American Idol: Skylar Laine

By Jamie Ruby

Skylar LaineThe latest contestant to leave American Idol was 18 year old Skylar Laine. The country singer, who is currently working on her nursing degree, made it to the Top 5 before being voted off, and will be joining the other Idols on tour this summer.

Last week Laine talked to the digital media about her time on Idol, as well as her plans for the future.

FOX Conference Call
American Idol
Skylar Laine

May 4, 2012
9:30 a.m. PDT

Skylar LaineQUESTION: As you were looking back is there anything that you wished you could have shown to America? Like, whether it was a song, or a part of your personality, or something that you wished you could have done?

SKYLAR LAINE: I mean, I really think that I showed everything that I could, you know. I showed ballads. I showed upbeat songs. I showed passion. I showed anger in my songs. I really think that I showed a lot of stuff. I wouldn't change a thing that I did on the show.

QUESTION: If you could choose a night on the town with any of the judges who would it be and why?

SKYLAR LAINE: I'd probably pick Steven [Tyler] to go out on a night on the town because you know he's crazy. We'd have fun.

QUESTION: You will be going on a summer tour with the Top 10 this upcoming summer. What are you looking forward to the most with that?

SKYLAR LAINE: I'm looking forward to meeting fans on the tour because they're the ones that have gotten me this far. They're the ones that are still supporting me now even though I'm not on the show anymore. I'm just looking forward to meeting them and then seeing all the places that we're going. Finally, feeling like I've made it by being on a stage, giving a concert. You know, you feel like you've finally made it.

QUESTION: What advice were you given during the show that you're going to carry on with you from this point on?

SKYLAR LAINE: I'm definitely just going to keep the advice to just stay myself. Like, don't let anybody change me as an artist. I'm not a pop country singer. I never will be. Don't let anybody try to make me one. I need to sing that kind of country music that I want to sing and that comes out when I write.

SCIFI VISION: You always had really great dresses on the show. An odd question, but I was just curious, do you choose those or is it more of a stylist thing? Also do you get to keep the clothes that you wear on the show?

SKYLAR LAINE: We get to keep most of the stuff that we wear. The stylist helps us. But if I didn't like something, of course, she would always say, "Okay, well we'll find something else." But she was really good at finding me stuff. She kind of knew that–I told her I was like, bringing me dresses but have something that's a little bit like maybe hard-core over it or something. Not something so girly.

SCIFI VISION: Why did you decide to audition for American Idol and why now?

SKYLAR LAINE: I've actually wanted to audition for like two years. I've always had something else going on that I couldn't. So this year I finally got the chance and I was like, you know what, I'm just going to go out for it. I don't think I'll make it past the first round but I did. Now I'm the top five. It's incredible. It's like unbelievable to think I've made it this far.

QUESTION: On the show you said that you were a country girl and you love the support of your country fans. I'm just curious, was that a conscious decision to promote yourself only in that way, or do you feel that that kind of shoehorned you into a box that may have alienated you from the support of non country fans during the competition?

SKYLAR LAINE: No. It's definitely a conscious decision. I pretty much know. I've accepted the fact that if I get to make an album and I have singles out that they're probably only going to be played on country radio, because that's just the way it is. That's the way my songs are going to sound.

I've pretty much accepted that. I'm fine with it because I want to make real country music; you know, like Honky Tonk songs, just the good old country stuff. I mean, that's was going to make me happy and that's what comes out when I write.

QUESTION: I know that the judges have commented, especially last night, that they're finally seeing you comfortable on the stage not just singing, but with performing as well. What kind of growth have you seen in yourself from last night's performance and from the first time that you stepped out on the Idol stage?

SKYLAR LAINE: I definitely got more confident each week you know. I've always been confident on stage, rocking out. But I've gotten more confident each week. I'm just happy to have made it this far, just top five. I think this place is good with me.

QUESTION: Your inspiration is Miranda Lambert. Are there any hopes of maybe doing a bit of a duet with her in the future, maybe some songwriting?

SKYLAR LAINE: It would be my dream to write with Miranda and do a duet. Justin Moore is another one of my inspirations. Like, Miranda and Justin are my idols. I would love to do a duet with both of them and write with both of them. So, hopefully, one day I will be able to.

QUESTION: What would you say was the best advice that you received while you were on the show from the judges?

SKYLAR LAINE: I definitely received the advice to stay myself and don't change what kind of artist I am. Just keep writing.

QUESTION: The judges kept saying how great you were, but then you get voted off. Did you ever give any thought to trying to please the viewers as opposed to pleasing just the judges?

