For eight seasons now, millions of viewers have tuned into Fox twice a week for America’s most popular talent competition “" American Idol. After each season the finalists embark on a nationwide tour to perform their biggest hits from the show. In August the season 8 “Idols”, including this season’s winner Kris Allen and runner-up Adam Lambert stopped at Boston’s TD Banknorth Garden. Blast was lucky enough to get a few minutes with finalists Allison Iraheta, Scott MacIntyre and Michael Sarver to talk about the tour, life after Idol and their plans for the future.
“The tour is going great, everything is amazing” said MacIntyre.
“The fans are the reason that it is. I couldn’t imagine this without them and their incredible support” Sarver commented. Fans were already waiting outside of the Garden hours before the show in the sweltering heat hoping to get a glimpse of their favorite contestant. Sarver elaborated that meeting the fans is their favorite part of the day, but due to security restraints and the number of people outside they wouldn’t be able to do it at the Garden.
Fans of the show have already drastically changed the lives of the Idol contestants who now have to adjust to being recognized everywhere they go.
“[My] personal life down the drain. People know who I am now” said Iraheta.
“There is not a single place that I can go where someone doesn’t recognize me, which is flattering” Sarver said. “I’m not going to lie, I like to eat without being talked to, but outside of eating I don’t mind being disturbed. It’s very flattering and very touching for people to know who I am.”
The Boston date was just over the midway point for the tour, and the idols were lucky enough to enjoy a day off in Beantown before they performed at the Garden on August 18.
Sarver and a few of the other male finalists took a Duck tour and a trip to the Aquarium while MacIntyre went scouring the city for a grand piano.
“I found one at a hotel way far away from the hotel we are staying in now. I got to play one song before they kicked me out” MacIntyre said, “(The piano) was in hearing distance of three or four rooms. I like to respect people’s sleep.”
The Boston day off was one of the few on the tour when Iraheta wasn’t shuttled off to recording her upcoming album.
“It’s pretty crazy, you know. (On) days off you record. They have been sending me songs, so just cutting them and getting them out there” said Iraheta. She has been working with famed producer Kevin Rudolf who is an idol of hers.
“It’s definitely going to be the rock album I have always wanted to do” explains Iraheta about the sound of the album when asked how much pop will have to be enthused with the album by record label request. While admitting that some compromise will have to be made, Iraheta is adamant about staying true to herself and her sound, “Hopefully it’ll be just a good rock album” she said.
Iraheta, Adam Lambert and Kris Allen all signed contracts with 19 Recordings Entertainment – the label backing the American Idol competition. All contestants were under contract with 19 Recordings from the start of the show until August 20. If they did not sign with 19 Recordings then they had to wait until August 20 to make any official contractual agreements with any other label or entertainment company.
Due to the contract issue, none of the Idols were able to comment on any specific plans once they were free from 19 Recordings, but each said they were shifting through options.
“It is going to be country” said Sarver of his plans for his full-length album. “I have simply stated that there is going to be an album because I’ve been working on one, but that doesn’t mean legally. I have several options but even if that doesn’t work out, I have built a recording studio in my house so I will release it whether someone picks it up or not – there will be a Michael Sarver album out there” Sarver promises.
While also sorting through record deal offers, MacIntyre, who was born visually impaired has also been offered a book publishing deal to write an autobiography of his experiences so far.
“[It] is something I’ve been wanting to do for a really long time” explains MacIntyre. “It is going to be about my life. I feel like I do have a lot to say still. I have received thousands of e-mails from around the world of the most touching stories. People have told me that even just the little bit of my life story that they have experienced through American Idol has meant so much to them” MacIntyre said.
MacIntyre is also considering a career behind the scenes, writing songs for other artists he admires.
“I would love to write a song for Tim McGraw and for the Jonas Brothers” admitted MacIntyre, “I write a lot of material in that power pop kind of punk genre.”
Though the Idols’ paths are diverging, they are united during the tour and by their experiences on the show.
“This is a chance for fans to see us for who we really are” MacIntyre said, “not through the lens of Motown week or Michael Jackson week.”
Iraheta echoes the sentiment in her advice to anyone auditioning for the show, but it seems to work for life in general too.
“Stay true to yourself and just go for it” she said.