being eliminated after a passionate rendition of Richard Rodger’s “My Funny Valentine.”
The judges save was a turning point for Matt. Although he didn’t win the competition, it boosted his confidence and forced the world to take a second look at this dueling piano player from Michigan. It was ” “¦a huge honor” reflects Matt, “People behind the scenes, the judges, they saw something in me. I didn’t feel like I could convey that to the audience in a minute and a half.”
Now in full swing, The “American Idol” Tour has, so far, been getting rave reviews – in large part because of Giraud’s performances. “People on tour are surprised at how good I am. I’m making a bigger impact now. I’m calling it my “ËœRedemption Tour.'”
When the tour wraps, Giraud will travel back to Michigan where he’ll take a back seat as performer. Yobi TV, the “online reality contest network” will air “Make The Cut” in September ’09. Matt describes it as the “”ËœAmerican Idol’ of the internet.” Twelve finalists will have the chance to rise to the top and then be mentored by Giraud in MI recording studios as the elimination process continues. One winner will win a chance to cut a record.
What will Giraud’s role be? “It’s cool to be on the opposite end of the spectrum” he says. As a mentor he hopes to ” “¦bring a little hope, bring out their talent and passion. I’m not just going to blast people like Simon.” Sounds like he’ll be channeling Paula a bit.
While future plans have yet to be set in stone, Matt Giraud knows one thing for sure: he is beyond thankful for everything. He is currently writing songs, booking gigs, and wants “to do a ton of different things.” For someone whose influences include Louis Armstrong and Dru Hill, it sounds like success will certainly continue for this dynamic performer.
But first, it’s time for Matt Giraud to finish his scone and get back to the “Idol” tour”¦
“Make the Cut” airs on Yobi TV in September 2009.