SKYLAR LAINE: I really always thought about that. You know, I was really thinking about that every time. I was trying to please the viewers and the judges. Maybe it was just my time to go. I just didn't get enough votes.

QUESTION: I understand that you said that you were relieved to be voted off because of the stress level and now no more stress. Can you compare the stress that you had to endure for Idol to any other thing that's ever happened in your life?

SKYLAR LAINE: I really can't. It's like; this has been the most stressful time. But the thing is I loved it. But I said I was relieved because I am relieved that I won't have to have that crazy hectic schedule; just because I won't have to worry about song choice and being judged. I just am relieved about that stuff.

QUESTION: When you auditioned, you talked about your family's restaurant and how much that meant to you. Are you still planning on helping out even with all your success on Idol?

SKYLAR LAINE: Of course, I want to help out. I just want to help out in any way possible that I can.

QUESTION: Who were you closest with on the show? Do you have a favorite memory or inside joke that you'd like to share about another contestant?

SKYLAR LAINE: I was closest with Josh and Hollie. We just had a bunch of funny stuff we'd always say. I would wake her up with a duck call sometimes. So that was pretty funny.

QUESTION: Like some other people have said, the judges always gave you really great encouragement throughout the weeks. So was it a surprise to you to go home this week?

SKYLAR LAINE: It's never a surprise on Thursdays. You never know what's going to happen. This season has been really unpredictable and it's going to keep being that way now. I was just happy to make it as far as I have.

QUESTION: I read that Carrie Underwood also said that she was sorry to see you go last night. How do you feel about her comments?

SKYLAR LAINE: I think that she was so sweet about it. She, actually said in one of her interviews, I think, that the country communities already welcomed me with open arms and that just means the world to me. So all of her comments were sweet. I was so happy to hear them.

QUESTION: I know that you've said that you weren't really surprised to be eliminated. Would you mind elaborating on that a little bit because, at first glance, it seems like you might have been a little surprised, given Hollie had landed in the bottom three quite a few more times than you throughout the season.

SKYLAR LAINE: Well, I wasn't surprised because, I don't know, I just got a gut feeling when I came back up there and I stood there and I told Hollie, I said, "I think you're about to be surprised," because she thought she was going home. She was like, "No I'm not." I said, "Yes. You're going to be surprised." Then I said, "I told you so," after it because I mean I just wasn't surprised because you can't be because you never know what's going to happen.

QUESTION: During last nights show, Jimmy Iovine said Jessica Sanchez's dress was "too mature and racy for her age." He thought it probably made people a little uncomfortable to watch I guess. However, Jennifer Lopez quickly came to Jessica's defense and said that although some voters might have thought her outfit was a little too much and rightfully so, she thought people in show business had different standards and it would be considered acceptable. What's your opinion on the debate? Do you think Jessica's dress was age appropriate or do you think it was a little too much for the show and the American Idol audience?

SKYLAR LAINE: I really don't know what to say about that. Her dress, I loved her dress. I think, Jessica's got a body to die for and she's stick thin. Don't we all want to be that way? But I don't really know. I loved the dress and if people were offended by it then they were offended by it. But I didn't really have a problem with it.

QUESTION: You had some amazing performances early on. A fan favorite would be when you opened up with "Stay With Me" and just exploded on the show, and that's one thing Jennifer Lopez loved about you. She said that you were kind of like, "Let me on stage, let me on stage." Did you feel that adrenaline rush every time you hit the stage?

SKYLAR LAINE: Yes. Definitely. Even if I was singing a ballad I felt an adrenaline rush you know. It's crazy to be up on that stage. You just feel so much–I can't ever remember anything that happened on stage.


SKYLAR LAINE: No. I really don't remember anything. I just have to watch them back.

QUESTION: What do you think you're planning on for the tour?

SKYLAR LAINE: I'm definitely going to sing country. I don't want to have to sing pop. On the show, of course, we have to sing what they give us and everything. I just want to sing country music and hopefully I get to sing some of my songs.

QUESTION: You were really consistent throughout the entire competition and you could tell you really wanted to win. But going into your final performance you fumbled with your song. How important do you think song choice is? Do you think it had anything to do with you being eliminated?

SKYLAR LAINE: I don't know if song choice had anything to do with me being eliminated. I really don't know what it was. It could have been. I will never know. So I don't really like to linger on it. But I'm just trying to remember my good times and everything that I've had on the show. I had a great time the other night performing.

QUESTION: You've been in Hollywood for a few months, and this is where it all happens in the music industry. Are you ready to leave your hometown of Mississippi and become an LA girl?

SKYLAR LAINE: No. I don't plan on moving to LA after the tour. I want to move to Nashville because you know that's where country music is and that's where country artists record. So that's where I want to be.

QUESTION: I know that you're a tom boy at heart and you're just a good 'ol Mississippi girl. Are you planning to keep some of that glamour that we saw in your costumes incorporated into your every day life now?

SKYLAR LAINE: I don't know about in everyday life, maybe once in awhile. But I always try to keep something a little bit more hardcore in my outfits, you know. Give me a dress but I'm going to put something with it that's a little bit more tom boyish.

QUESTION: You have said that, obviously, it was a lot of pressure from week to week in the competition which makes a lot of sense. But that never came across on stage. You somehow managed to really just bring energy. Even after you were eliminated a lot of contestants sort of like can't keep it together. But you just had that same energy and that same attitude. So how were you able to just stay so positive, even before the eliminations every single week, to sort of shut down that pressure once you hit the stage?

SKYLAR LAINE: I definitely just forgot about everything and would sing songs I love. I just forgot about it all and rocked out. I just wanted to go out with a bang last night and I think I did a good job of it.

QUESTION: You've had some really great mentors throughout your time on Idol. But which mentor was your favorite and why?

SKYLAR LAINE: My favorite mentor is probably Stevie Nicks because she just spent so much time learning the songs the night before and everything and she wanted to kind of have an idea of them. Then she came in the next day and really had done her homework. She really showed that she respected us and we respected her.

QUESTION: What was your favorite performance?

SKYLAR LAINE: My favorite performances, there's probably, I have two, "Stay With Me" and "Gunpowder And Lead." I love both of those.

SCIFI VISION: When you first got on stage, when it was in front of the big audience, what was running through your head?

SKYLAR LAINE: I really can't remember what was running through my head. When I go out on stage, I kind of just block it all out. Probably running through my head, what I can't remember is like, "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh. Don't fall. Don't fall."

SCIFI VISION: But you don't really think about it, though, now?

SKYLAR LAINE: No. I don't really think about it because I can never remember what was going through my head when I was performing.

SCIFI VISION: What did you find then the most challenging?

SKYLAR LAINE: The most challenging was probably just staying true to myself and walking in high heels.

QUESTION: Can you talk more about how you say that you can't remember anything that happened on stage? Are you saying that your mind went black and you didn't remember how the performance went when you were standing there being judged and they would say, it was good, it was bad, whatever. Could you really not remember?

SKYLAR LAINE: I mean I could remember. But I could never remember what was going through my head in the middle of the performance. Like, sometimes I'm not even thinking about anything in the middle of performance. I'm just singing it, you know. Or sometimes, I could be thinking about something completely different in the middle of a performance.

I could be thinking about like, hum, what am I going to eat when I leave here or something. I don't know what it is. It's weird. But it just happens that way. I can never really remember what it is.

QUESTION: One thing you always did on stage, is you always made sure to slap the hands of all the fans that were around the stage. Did that come naturally to you? Did you make a conscious decision to do that because you were, I think, one of the only contestants who ever did that.

SKYLAR LAINE: I really loved coming up and touching the fans hands. They're the ones that have gotten me here. They're the ones that love me. They're the ones that are going to buy my albums, hopefully. So I just wanted to show them that I know they're there and I know that they're supporting me.

QUESTION: I was just wondering if you had any plans of writing albums now or do you have any songs that you're working on?

SKYLAR LAINE: I have a lot of songs. I have songs that I've written before and, of course, I have a catalog of them. Then I have stuff that needs to be finished. I want to write with other people. So anything that they can have me do I'm really excited about.

Skylar LaineQUESTION: If you had to pick somebody to win the competition now, who would you pick?

SKYLAR LAINE: Oh, I could not pick at all. I wouldn't pick even if I could because they're all so amazing and I love them all.

QUESTION: Jimmy said in his commentary last night that he felt you didn't understand the lyrics for "Fortunate Son," and also, that you didn't have the darkness that Jesse Springfield had. I was just wondering, what were your feelings about these two songs and did you feel like you connected to the lyrics? How did you understand those lyrics?

SKYLAR LAINE: "Fortunate Son" is a war protest song. So you know it's kind of like–I didn't really think I should–I didn't really know if I should connect to the lyrics or not. I just was kind of singing the song because I really liked the melody, you know.

Sometimes you just sing a song because you like the song. Then Jessie Springfield, I felt like I had the darkness. I felt like I had a lot of passion. But Jimmy always has his opinion. He's not where he is today without knowing a couple of things. So I respect his opinion.


SKYLAR LAINE: I just want to thank everyone for all the support. I just want to say that I hope to be talking to you all in the future; maybe if I get to make an album or about a tour. Thank you all, though, for everything. I hope that you all have a blessed day.

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